BINGHAMTON, NY – The Reading Fightin Phils hammered out 18 hits and beat the Binghamton Mets, 9-4, in Game 1 of the Eastern Division Championship Series on Wednesday night at NYSEG Stadium. Reading hung seven runs on B-Mets starter Tyler Pill to grab a one-game lead in the best-of-five series. The loss ended Pill’s 25-game unbeaten streak as a B-Met and snapped Binghamton’s five-game postseason winning streak dating back to last year.
Reading opened their attack on Pill with four runs in the first. Following a 54-minute delayed start due to nearby inclement weather, the Fightins slapped the righty with five hits, highlighted by RBI doubles from Brock Stassi and Dylan Cozens. Harold Martinez added a run-producing single.
The Fightin Phils added to their lead with a big blast in the fifth. With two aboard on an single and a double, Stassi launched a payoff pitch from Pill beyond the right-field wall, capping a four-RBI night.
Vince Belnome provided Binghamton’s lone early offense against Reading starter Zach Eflin. He homered to right-field on an 0-1 pitch, his second long ball in as many games. Eflin bounced back after the blast, retiring 16 of the next 18 batters he faced.
Trailing by eight after Reading plated two more in the sixth off Beck Wheeler, Binghamton mustered a small rally. Amed Rosario singled home Joe Benson with two outs in the seventh, Eflin’s final inning.
In the eighth, Josh Rodriguez stroked an RBI single into left, cutting reliever Tom Windle’s appearance short at three batters. Edubray Ramos struck out Brock Peterson and Belnome before surrendering a bloop RBI single to Benson. Ramos kept the lead at five by retiring Xorge Carrillo and Jimmy Cordero worked a perfect ninth to close Reading’s series-opening victory.
Pill (0-1) allowed 13 hits, matching a career-high total set in June as a Las Vegas 51. He matched a Double-A career-high with seven runs allowed over five innings in his first loss a B-Met since May 2014. Eflin (1-0) gave up two runs on six hits over seven innings in the win.
The B-Mets continue the best-of-five series on Thursday night at 6:35 PM. RHP Robert Gsellman takes the mound against RHP Jake Thompson. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting at 6:20 PM on Newsradio 1290 WNBF and the Binghamton Mets channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: The last time Binghamton won a playoff series after losing Game 1 came in 1994 when they beat the Harrisburg Senators (3-1) in the Eastern League Championship Series…Pill’s last loss in a B-Met jersey came on May 5, 2014 when he fell to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats…it was the most hits Binghamton surrendered in a game since they gave up 18 to the Fisher Cats on May 3, 2015