Almonte Dives the Bus in Thrilling Win

Allentown, Pa. – A giant miscue by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) in the ninth inning Sunday afternoon at Coca-Cola Park helped aide the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) to a 6-5 win and a series sweep of the IronPigs. Zoilo Almonte blasted his team-leading 11th home run of the campaign and collected four RBIs in the process, while Scott Sizemore provided some insurance of a two-run bomb. The win concludes the RailRiders’ (40-42) five-game four-day road trip against the IL North with a 4-1 record.

Almonte began the scoring by driving in an early run in the first. Rob Refsnyder reached on a double and scored on Almonte’s go-ahead single that notched the early SWB lead at 1-0.

The initial advantage faltered as starter Joel De La Cruz retired his first six hitters before giving up a double to Leandro Castro in the home third. A run-scoring single by Nate Barns plated Lehigh Valley’s first tally before a bases loaded walk to Russ Canzler brought about the second. The walk to Canzler chased De La Cruz from the game with the RailRiders trailing, 2-1.

Chris Bootcheck retired seven straight and carried the 2-1 lead into the fifth before Jose Pirela reached on a single and a walk to Refsnyder put runners on with Almonte stepping to the plate. The RailRiders’ everyday outfielder followed with a majestic home run to right that put the RailRiders on top for good at 4-2.

Lehigh Valley got a run back off reliever Diego Moreno in the sixth, but a two-run jack by Sizemore in the visiting eighth put the game out of reach. A late rally Lehigh Valley rally plated two more runs off reliever Jim Miller that drew the contest back to within one at 6-5 where the scored would stay.

Francisco Rondon (2-0) spun 2.1 innings in relief before departing in line for the win. A trio of talented arms followed as Moreno, Miller and Robert Coello (4) finished the game to keep ‘Pigs at bay. Bootcheck (2-4) was slated with the loss after being chased in the fifth inning.

The RailRiders return to PNC Field Monday, June 30 against Lehigh Valley with a 7:05 p.m. start. The RailRiders send right-hander Bruce Billings (4-4, 4.70) to the mound. Lehigh Valley will toss right-hander Brad Lincoln (4-3, 4.03). John Sadak will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:35 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio —The GAME, Northeast PA’s largest 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


The RailRiders took their third-straight game against Lehigh Valley to bring the season-long total between the two clubs to 4-6. IronRail trophy is a season-long rivalry series between Pennsylvania’s two International League franchises.

Rob Refsnyder collected another base extra-base hit Sunday afternoon to raise his season long contact clip to .371 in 19 games with SWB. Since June 15 Refsnyder has been the top contact bat in the International League, going 21-for-46 (.457) with five doubles and three home runs.

Lehigh Valley dropped its third-straight one-run ballgame in the 6-5 loss Sunday afternoon.

– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –


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