(All Photos by Kevin Durso/Sports Talk Philly)
On one swing, Reading Fightin' Phils outfielder Dylan Cozens set two milestones and moved his team ahead in a game that would ultimately finalize their playoff seeding.
Cozens belted a line drive over the fence in right field in the third inning of Saturday night's game against the Trenton Thunder, giving the Fightins a 3-1 lead. It was Cozens' 39th home run and 123rd RBI of the season, setting two new franchise single-season records.
The home run broke Darin Ruf's record of 38 from 2012 and the three RBI broke Greg Luzinski's record set in 1970.
The Fightins went on to win the game, 10-5, clinching the Eastern League East Division and serving as the host team in their upcoming series with Trenton in the playoffs, which will start next week.
The Fightins trailed 1-0 after an RBI double by Mike Ford, but Cozens three-run shot moved Reading in front. Jake Fox followed Cozens with a solo shot to left to cap a four-run third inning. Trenton added a run in the bottom of the third.
Scott Kingery hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth to restore the three-run lead. The Fightins broke the game open with a two-run single by Aaron Brown in the fifth and three more runs in the seventh. Brown hit a sacrifice fly to open the scoring in the seventh, another run scored on an error and Rhys Hoskins hit an RBI single to cap the scoring.
Trenton got one run in the bottom of the sixth and two in the bottom of the eighth.
Alec Asher made a rehab start for the Fightins, pitching four innings allowing five hits and two runs with one walk and five strikeouts. Ricardo Pinto allowed three runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings and walked three, but picked up the win in relief. Joey DeNato and Miguel Nunez picked up the final five outs to finish the game.
The Fightins also had 18 hits in the game, tying a season high. Hoskins, Fox and Harold Martinez each had three hits. The win brought their record to 88-51 with two games remaining on the regular season. This is the second straight season where the Fightins have claimed the Eastern League East Division.
The Eastern League Playoffs begin next Wednesday with the Fightins staying in Trenton for the first two games of the five-game series. Both games will start at 7:05 p.m.