Wheeler’s Grand Slam Lifts RailRiders Over Bats
Louisville, KY. – On a night that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (27-24) needed a break, it came in the form of a 56-minute rain delay. The RailRiders collected 15 base hits base and loaded the bases in four different frames, but it took a grand slam by Zelous Wheeler to sink the Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) 6-5 Wednesday night at Louisville Slugger Field. The RailRiders moves the RailRiders to 6-0 against the International League West division, while also extending a run of six-straight road victories.
Trailing 5-0 after the Bats hung crooked numbers in the fifth and seventh, the RailRiders stormed back, tallying six unanswered runs. With the bases loaded in the visiting eighth, Russ Canzler put the RailRiders on the board with a two-run single that cut into the deficit to three, setting up Wheeler’s heroics in the ninth.
Adonis Garcia singled off Curtis Partch to open the ninth before the right-hander drilled Kyle Roller and allowed a single to Scott Sizemore that supplied the theatrics for Wheeler. Jim Miller closed out the ballgame for the RailRiders, retiring the Bats’ offensive attack with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Dean Anna collected a pair of base hits in the ballgame, going 2-for-5 to extend his hot streak, while Canzler and Joseph each added multiple base hits in the RailRiders win. Each of the nine SWB hitters added a base hit in the ballgame while Jim Miller tossed two scoreless innings and struck out five batters to pick up the win. Curtis Partch (0-1), after allowing four runs and five hits was slated with the loss.
The RailRiders will conclude the four-game run against Louisville Thursday, May 29 at 6:35 p.m. SWB sends right-hander Zach Nuding (2-2, 6.04) to the hill while the Bats will counter with former Yankee farm hand Chien-Mind Wang (4-4, 3.90). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame beginning at 6:05 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio – The GAME, Northeast PA’s largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
With the win the RailRiders secured a winning month of May, extending their monthly total to 16-11.
Zelous Wheeler’s grand slam in the ninth inning was the first of his professional career and marked a RailRiders first since Melky Mesa delivered a bases-clearing tater on August 9, 2013 against the Buffalo Bisons. Wheeler’s dinger was one of three on the Yankees’ farm as Peter O’Brian (Double-A Trenton) and Eduardo De Oleo (Low-A Charleston) each added grand slam’s of their own.
SWB has tallied 32 runs and 55 base hits in the first three games of the series against the Louisville Bats to bring the club’s team average up nearly 13 points to .264
– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –