Refsnyder Caps Furious Rally with Walk-Off Home Run
Moosic, Pa. – On a night the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) did not know a lead until the very end, second baseman Rob Refsnyder sent a capacity crowd of 10,000 strong at PNC Field home happy, capping a furious ninth-inning comeback win with a three-run home run that propelled the RailRiders (42-46) to a thrilling 7-6 win Friday night.
The RailRiders’ fate seemed forthcoming. The Herd built a monstrous four-run lead off SWB starter Joel De La Cruz in the first two innings. Back-to-back run-scoring knocks by Dan Johnson and Erik Kratz assembled a 2-0 advantage in the first, before Cory Aldridge’s two-run jack in the second made it 4-0 in favor of the visiting nine.
The spirited RailRiders had a response, first avoiding the shutdown frame in the second with three-straight extra-base hits. Kyle Roller ignited the scoring, legging out a hustle double before plating the SWB’s first run on Scott Sizemore’s double to deep center. John Ryan Murphy helped hang the crooked number by threading an extra-base hit to left that cut the lead in half at 4-2.
Buffalo tagged De La Cruz for another tally in the fourth, this time in the form of a majestic solo homer by Ryan Schimpf that swelled the lead to 5-2.
De La Cruz departed after firing 1-2-3 fourth in favor a trio of bullpen arms. Pat Venditte worked a scoreless fifth and sixth, dancing around hits in each frame before handing the baton off to Danny Burawa in the seventh. The talented right-hander retired six of his seven batters faced via the strikeout to get the RailRiders through the eighth.
Roller made sure a leadoff single by Refsnyder in the eighth did not go to waste, launching an RBI double to center to bring the RailRiders within two. SWB plated another run on a single by Sizemore that drew the contest to 5-4.
Trailing by one heading into the final frame, reliever Jose Ramirez walked the bases loaded and allowed a run on a wild pitch that setup the RailRiders’ ninth-inning theatrics. Steve Delabar struck out his first two batters before a two-out triple by Carmen Angelini kept the frame alive. Delabar bruised Jose Pirela with a ball to the hands to put runners at first and third before Refsnyder finished the charge with his three-run home run in the ninth.
The RailRiders conclude the series with the Bisons Saturday, July 5 at 7:05 p.m. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre sends right-hander Bruce Billings (4-5, 5.31) to the hill, while Buffalo counters with righty Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 4.43). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin 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 swbrailirders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Rob Refsnyder’s three-run home run snapped a four-game home losing skid for SWB. The win marked the club’s first home victory since a 5-4 victory over Pawtucket on June 22. The home run also gave the RailRiders their fourth walk-off victory of the season and the team’s first since an 11-inning triumph over the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays) on May 11.
Adonis Garcia went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts Friday night against Buffalo. Since returning from the disabled list Garcia is just 2-for-9 with five strikeouts.
Danny Burawa fanned six of his seven batters faced Friday night to record career-high six strikeouts. Burawa’s previous high-water mark had been five punchouts, which he had accomplished twice with the last such occurrence coming April 13, 2013 against the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Double-A/San Francisco Giants).
SWB improved to 6-4 this season against the Herd, including taking the last two games between the two clubs.
– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –