Five-Run Fifth Sparks SWB to Victory
Moosic, Pa. – A five-run fifth inning helped the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) overcome an early deficit and defeat the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) on Friday night, 6-5. The RailRiders went in front 6-3 after five innings, and held off a late Charlotte rally to claim the series.
Things did not get off to a good start for SWB, as two runs came across for the Knights in the second. Travis Ishikawa led off with a single to left field, and was able to score from first base when Mike McDade immediately followed with a double to left-center field. Andy Wilkins’ base hit moved McDade to third, and Steve Tolleson then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive him home.
Charlotte added another run in the third when Marcus Semien hit a one-out home run to left field. The solo blast extended the Knights’ lead to 3-0.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre got on the board in the bottom of the third. Brendan Harris led off the inning with a solo homer of his own to left field. It was Harris’ first as a RailRider, and it trimmed the deficit to 3-1.
Ten RailRiders batted in the fifth inning as they broke through with five runs. Randy Ruiz drew a walk to start the rally, and then moved to third on a double by Ronnier Mustelier. Harris hit a groundball to the shortstop Semien, but he bobbled and everybody was safe as Ruiz scored. That setup a three-run home run by Bobby Wilson, who sent the ball of the fair pole in left to provide the inning its biggest punch. The inning was capped later when Melky Mesa doubled home Adonis Garcia. The RailRiders led 6-3 after five innings of play.
Two runs came across in the seventh as Charlotte tried to rally. With McDade and Tolleson aboard, Bryan Anderson doubled to right-center field to plate both runners and slice the deficit to just one run. The Knights put the tying run on base in the ninth, but were unable to score.
Brett Marshall (7-9) pitched better than his final line indicated, and he received the win. He went six and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with six strikeouts. Matt Daley struck out two batters in the ninth, and stranded the tying run at second base to earn his first save of the season.
Charlotte starter Nick McCully (2-3) allowed all six runs, four of them earned, over his four and two-thirds innings to get the loss.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took the season-series with Charlotte by a wide margin, 7-1. They’ll resume the IronRail series at PNC Field on Saturday night when Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia Phillies) travels in for a two-game series at home. The first 2,500 fans through the gates will receive a RailRiders replica jersey. Graham Stoneburner (3-4, 4.84) will take the mound for the RailRiders, who trail the IronPigs 5-3 in the series with eight games still left to play. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –