Phillies Minor League Report: Brock Stassi fuels Fightin Phils' walk-off victory
Here’s a rundown on how the Phillies’ minor league teams fared on Tuesday, April 8:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – Triple A
The IronPigs followed the lead of the Phillies and dropped their home opener, 7-2, to the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.
Right-handed starter David Buchanan quickly put Lehigh Valley in a 2-0 hole by giving up a two-out, two-run home run in the first inning. He settled in nicely and did not allow another run. Buchanan was charged with two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three over five innings.
The offense let Buchanan off the hook by scoring a run in the fourth and fifth innings.
Catcher Cameron Rupp continued his hot start to the season and hit a solo home run in the fourth. It was Rupp's fourth blast in his fourth game played.
In the fifth, center fielder Clete Thomas hit a two-out RBI single to score left fielder Tyler Henson, who reached on an error, to tie the game.
However, the bullpen immediately gave the lead back to Buffalo. Mike Nesseth allowed five hits and a walk over 1 2/3 innings, while Phillippe Aumont walked four in his inning of work to sink the IronPigs. Nesseth was saddled with the loss.
Thomas (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) had Lehigh Valley's only multi-hit game from the leadoff spot.
The IronPigs fell to 2-3 on the season. Lehigh Valley will close out the three-game series with a doubleheader Wednesday. Starting pitchers have not been announced.
Reading Fightin Phils – Double A
The Fightin Phils rallied to beat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 6-5, in walk-off fashion at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading, Pa.
Catcher Tommy Joseph gave the Fightin Phils a lead in the second inning with his first hit of the season, a leadoff home run. Joseph had been hitless in his first 10 at bats. First baseman Brock Stassi followed with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Chris Serritella for a 2-0 lead.
However, left-handed starter Jesse Biddle handed the lead over to the Fisher Cats in the next inning, serving up a home run in a three-run third. Biddle allowed four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six over seven innings. He settled for a no-decision.
Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, second baseman Carlos Alonso started a two-out rally with a single and a stolen base. Center fielder Zach Collier singled home Alonso to cut the lead in half.
Reading tied up the game in the eighth when Stassi hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on two wild pitches.
New Hampshire scored a run in the ninth to take the lead, but the Fightin Phils plated two in the bottom half to win the game. With one out, right fielder Kelly Dugan singled and Joseph drew a walk to start the threat. Stassi followed with an game-tying RBI double to score Dugan. Then, Anthony Hewitt, who pinch hit in the eighth, delivered a bases-loaded, walk-off single to send the home crowd home happy.
Stassi finished 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
The Fightin Phils improved to 3-2. The teams wrap up a two-game series on Wednesday as Reading trots out righty Severino Gonzalez (0-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound.
Clearwater Threshers – Class A-Advanced
The Threshers' rally fell short in a 7-6 loss to the Tampa Yankees at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla.
Right-handed starter Colin Kleven (0-2, 12.00 ERA) was hammered for six runs on 10 hits, including two home runs, and a walk over five innings to suffer the loss.
First baseman Art Charles and second baseman KC Serna did their part, but the 6-0 deficit proved too large for the Threshers to overcome. Charles went 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and two strikeouts and Serna finished 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a strikeout.
The Threshers sunk to 1-4 on the season. Clearwater will turn to southpaw Ethan Stewart (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on Wednesday.
Lakewood BlueClaws – Class A
The BlueClaws fell to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, 4-2, at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C.
Right-handed starter Shane Martin allowed three runs, all in the first inning, on six hits and a walk while striking out two over five innings to suffer the loss in his debut with Lakewood.
Catcher Jose Mayorga's had two RBI-singles to supply the offense for the BlueClaws.
Lakewood (2-3) will look to avoid a series sweep on Wednesday. Right Mark Leiter (1-0, 0.00 ERA) gets the ball for the BlueClaws.