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Clearwater Eliminated, Reading Wins Opener

The Clearwater Threshers were eliminated when they lost to Daytona for the second straight game in the best of three series in the Florida State League. Meanwhile, Reading downed Binghamton in Game One of the Eastern League Division Series.

Daytona 2, Clearwater 1 (Daytona wins the series two games to none.)

An unearned run in the seventh inning proved to be fatal for the Clearwater Threshers, who lost the first two games in the best of three series against the Daytona Tortugas. With runners on first and second and two outs in the seventh, Wendell Soto hit a groundball in the hole that was cut off by Mitch Walding, who threw wide to first, where Rhys Hoskins dropped the ball, allowing Jeff Gelaich to score the go-ahead run and give Daytona a 2-1 lead. The error was charged to Hoskins and would be the final run of the game, although the Threshers did mount a rally in the bottom of the ninth.

Alejandro Chacin came on to pitch for Daytona and got the first two outs of the inning before allowing a single to Willians Astudillo. Pinch-runner Herlis Rodriguez replaced Astudillo and advanced to second when Chace Numata drew a walk. Drew Stankiewicz stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter for Walding and struck out looking to end the Threshers' season.

Earlier in the game, the two teams traded solo home runs in the fourth inning. Chad Wallach homered to center for Daytona in the top of the inning and Hoskins countered with a home run of his own to left, to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth.

Astudillo and Carlos Tocci both had a pair of singles in the game for Clearwater.

Starter Nick Travieso got the win for Daytona, while Chacin picked up the save, giving him the save in both of the Tortugas wins. Starter John Richy gave Clearwater 6 2/3 innings, allowing fivehits, while walking two. He was charged with two runs - one earned - and struck out five in the game, but suffered the loss.

Daytona will now play the Charlotte Stone Crabs in a best-of-five series for the Florida State League Championship.

Reading 9, Binghamton 4 (Reading leads best-of-five series 1-0)

The Fightin Phils got on the board in the top of the first inning against B-Mets starter Tyler Pill. J.P. Crawford and Andrew Knapp each hit one-out singles to get the inning started. Brock Stassi hit an RBI double that scored Crawford and gave Reading a 1-0 lead. After Cameron Perkins struck out, Dylan Cozens hit a two-run double to score both Knapp and Stassi and put Reading up 3-0. Harold Martinez RBI single drove in Cozens and capped the scoring, with Reading up 4-0.  

Vince Belnome hit a solo home run off Eflin with one out in the bottom of the second inning that cut Reading’s lead to 4-1.

Reading would extended their lead off Pill in the top of the fifth inning on a three-run home run from Brock Stassi that made it a 7-1 game. Stassi's home runs scored both Crawford, who had singled and moved to third on a double by Knapp.  

The Fightins again stretched the lead in the top of the sixth, when Perkins delivered a bases-loaded sacrifice fly scoring Crawford and Cozens followed with an RBI double to score Knapp and give Reading a 9-1 lead.  

Amed Rosario's RBI single off Eflin in the bottom of the seventh made it 9-2, and Binghamton would get to Eflin again in the bottom of the eighth, scoring two more runs and cutting Reading's lead to 9-4. Edubray Ramos struck out two in one inning of relief and Jimmy Cordero retired the side in the bottom of the ninth to lock up the win for Reading.   

Zach Eflin got the win, while Pill suffered his first loss in a B-Mets uniform since May 4th of last year at New Hampshire.  Brock Stassi went 2-for-2 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Every Fightin Phil, with the exception of Cameron Perkins, had at least two hits. The Fightins lineup combined to go 17-for-41 (.415) in the game.

The Fightin Phils and Binghamton Mets will play game two at NYSEG Stadium Thursday night.  

Williamsport at West Virginia POSTPONED

Rain washed out Game One of the best-of-three series between the Williamsport Crosscutters and West Virginia Black Bears in the New York - Penn League Playoffs. The two teams will now play Game One Thursday night in West Virginia, with Game Two back in Williamsport Friday night. If necessary, the deciding Game Three would be Saturday in Williamsport.

Alejandro Arteaga (4-3, 3.11) gets the start Thursday for the Crosscutters and will be opposed by right-hander Dario Agrazal (6-5, 2.72) for West Virginia.

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