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Lehigh Valley drops Reading in pre-season finale

Cam Perkins and Dylan Cozens paced the offense for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs as they defeated the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils by a score of 5-3 in the Rt. 222 Showcase exhibition contest at Allentown's Coca-Cola Park on Tuesday night.

Perkins, a 26-year-old righty batting outfielder, drilled a two-run single in the 7th to give the IronPigs a lead they would not relinquish.  Cozens, a 22-year-old lefty slugger, launched a solo home run deep to right field earlier in the contest off of left-hander Brandon Liebrandt to lead off the 2nd inning.

Lehigh Valley starting pitcher Mark Appel was tagged for three runs early, as he surrendered four hits, allowed a walk and hit one batter while striking out two.  Harold Martinez knocked in a pair for Reading with a single in the top of the 2nd inning.

A fun subplot to the preseason finale saw childhood friends Shane Watson and J.P. Crawford facing one another for the first time since each signed with the Phillies after being the organization's top draft picks in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

"I want to break his bat, or strike him out or something.  We've been talking about us facing each other tonight for a while.  We have bragging rights on the line," Watson excitedly expressed before the game.

Watson prevailed, as he got Crawford to pop out the third base to end the 3rd inning.  Video of the full at bat is featured in the embedded media player below.




The IronPigs' season gets underway on Thursday, as they host Pawtucket.  Reading is slated to open their season the same night on the road at Portland.

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