RailRider Take Pitcher’s Duel and Series Opener

Lawrenceville, Ga. – A pair of clubs in desperate need of some innings from their starting pitchers got just that and more Monday evening at Coolray Field in suburban Atlanta. A night after the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) plated a season-high 16 runs the RailRiders struggled to solve the puzzle of Cody Martin. Fortunately for SWB, right-hander Bruce Billings was equally impressive in a 2-1 come-from-behind victory.

Billings and Martin dueled to a 1-1 tie through the first six frames. Billings’ lone blemish came courtesy of a mammoth solo jack by Braves’ first baseman Joey Terdoslovich in home second. He settled down from there, retiring 15 of his next 16 batters before Terdoslavich snapped a strand of eight-straight retired with a single to center. Terdoslavich went first-to-third on the following base knock to right, but Billings danced around the Gwinnett threat by retiring Mark Hamilton on an infield fly and Elmer Reyes on a strikeout to strand the go-ahead runners.

The RailRiders offence struggled mightily, totaling a pair of base hits before breaking through with the tying run in visiting third. Taylor Dugas reached on and infield single and took second on a throwing error by Phillip Gosselin. Rob Refsnyder tied the game at run apiece with a booming double to left. Martin settled from there retiring the next 11 in a row before handing the baton to Atahualpa Severino in the visiting eighth.

With Martin out of the game, the RailRiders took advantage. Adonis Garcia led off the visiting ninth with a bouncing single down the first base line. Kyle Roller’s opposite-way single to left-center pushed the go-ahead run to second before John Ryan Murphy followed with a sacrifice bunt that advanced both runners. Newest RailRiders Rob Segedin joined the party with a deep sacrifice fly right that plated Garcia from third and gave the RailRiders the lead 2-1.

Edgmer Escalona (2-2) picked up the win for SWB, spinning two scoreless frames and receiving some help by Jose Pirela on a couple of tough ground balls in the ninth to secure the win. Severino (3-3) was slated with loss after a hand-me-down man scored in the visiting ninth.

The RailRiders and continue the four-game series with the Braves Tuesday, July 21 with the second game of the series scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will toss right-hander Bryan Mitchell (0-1, 6.75) while the Braves counter with the righty Aaron Northcraft (0-3, 7.84).  John Sadak will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 6:05 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

Bruce Billings gave the RailRiders his team team-best fourth outing of seven innings or more. In contract, Billings has four of the RailRiders’ 10 outings of seven innings or more this season. No other RailRiders has done it twice.

Rob Refsnyder’s RBI double in third inning snapped a string of eight-straight games without an extra-base hit. His last such hit occured on July 10 against the Rochester Red Wings when he went 1-for-4 with a home run.

The RailRiders 2-1 victory marked the four-strait error-free contest for SWB, tying a season-high. The last time the RailRiders went four-straight games without a miscue was from June 5-8.

Edgmer Escalona spun two scoreless innings of relief and notched his second win with the RailRiders in the process. Since signing with the New York Yankees on July 2, Escalona has spun 14 innings without allowing an earned run. The lone run given up came in his debut for SWB on July 2 against the Buffalo Bisons.

- SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! -

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