Reading Fightin Phils storm to an exciting victory home opener


The Reading Fightin Phils are one of the most historic minor league franchises as they have the longest affiliation in all of MiLB. They’ve been the Double-A affiliate of the Phillies since 1967. On their 57th home opener, they squared off against the Portland Sea Dogs.

Reading Fighting Phils open the season in explosive fashion

Righty Noah Skirrow got the start for Reading in his 3rd taste of Double-A Reading.

Skirrow started off in the right direction with a strikeout of the Red Sox’s #2 ranked prospect Roman Anthony. Their top prospect, Marcelo Mayer, blooped a single for the first hit of the day. After a walk, a single up the middle by Nick Yorke (Boston’s #6 prospect) gave the Sea Dogs an early 1-0 lead.

New addition Jose Rodriguez worked a 4-pitch walk to start things off for the Fightins. He’d steal 2nd and advance on a throwing error by the catcher to get to 3rd base with just 1 out. Gabriel Rincones Jr. walked to make it men on the corners. A wild pitch by Wikelman Gonzalez scored Rodriguez and advanced Rincones to 2nd. Carlos De La Cruz also walked as the Red Sox’s #5 ranked prospect struggled with the strike zone. Rincones Jr. scored on a long sac fly by catcher Caleb Ricketts. Center fielder Roman Anthony hit the outfield walk and fell, allowing Rincones to score.

In the second, the Sea Dogs tied the game on a double by Roman Anthony. Center fielder Marcus Lee Sang almost made the catch for the final out of the inning but couldn’t hold onto a leaping grab. Mayer singled and advanced to 2nd on the throw. Kyle Teel followed with a 2-run single that put the Sea Dogs up 4-2.

The Fightins got one back in the bottom of the frame. A Kendall Simmons single and another Jose Rodriguez walk set up Marcus Lee Sang with an RBI single.

Skirrow was pulled in the 3rd inning after allowing back-to-back singles. Konnor Ash entered the game in relief. The Sea Dogs got a run on a passed ball with Ash recording a strikeout. After a walk, Ash was able to end the damage on a weak fly ball.

Reading fightin

The Fightins lived up to their name in the bottom of the 3rd. A Carson Taylor solo shot brought the score to 5-4. After a Simmons single, SS Robert Moore drove him in but got thrown out at 2nd ensuring Simmons could score. It tied things up at 5 runs a piece.

Ash provided the first shutout inning of the night for either team in the 4th. He retired the middle of the Dogs’ order, including a strikeout of Mayer.

Kwiatkowski responded with a shutout inning of his own. Jacob Webb relieved him in the 5th and continued a streak of shutout innings by both teams. Ash was relieved by Jordi Martinez. He allowed just a hit and walk in 2.2 innings pitched.

The Sea Dogs broke the scoreless streak in the top of the 6th. After back-to-back hits, Mayer hit a deep sac fly to score Max Ferguson. Kyle Teel doubled home Anothy to make it 7-5 Dogs. Nick Yorke added his own RBI double, pushing it to 8-5.

Jose Rodriguez responded with a homer to deep left center, making it 8-6. It was his first hit in a Fightin’s uniform.

Reading fightin

Carlos Francisco entered the game in the 7th for Martinez. He allowed just a walk to keep the score at 8-6.

Wyatt Olds took over for the Dogs in the 7th and the Phils started hitting again. A Rincones Jr. walk and a Ricketts single brought Carson Taylor to the plate. He launched a homer to deep right field, giving them a 9-8 lead.

It was his 2nd homer of the day and 3rd on the season for Taylor. “Everything felt like it was clicking tonight and just a lot of confidence in what I was doing”, said Taylor on his big night.

Francisco walked another in the 8th and allowed a hit but kept the score as is.

The Fightin loaded the bases in the bottom of the 8th with no outs but they couldn’t bring an insurance run home.

Closer Max Lazar entered to try for the save and give the Fightins the win. He induced a grounder to 2nd for the 1st out before finishing off the Sea Dogs with a 2nd backwards K, giving the Phils a 9-8 win.

“I’m happy the way we play the game. Good energy, intensity and I tip my hat to the bullpen,” said manager Al Pedrique on the win.