TRENTON– Outfielder Dylan Cozens launched a three-run home run in the third inning Saturday and the Reading Fightins (88-51) never looked back against the host Thunder, clinching first place in their division and home field advantage in next week’s Double-A Eastern League Division Series.
Cozens, a 22-year-old lefty masher, launched three-run shot to right, his 39th, putting the Fightin Phils up 3-1 over the Thunder in the third frame and kept them in the rear view mirror the rest of the way.
The long ball was the 39th of the season for Cozens which pushed him past Darin Ruf (2012) for the Reading single season home run record.
Cozens, the Phillies’ 2nd round draft selection from 2011, is the favorite to be named as the Eastern League’s Most Valuable Player, as he sports a .277 average with 39 homers and 123 RBI in 132 games played this season.
On the mound, Phillies hurler Alec Asher tossed four innings, allowing two earned runs while allowing five hits and a walk. The righty struck out five Thunder batters.
While the Fightins clinched the division in Trenton, it was what some Reading players consider a home game on the road, as there is always plenty of red in the crowd in support of the team from 90 minutes away.
“It always great to have that support system out here, cheering us on,” Brown stated. “It’s great to see fans out here supporting us every game. We love the fans that come out and want to watch us play and it’s just exciting.”
The teams will wrap up the regular season with two more games scheduled for Sunday and Monday leading to the best-of-five ELDS, which kicks off with two games in Trenton on Wednesday night.