In what was likely the top performance by a Phillies minor leaguer this season, outfielder Brian Pointer blasted three home runs in four at bats while driving in five runs and drawing a walk in Reading’s 8-5 road win over the Portland Sea Dogs on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Pointer got his big night rolling in the top of the 2nd inning, when he launched a solo shot off of Portland starting pitcher Heri Quevedo. Later in the contest, he connected for a two-run line drive home run to center field off of reliever Mike McCarthy. In the 8th inning, the lefty batter slammed another center field blast off of Miguel Celestino.
Confidence and comfort were big factors in the game, helping Pointer connect for the power trifecta, according to the six-foot tall 190-pounder.
“It was a pretty awesome feeling out there. I was definitely seeing the ball well and had a nice rhythm going on. That really seemed to help me out and got some pretty nice results,” Pointer said via text message on Sunday.
Pointer, the Phillies’ 28th round draft pick in 2010, had been an occasional contributor as the team’s fourth outfielder until recently when an injury to center fielder Roman Quinn and the promotion of Aaron Altherr to Triple-A Lehigh Valley left more at bats available for the Nevada native.
Despite having a tough time breaking into the lineup earlier in the season, Pointer remained positive with the help of encouragement from the Reading coaching staff.
“They told me just keep working on my set up towards the game and keeping consistent with my routine we do in early work,” Pointer stated. “Just make sure I’m ready when the time comes and always keeping a positive attitude, because things can change really fast.”
According to the team, the last time a Reading player hit three home runs in a game was Jim Deschaine at Erie on July 3rd, 2005.
In 52 games this season, Pointer sports a .269 average with eight homers, 19 RBI and five steals.
In Saturday’s game left-hander Jesse Biddle tossed six innings, allowing five runs (four earned). Right reliever Ethan Martin, recently back from a shoulder injury, pitched a scoreless frame to notch his first win of the season. Ryan O’Sullivan went two innings without allowing a run to record his first save.
Outfielder Kelly Dugan went 2-for-4 with two doubles in the contest. The 24-year-old is batting .362 in 12 games with Reading after being activated from the disabled list (broken foot) this month.
At 39-35, the Fightins sit in third place, 1 game back of the Eastern League Eastern division leading New Britain Rock Cats and 1/2 game behind the Trenton Thunder for the division’s wild card spot.