Ruby Named GM, Olerud Joins as COO

Interim Tag Removed for Ruby, Executive Management Team Set

Moosic, Pa. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) have announced two changes to their executive management team effective immediately. Jeremy Ruby has been named the team’s outright general manager while Josh Olerud has joined the team as its newly-created chief operating officer.

Ruby, a cornerstone of the franchise who rose from intern in 1998 to become the fourth general manager in franchise history in 2005, had served as interim GM since late January. A local product, the 1994 graduate of Valley View High School was drafted by the then-California Angels in 1994 and later graduated from East Stroudsburg University in 1998. He is the great-grandson of longtime Major League umpire Joseph Paparella and the son of former Red Barons pitching coach Gary Ruby.

“I’m grateful and honored to have the general manager title and I look forward to taking our club to new heights with Josh and the rest of our outstanding front office team,” said Ruby. “Opening day can’t get here quickly enough.”

Olerud joins the RailRiders after five years of service with the Advanced-A Potomac Nationals as the club’s executive vice president and general manager. Winner of the 2013 Calvin Falwell Executive of the Year Award in the Carolina League, he helped the Nationals break their franchise attendance record that season by drawing 236,772 fans with creative marketing and a fully-loaded promotional schedule. Olerud was also honored with the Minor League Executive of the Year Award by the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicago for his work in 2012. The Bloomington, Minn. native is a Minnesota State University, Mankato alumnus. His new position with SWB focuses on all revenue creation for the club including ticketing, sponsorship and special events.

“To say I am excited to be a part of the RailRiders would be an understatement,” said Olerud. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with Jeremy and his exceptionally talented staff in the support of ownership’s vision to make PNC Field the premier entertainment venue and community leader.”

The defending IL North champion RailRiders open their 2016 season on Thursday, April 7 with a two-game homestand against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins). For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

RailRiders 2015 Community Report

Nearly $700,000 and 700 Volunteer Hours Given Back to NEPA 

Moosic, Pa. – Coming together for the greater good. All baseball teams try to accomplish it on the field. In the case of the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) – the off-the-field efforts added up to a whole lot of good in 2015. The full report can be accessed through the link below:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2clbapbpnf7erl6/2015%20Community%20Impact%20Report.pptx?dl=0

Among the highlights of the team’s donations of money and time:

-$54,599 to the Ronald McDonald House of Scranton thanks to the new 50/50 raffle

-$15,000 donated to local youth baseball leagues through the Adopt-a-Field program and Pinstripe Pals, presented by Maines Food and Party Warehouse

-Over $6,000 donated to Susan G. Komen of Northeastern PA through the RailRiders Breast Cancer Awareness Night and Jersey Auction

-$40,000 donated to Parkinson’s disease research from the Yankees Legends Game

-$13,400 donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of NEPA with money generated from the Kost Tire Hurl the Pearl contest

-15,000 NEPA students participated in the Fit Track program, presented by Odak

-PNC Field served as the home field for the Challenger Little League of Wyoming Valley (10 games)

-Overall totals of 700 hours and $682,275 donated to the community

“We are always looking for ways to engage with the community,” said interim GM Jeremy Ruby. “This was our best year yet, and we look forward to growing it even more in 2016.”

Invested in the community, the RailRiders franchise has more than 30 full-time employees. Combined with concessionaire Legends, PNC Field boasts over 500 seasonal employees. The franchise prides itself on customer service and affordability as the bar-setting destination for affordable, family entertainment destination in NEPA.

The defending IL North champion RailRiders open their 2016 season on Thursday, April 7 with a two-game homestand against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins). For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

Yankees Wild Card Roster Loaded with RailRiders

Nine 2015 SWB Regulars Featured

Moosic, Pa. – When the New York Yankees take the field against the Houston Astros in tonight’s Wild Card playoff match-up, NEPA will be well represented. Nine of the 25 men on Joe Girardi’s roster played at Triple-A for the SWB RailRiders during the 2015 season. Another 10 men have worn an SWB uniform before as rehabbers (5) or straight Triple-A players (5).

The nine names that played for SWB this season: Dustin Ackley, Greg Bird, Slade Heathcott, Bryan Mitchell, Rico Noel, James Pazos, Rob Refsnyder, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino. Additionally, Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova, Brendan Ryan and Masahiro Tanaka had rehab time with SWB in 2015. Alex Rodriguez has rehabbed in NEPA multiple times in prior seasons. Finally, Dellin Betances, Brett Gardner, John Ryan Murphy and Adam Warren spent time with SWB during their respective ascents to New York.

The Yankees and Astros meet at 8 p.m. ET tonight at Yankee Stadium. Tanaka (12-7, 3.51) will face lefty Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48). Keuchel will pitch on three days’ rest after hurling six innings for a win against the Diamondbacks on Friday. The game will air on ESPN.

The defending IL North champion RailRiders open their 2016 season on Thursday, April 7 with a two-game homestand against the Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota Twins). For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

Yo Quiero Campeonato Nacional

Triple-A baseball went to the dogs on Tuesday, but giant bears raided a lightning-fast sailing ship near the U.S.-Mexico border and claimed its cargo. Say what? Timeout.  Let’s start over.

You know what makes things simpler? Picture math.

 +  –  = Grizzlies at Clippers-35

Got it?

Last night, the Gildan Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game took place El Paso, Tex. at Southwest University Park, the second-year home of the San Diego Padres’ top minor league club, the El Paso Chihuahuas.

The annual clash between the champions of minor league baseball’s two Triple-A leagues had the IL’s Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) opposing the PCL’s Fresno Grizzlies (Houston Astros). Alas, it did not prove much of a contest. The Grizzlies had a 6-0 lead by the middle of the third and cruised to a 7-0 shutout triumph. The Clippers amassed just three hits, all singles and had no hits through five against Fresno starter and game MVP Chris Devenski. Devenski lasted seven frames in all with 22 total batters faced. He had one three-ball count all night.

In 10 all-time meetings since it was introduced in 2006, the PCL has claimed the crown seven times including each of the last four. Based on history, you would have liked the IL’s chances with Columbus as the representative considering the Clippers had won it twice before with back-to-back titles from 2010-11.

The Clippers still made history, tying the Omaha Storm Chasers for the most title-game appearances (3). And Columbus still stands tied for the most wins in minor league baseball’s biggest ballgame, sharing the honor with Omaha and the Sacramento River Cats.

The game had a number of interesting side stories, including the tale of Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco battling cancer while claiming his fourth PCL title and second Triple-A national championship.

Meanwhile, SWB alumnus Greg Bird continues to deliver for the Yankees. The 22-year-old, who only played Triple-A baseball for a little more than a month, delivered arguably the biggest hit of his short MLB career with a 10th-inning, three-run homer to power the Yankees to a crucial 6-4 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto last night. His 10th big-league homer drew the second-place Yankees within 2.5 games of the first-place Blue Jays in the AL East with 12 games to play. Read more from the New York Times, MLB.com and ESPN.com. It wasn’t all that long ago that Bird popped a pair of big flies in one game against the eventual IL champions. NJ.com talked to SWB hitting coach Marcus Thames about Bird’s abilities/work ethic and how the Bombers saw this coming from their young stud.

Other notable pieces recently include Chad Jennings’ look at Caleb Cotham’s rise, a year-end report card on all of the 2015 RailRiders from the two beat men for the Times-Tribune, Donnie Collins and Shane Hennigan, and a spectacular piece on you, the RailRiders fan, by Collins. Elsewhere, an opinion piece on why Columbus is better off with the Indians over the Yankees, if the season ended right now here is what the playoff field would look like, MLB.com looks at the young SWB flavor added to the Yanks this month, and a preview of the final scheduled regular-season meeting between the Yankees and Blue Jays from MLB.com as Ivan Nova opposes Marcus Stroman.

Also, a special bow of the head for the passing of an all-time great. Catcher, manager, character – Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra died yesterday at the age of 90. An 18-time All-Star, 13-time World Champion, three-time MVP, and a one-of-a-kind human being who touched everyone across this great sport, he died on Sept. 22, 2015, 69 years to the day after he made his Major League debut. He came into the game with a home run on a 2-for-4 day in a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Athletics. He left this world on Tuesday as one of the game’s greatest legends. Rest in peace Yogi.

Berra played minor league baseball briefly, but his short stint included time in the International League with the Newark Bears in 1946. At age 21, he hit .314 with 15 home runs and 59 RBIs in 77 games played. He only struck out 16 times in 297 plate appearances. His average ranked ninth in the IL as the batting crown went to Jackie Robinson of the Montreal Royals.

Indians Eliminate RailRiders

Moosic, Pa. – Right-hander Kyle Davies saved his best for win his team needed it most, but it wasn’t enough as the Indianapolis Indians escaped PNC Field with a 4-2 win over the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) Friday night. The win completes a three-game sweep of the best-of-five semifinal round for Indianapolis.

Davies limited the Indians to two hits across eight shutout innings. He walked one and struck out five while facing one over the minimum. He never allowed a runner to second base.

While Davies was holding down the Indians, the RailRiders strung together scoring chances in six straight innings. Slade Heathcott opened the first with a single and later scored on a stolen base and throwing error by a catcher. Cole Figueroa made it 2-0 on a single in the fifth that plated Ben Gamel.

Indianapolis scored four runs against Johnny Barbato in the top of the ninth. Dan Gamache opened the frame with a walk and went to second on a single by pinch hitter Steve Lombardozzi. Alen Hanson loaded the bases with a base knock.

An errant pitch struck Gorkys Hernandez in the shoulder to force in Gamache and a Josh Bell sacrifice fly to left tied the score at two. John Bowker struck the final blow with a two-run single that chased Barbato from the game.

SWB loaded the bases in the last of the ninth against closer Blake Wood, but could not capitalize. The team finished 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15 on base. Game finished the night 4-for-4 and reached a fifth time on a walk.

The RailRiders will open the 2016 season on Thursday, April 7, at PNC Field against the Rochester Red Wings. Ticket packages and a promotional schedule will be available at a later date. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 9-11-15

CLICK HERE for the Sept. 11 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes for Game 3 of their opening-round Governors’ Cup playoff series. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:05 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The SWB RailRiders sit on the brink. They never led on Thursday night as the host Indianapolis Indians posted a 6-1 triumph at Victory Field in Game 2 of their opening-round Governors’ Cup playoff series. The RailRiders now must win three straight games at home against the Tribe, or their season will be over.

FREE BASES: Southpaw starter Eric Wooten (0-1) walked a career-high five men over 4.1 innings last night. He allowed four runs, six hits and struck out two.

THE VANIMAL: Indy’s Vance Worley (1-0) tossed eight innings for the third straight start. In that time he has allowed five total runs with just one last night. He has walked one man or less in 12 of his 13 career outings with Indy including one on Thursday.

SOLID SHOWINGS: Ben Gamel and Ali Castillo each went 2-for-4. Gamel doubled for the RailRiders’ only extra-base hit. Leadoff man Slade Heathcott went 1-for-3 with a walk.

RISPY BUSINESS: Through two games on the series, SWB has gone 3-for-12 (.250) with men in scoring position while Indy has gone 9-for-16 (.563).

DIFFERENT FROM THE START: SWB starters have allowed 10 runs (all earned) on 11 hits and seven walks (3.38 WHIP) over 5.1 innings (16.88 ERA). The two Indians starters have surrendered two runs (none earned) on 13 hits and three walks over 15 innings (1.07 WHIP).

DEATH BY A THOUSAND (OR 19) CUTS: The Indians have scored 10 runs on the series with just one extra-base hit. Nineteen of their 20 knocks have been singles. The exception came with Dan Gamache’s bases-loaded double in Game 1.

IT’S BEEN AWHILE: The IL’s best road team at 42-30, the RailRiders have allowed six or more runs in back-to-back road games for the first time since dropping a two-game sweep at Lehigh Valley from June 29-30. SWB lost those games 8-1 and 12-8.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: SWB has hit into seven double plays on the series including a RailRiders-era record-tying five in Game 1. The only other time that has happened since the rebranding came on July 25, 2013 in the longest-ever SWB contest, a 20-inning win over Toledo. An Indy team that committed an IL-worst 138 errors for the league’s worst fielding percentage (975) has made a number of dazzling defensive plays to rob the RailRiders on hard contact.

GAME 1: It was a Murphy’s Law kind of a night. From allowing six runs in the first inning to hitting into a season-worst five double plays, the RailRiders fought uphill most of Wednesday night en route to a 7-3 loss to the Indians.

BOMBY’S BOYS: Indy’s win in Game 1 marked its first playoff triumph at home since taking the decisive Game 5 of the Governors’ Cup finals against Marc Bombard‘s SWB Red Barons. Much like current SWB skipper Dave Miley, Bombard spent time steering the ship for Indy before his NEPA tenure. Bombard served as the Indianapolis skipper from 1993-95 when the club called Bush Stadium its home. That 2000 crown was Indy’s first in the IL since its original one-year run in 1963. The Indians went on to best an Albert Pujols Memphis club in the final Triple-A World Series. Indy was in the American Association from 1902-62 and from 1969-1997. It also spent five seasons in the PCL from 1964-68. It has been an IL club again since 1998.

BACK AT PNC: Tonight marks SWB’s first true home playoff game since the then-Yankees fell in the decisive Game 4 of the 2010 opening-round series against Columbus on Sept. 11, 2010, 11-5. The franchise made the playoffs in 2012, but that came during PNC Field’s season-long reconstruction. That entire first-round series was played at McCoy Stadium, home of the eventual champion Pawtucket Red Sox. SWB’s lone win came on Melky Mesa’s two-out, two-run walk-off homer off Pedro Beato in Game 3 when the Yankees were the “home” team.

Indians Best RailRiders in Game 2, 6-1

SWB Faces Must-Win Return to PNC Field 

Indianapolis, Ind. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) sit on the brink. They never led on Thursday night as the host Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) posted a 6-1 triumph at Victory Field in Game 2 of their opening-round Governors’ Cup playoff series. The RailRiders now must win three straight games at home against the Tribe, or their season will be over.

Walks proved problematic for southpaw starter Eric Wooten (0-1). Willy Garcia began the home second with a walk, took second on a wild pitch and third on a subsequently errant throw from catcher Gary Sanchez. The next hitter, Josh Bell, singled to right to plate Garcia. An inning later, Steve Lombardozzi walked with the bases loaded to make it 2-0.

SWB got on the board in the fourth.  With Ali Castillo on base and one out, IL Rookie of the Year Ben Gamel doubled to right and Sanchez followed with an RBI groundout to second to score Castillo.

The one-run margin would not last long. Indy sent eight men to the plate in a four-run fifth to grab firm command of the game. Bell got the scoring going with a bases-loaded groundout to reliever Cesar Vargas. Keon Broxton followed with a two-run single lined off Gregorio Petit’s leaping glove at shortstop. Tony Sanchez then singled through the left-side hole to drive in the fourth tally for the 6-1 margin that would go final.

That stood up thanks to a combination of spectacular defense from the Indians and the pitching of Vance Worley. Gorkys Hernandez robbed Aaron Judge with impressive catches of crushed baseballs in the second and fifth innings. Petit was robbed by third baseman Dan Gamache’s backhanded spear in the third. And Gary Sanchez cracked into a broken-bat line-drive double play with the bases loaded to end the visiting sixth.

Worley (1-0) allowed one unearned run over eight innings for the win. He scattered six hits, walked one and whiffed three. Wooten walked a career-high five men over 4.1 innings. He allowed four runs, six hits and struck out two.

The best-of-five series continues with Game 3 at 6:35 p.m. on Friday night at PNC Field. SWB’s 2015 wins leader, veteran right-hander Kyle Davies (11-8, 3.30), will face the top-ranked prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates, fellow righty Tyler Glasnow (2-1, 2.20). The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive an American flag giveaway. Military members and first responders will receive free access to the game by presenting ID at the PNC Field box office. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Through two games on the series, SWB has gone 3-for-12 with men in scoring position while Indy has gone 9-for-16. SWB starters have allowed 10 runs (all earned) on 11 hits and seven walks over 5.1 innings. The two Indians starters have surrendered two runs (none earned) on 13 hits and three walks over 15 innings.

The Indians have scored 10 runs on the series with just one total extra-base hit. Nineteen of their 20 knocks have been singles.

Vance Worley has tossed eight innings in three straight starts including the end of the regular season. In that time he has allowed five total runs. He has walked one man or less in 12 of his 13 career outings with Indy.

Ben Gamel and Ali Castillo each went 2-for-4. Gamel doubled for the RailRiders’ only extra-base hit.

Leadoff man Slade Heathcott went 1-for-3 with a walk.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 9-10-15

CLICK HERE for the Sept. 10 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes for Game 2 of their opening-round Governors’ Cup playoff series. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

GAME 1: It was a Murphy’s Law kind of a night. From allowing six runs in the first inning to hitting into a season-worst five double plays, the RailRiders fought uphill most of the night en route to a 7-3 loss to the Indians.

THE OPENER: In the Yankees era (2007-Present), SWB’s playoff opener has told the tale. Every time it won the opening game of a playoff series it went on to win that series. Each time it lost a series opener, it lost that set. With Wednesday’s loss, the franchise has gone 4-6 in playoff openers as the Yankees’ top affiliate.

AT THE START: SWB starter Kyle Haynes (0-1) allowed the six scores on five hits and two walks over his lone inning of work. He threw 41 pitches (22 strikes) in the shortest start of his pro career. His counterpart, Wilfredo Boscan (1-0), gave up just one unearned run over his seven frames.

BOMBY’S BOYS: Indy posted its first home playoff win since taking the decisive Game 5 of the Governors’ Cup finals against Marc Bombard‘s SWB Red Barons. Much like current SWB skipper Dave Miley, Bombard spent time steering the ship for Indy before his NEPA tenure. Bombard served as the Indianapolis skipper from 1993-95 when the club called Bush Stadium its home. That 2000 crown was Indy’s first in the IL since its original one-year run in 1963. The Indians went on to best an Albert Pujols Memphis club in the final Triple-A World Series. Indy was in the American Association from 1902-62 and from 1969-1997. It also spent five seasons in the PCL from 1964-68. It has been an IL club again since 1998.

GLOVE LOVE: Keon Broxton made the play of the night in the third inning. With men at second and third and two outs, Ali Castillo smashed a ball to Broxton in left. Broxton broke in, slammed on the brakes and lost his footing, plummeting to the earth. While lying in the grass, he reached up and to his right across his body to glove the ball on the fly, ending the inning.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: SWB hit into five double plays for the first time since the franchise-record 20-inning win over Toledo on July 25, 2013.

SILVER LINING: The first man out of the RailRiders’ bullpen, Conor Mullee, faced the minimum over four scoreless innings to keep the team in striking distance. Including his short regular-season stint with SWB, Mullee has yet to allow a run in three outings and 7.2 innings.

DEEP SIXED: The six-run first tied as the third-best inning for a RailRiders opponent on the season.

GUESS WHO’S BACK?: Earlier in the day, the New York Yankees announced that outfielder Taylor Dugas was placed on the SWB disabled list while prospect catcher Gary Sanchez was activated off the DL. Sanchez went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored as the DH. It marked his first game action in two weeks since his early departure from the Aug. 26 game at Pawtucket.

11:11: Each team posted 11 hits and each club had 10 singles. Slade Heathcott‘s just-fair double down the right-field line in the third made for SWB’s only extra-base knock. Dan Gamache’s game-changing double with the bases loaded in the first inning served as Indy’s extra-baser.

OFF THE RAILS: Heathcott, Castillo, Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka each finished the game with two hits…Heathcott posted an outfield assist when he doubled up Broxton in an 8-5 double play off Tony Sanchez’s bat in the third…Josh Wall secured the save with 1.1 scoreless innings…He did not have a save try over his 29 regular-season appearances…It was his first save since Aug. 28, 2014 versus Columbus…SWB used a pinch hitter twice, but Rob Segedin struck out as the tying run at the plate in the eighth and Jake Cave grounded out to short in the ninth…Only two RailRiders in the starting lineup failed to notch a hit, midseason IL All-Star Kyle Roller (0-for-3, 2K) and postseason IL All-Star/Rookie of the Year Ben Gamel (0-for-4, 2K, GIDP).

Six-Run First Leads to Game 1 Defeat

RailRiders Hit into Season-Worst Five Double Plays 

Indianapolis, Ind. – It was a Murphy’s Law kind of a night. From allowing six runs in the first inning to hitting into a season-worst five double plays, the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) fought uphill most of the night en route to a 7-3 loss to the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) in Game 1 of their opening-round Governors’ Cup playoff series.

The home first began with an Alen Hanson single. It ended with Hanson bouncing into a force at second base. In between, the Tribe scored six runs to grab a commanding lead. Dan Gamache delivered the big blow, a bases-loaded double that plated three.

SWB starter Kyle Haynes (0-1) allowed the six scores on five hits and two walks over his lone inning of work. He threw 41 pitches (22 strikes) in the shortest start of his pro career.

His counterpart, Wilfredo Boscan (1-0), gave up just one unearned run over his seven frames. The score came in the fourth when Gary Sanchez walked, took third when Kyle Roller reached on a Josh Bell fielding error, and scored on a hard comeback single by Aaron Judge.

Once the bullpen door swung open, the RailRiders sparked to life. A.J. Morris began the eighth and failed to record an out. Kyle Higashioka singled, Slade Heathcott reached on a fielder’s choice and Gustavo Nunez error and Ali Castillo plated the duo with a single to right to make it 6-3.

Former RailRider Jeremy Bleich entered and bookended strikeouts of Ben Gamel and the pinch-hitting Rob Segedin around a Sanchez single. Indy manager Dean Treanor called upon right-hander Josh Wall who whiffed Judge as the tying run at the plate.

Gamache connected on a sac fly for his fourth RBI of the night in the home eighth before Wall worked around an infield single by Gregorio Petit in a scoreless ninth for the save.

The best-of-five series continues at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday night. SWB southpaw Eric Wooten (2-5, 4.66) will face right-hander Vance Worley (3-1, 2.38). The RailRiders will host Game 3 of the series at PNC Field on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Indianapolis posted its first home playoff win since taking the decisive Game 5 of the Governors’ Cup finals against Marc Bombard’s SWB Red Barons on Sept. 15, 2000.

Keon Broxton made the play of the night in the third inning. With men at second and third and two outs, Ali Castillo smashed a ball to Broxton in left. Broxton broke in, slammed on the brakes and lost his footing, plummeting to the earth. While lying in the grass, he reached up and to his right to glove the ball on the fly, ending the inning.

SWB hit into five double plays for the first time since the franchise-record 20-inning win over Toledo on July 25, 2013.

The first man out of the RailRiders’ bullpen, Conor Mullee, faced the minimum over four scoreless innings to keep the team in striking distance. Including his short regular-season stint with SWB, Mullee has yet to allow a run in three outings and 7.2 innings at Triple-A.

The six-run first tied as the third-best inning for a RailRiders opponent on the season.

Earlier in the day, the New York Yankees announced that outfielder Taylor Dugas was placed on the SWB disabled list while prospect catcher Gary Sanchez was activated off the DL. Sanchez went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored as the DH. It marked his first game action in two weeks since his early departure from the Aug. 26 game at Pawtucket.

Each team posted 11 hits and each club had 10 singles. Slade Heathcott’s just-fair double down the right-field line in the third made for SWB’s only extra-base knock. Dan Gamache’s game-changing double with the bases loaded in the first inning served as Indy’s extra-baser.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 9-9-15

CLICK HERE for the Sept. 9 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

PLAYOFF HISTORY: SWB is in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. That unit lost to the eventual Governors’ Cup champion PawSox in the first round. The SWB franchise’s lone Governors’ Cup championship came in 2008. The then-SWB Yankees beat Pawtucket in four games in the opening round, and bested Durham in four in the championship round with a 20-2 win in Game 4.

THE OPENER: In the Yankees era (2007-Present), SWB’s playoff opener has told the tale. Every time it won the opening game of a playoff series it went on to win that series. Each time it lost a series opener, it lost that set. The franchise has gone 4-5 in playoff openers as the Yankees’ top affiliate.

REVOLVING DOOR: The 2015 RailRiders used an IL-record-tying 75 different players on the regular season. Right-hander Jonathan Holder tied the mark when he made his Triple-A debut in relief on Labor Day Monday. The 2012 Norfolk Tides set the record. With 30 different position players and 45 different pitchers, the RailRiders snapped the franchise record of 73 set in 2013. This year’s team employed the services of 24 different starting pitchers, one shy of the single-season record shared by the Tides in 2012, and Buffalo’s teams in 2002 and 2004.

GAMELING MAN: IL All-Star and Rookie of the Year Ben Gamel hit a clean .300. His average ranked fourth in the IL. He also ranked among the loop’s best in hits (3rd, 150), slugging (2nd, .472), extra-base hits (3rd, 52), runs scored (T-2nd, 77) and total bases (2nd, 236). His 14 triples led the league and ranked second in all of MiLB to Socrates Brito (15) of Double-A Mobile (Arizona Diamondbacks). He led the circuit with 13 outfield assists. Gamel became SWB’s first IL Rookie of the Year since Austin Jackson in 2009.

BEST WEEK EVER: On Tuesday infielder Ali Castillo was been named the International League’s final Batter of the Week for 2015. He led the league with a .484 average and .529 on-base percentage over that week, going 15-for-31 with seven extra-base hits and eight RBIs. Four times over seven games played in that window he posted three or more hits and twice amassed three doubles in a single game. In the Labor Day Monday regular-season finale at Syracuse, Castillo tied the franchise record with a career-best five hits. He doubled three times and drove in a career-high four runs. Castillo earned Postseason MVP honors in 2013 when he championed the Double-A Trenton Thunder to the Eastern League title.

KINGS OF THE NORTH: The RailRiders won the North with the IL’s third-best record at 81-63. Only Indianapolis and Columbus, each at 83-61, boasted better marks in the league this season. SWB has won the North six times over its nine seasons of affiliation with the Yankees (2007-10, 12, 15).

YOUNG & FUN: SWB led the IL in batting average (.271), on-base percentage (.339) and OPS (.727). It ranked fourth in slugging (.389) despite calling the cavernous PNC Field home. No IL team scored more runs than SWB (622; 4.32/game). Per Baseball-Reference, the RailRiders had the IL’s youngest average age of position players (25.0) and tied with Rochester for the youngest pitching staff (25.7) in the league. The pitching staff ranked fourth in ERA (3.22) while throwing the second-highest inning total (1288.1). Only Indianapolis (63) allowed fewer home runs than SWB (65). The RailRiders ranked fourth in the league in BB/9IP (3.0) and fifth in K/9IP (7.3).

WHY SO SERIESOUS?: SWB won the regular-season series, 4-3, including a split of the four-game set at Victory Field from July 20-23. The SWB franchise has gone 6-2-1 in season-series play against the Tribe during the Yankees affiliation with a 40-30 (.571) record. Five of the seven meetings in 2015 were decided by one run. At 27-19 (.587), the RailRiders posted the IL’s best record in one-run games.

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: With Columbus’ extra-inning loss to Toledo on Monday, Indianapolis had a chance earlier that same day to win the IL West outright. But IL saves leader Blake Wood blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth at Louisville. Former New York Yankee and SWB RailRider Brennan Boesch came off the bench with the bases loaded to deliver a pinch-hit two-run double. It marked the third straight season Louisville walked off a winner in the regular-season finale against the Indians. If Indy had won, the Indians would have faced Norfolk and SWB would have opposed Columbus in the opening round.

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