One down two to go and the Reading Fightin Phils will be the undisputed Champions of the Eastern League for the first time since 1995. They defeated the Bowie BaySox last night at First Energy Stadium..
Last night’s first game of the the best of five finals was baseball at its best in the Reading 3-1 win as great pitching, good fielding and a couple of long balls by Reading were the keys in the win.
Starter Zach Eflin pitched six shutout innings before coming out in the seventh inning after taking a ground ball off his knee to the first batter. Eflin picked up his second win of the post season giving up five hits, walking none and striking out five. He topped out at 95-96 on his fastball with two strikes on the batter in the fifth and sixth innings and showed an 88 mph slider.
After taking a bouncing ball off his knee Eflin was relieved by Edubray Ramos who pitched a clean seventh inning, striking out two. His fast ball was sitting at 95-96 mph. This was the same velocity that we saw him throw on the stadium radar guns at Bright House and Dunedin Stadium when we watch him throw for the Threshers in the first half of the season.
Jimmy Cordero came on in the eight and ninth innings to pick up his first save of the season. He struck out four and his velocity topped out 101 with his fastball and high 80’s to 91 on his breaking ball. He lost command in the ninth but did get the final out on swinging strikes out of the zone.
The catch of the night was by center fielder Nick Williams who laid out to make a diving catch in the fourth inning that helped keep the Bowie off the scoreboard until.
The two homer were hit by Brock Stassi and Art Charles. Stassi gave Reading the lead in the fourth with a long ball that dropped in front of the 4 ft. mark on the side of side of the pool behind the right field wall. Then, Charles hit what turned out the game winning hit with a tape measure homer that appeared to bounce off of Route 61 behind the stands in right in the seventh. Andrew Knapp hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in the third run.
To watch these highlights from last night’s game Watch HERE.
It was great playoff style baseball at Reading last night. In tonight’s Game Two, Ethan Martin takes to the mound for Reading. This game appears to be the last televised game of the series as Games Three and Four and Five if needed move to Bowie Maryland. The BaySox do not televise on MiLB-TV.