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Castillo Named IL Batter of the Week

Fourth Different SWB Hitter Honored in 2015 

Moosic, Pa. – SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) infielder Ali Castillo has been named the International League’s Batter of the Week for Aug. 31 -Sept. 7.

He led the league with a .484 average and .529 on-base percentage over that span, going 15-for-31 with seven extra-base hits and eight RBIs. Four times over seven games played in that window he posted three or more hits and twice amassed three doubles in a single game. In the Labor Day Monday regular-season finale at Syracuse, Castillo tied the franchise record with a career-best five hits. He doubled three times and drove in a career-high four runs.

He became the fourth RailRider to claim a weekly honor this season. Rob Refsnyder (May 11-17), Cole Figueroa (May 25-31) and Greg Bird (Aug. 3-9) all claimed Batter of the Week honors earlier this season. It marked the first time SWB received four Batter of the Week honors in the same season since 1997. Tony Barron won the award twice that year while teammates Mike Robertson and Bobby Estalella each claimed it once.

Durham right-hander Bradin Hagens was named Pitcher of the Week by the IL office.

The IL North champion RailRiders will open their first-round playoff series at Victory Field against the wild-card Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. SWB right-hander Kyle Haynes (3-2, 4.54) will face fellow righty Wilfredo Boscan (10-3, 3.07). The RailRiders will host Game 3 of the series at PNC Field on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

Chiefs Spoil Regular-Season Finale

RailRiders Tie IL Record with 75 Players Used in 2015 

Syracuse, N.Y. – In his first plate appearance of the game, Emmanuel Burriss delivered an RBI single through the right-side hole as the host Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A/Washington Nationals) bested the SWB RailRiders (New York Yankees) in 11 innings on Labor Day Monday, 5-4. The IL North champion RailRiders concluded the regular season at 81-63 while the Chiefs finished at 66-78.

Syracuse used homers to plate each of its first three runs. Matt Skole launched a solo shot to right in the second off starter Chaz Hebert for a 1-0 margin. Ali Castillo’s broken-bat single drove Jake Cave home in the fifth for a 1-1 draw and Castillo’s seventh-inning double scored Cito Culver for a brief 2-1 SWB lead.

The Chiefs responded in the bottom half of the inning when former RailRider and New York Yankee Scott Sizemore blasted a two-run homer to left-center against reliever Jonathan Holder for a 3-2 score.

Castillo struck again in the ninth with an RBI that sent pinch-runner Ben Gamel home for a 3-3 draw. In the 11th, Castillo singled to left-center to push Cave across the plate as the RailRiders claimed a 4-3 lead. That all changed in the home 11th. With one out, Steve Lerud reached on an infield hit, Jose Lozada walked and Issac Ballou flied out to right. A pitching change brought Andury Acevedo into the game. The hard-throwing right-hander would not record an out. He walked Sizemore to load the bases, walked Jason Martinson to tie the game and allowed Burriss contact to end it.

Holder (0-1), who became the RailRiders’ IL record-tying 75th different player used this season, suffered the loss while Acevedo endured his first blown save. Summoned up from Short Season-A earlier in the day, reliever Connor Overton (1-0) got the win for Syracuse.

In Louisville, the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth for a 3-2 loss that cemented the playoff picture. The Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) won the IL West while Indy claimed the wild-card spot and will face SWB in the opening round. The IL South champion Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) will oppose the Clippers.

The RailRiders will open their first-round playoff series at Indianapolis on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. SWB right-hander Kyle Haynes (3-2, 4.54) will face a to-be-announced starter for the Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates). The RailRiders will host Game 3 of the series at PNC Field on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

The RailRiders tied the IL record for players used in a season at 75. Norfolk set the mark in 2012.

Former RailRider and New York Yankee Brennan Boesch delivered a pinch-hit two-run single for Louisville to beat Indianapolis.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 9-7-15

CLICK HERE for the Sept. 7 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with John Sadak and Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 12:35 p.m.

YESTERDAY: Going back to 2009, no International League team entered Sunday with more shutouts than the SWB RailRiders’ 80. At 79, the Syracuse Chiefs stood right behind their IL North rival. On Sunday night at NBT Bank Stadium, the RailRiders widened the gap with their 81st shutout over that span for their 81st win of the 2015 season, a 4-0 triumph that deadlocked the three-game series.

DONUT DITTIES: The RailRiders notched their second shutout in three games and their third in their last eight. Their first shutout of 2015 came on April 18 at Syracuse with starter Kyle Davies (11-8) setting the tone for the win in his SWB debut. Yesterday, Davies and relievers Giovanny Gallegos and Chris Martin silenced Syracuse at NBT Bank Stadium for Davies’ team-best 11th win and the team’s 11th shutout victory. In the process, the trio of pitchers struck out 11 men.

11:11: Syracuse’s Taylor Jordan (5-6) shouldered the loss while allowing a career-worst 11 hits. Before Sunday, he had allowed 10 hits just three times on his seven-year pro career. Two of those occasions before Sunday came in the big leagues.

WHAT’S THE MATTER COL. SANDURZ, CHICKEN?: In the fifth, Kyle Roller drew his sixth intentional walk of the season to snap a five-way tie for the IL lead. He entered the game tied with teammate Ben Gamel, Charlotte’s Dan Black, Columbus’ Jesus Aguilar and Louisville’s Brennan Boesch. Boesch was both a New York Yankee and SWB RailRider in 2013.

I’M JUST A CAVEMAN: Jake Cave entered yesterday 3-for-14 at Triple-A. He went 5-for-5 as the leadoff man with a double to tie his career-high mark and the SWB franchise record for hits in a game. His two other five-hit games both came with Adv.-A Tampa in 2014. He went 5-for-5 in a 4-3 win over Lakeland on April 27, 2014 and enjoyed a 5-for-6 showing in a 9-3 win over Clearwater June 25, 2014. Originally, his sixth-inning comebacker to Jordan was ruled a fielding error. It was changed to a hit earlier today. SWB has had two men post five hits in a game in the same season for the first time since Mark Budzinski and Jim Rushford in 2004.

CAN YOU HIT THREE? YEAH YOU KNOW ME: Slade Heathcott served as SWB’s three-hole hitter for the second time this season. The outfielder went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Over his last four games, Heathcott has hit .529 (9-for-17) with a pair of extra-base hits and seven RBIs to lift his overall average by 19 points. At .268, he owns his best contact clip since he closed play on Aug. 1 at .273. He entered this hot four-game run in a 15-for-82 (.183) slide since his return to SWB on July 30. He had just three RBIs while striking out 29 times and walking five times (.230 OBP) over that 22-game run.

KINGS OF THE NORTH: Yesterday’s win cemented a winning record for the RailRiders against all five division rivals. The IL North champs entered this series with the season sets against Pawtucket (13-6), Rochester (11-9), Lehigh Valley (10-8) and Buffalo (9-8) under its belts. The RailRiders improved to 9-7 versus the Chiefs with yesterday’s victory to secure the season series.

PLAYOFFS?!: The RailRiders will face the wild-card winner in the first round of the Governors’ Cup playoffs beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9. The RailRiders will own homefield in the 2-3 format for the best-of-five series. They will host their first playoff game Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. While their foe has not been decided, SWB knows it will come from the West and each of the first two games will start at 7:05 p.m. on the road. Indianapolis and Columbus entered today tied atop the West with the IL’s best records at 83-60. Columbus owns the tiebreaker with its 11-10 ownership of that season series. Indy must win the West outright to avoid SWB. Yesterday, Norfolk secured the South by doubling up Durham, 8-4.

THIS IS SPARTA!: IL All-Star and Rookie of the Year Ben Gamel entered today with an even .300 batting average. If he plays and has an at-bat, he would have to go at worst 1-for-4 to maintain a .300 average. Cole Figueroa entered at .293 and would have to go 5-for-5 to finish at .300. Figueroa set a new career-high mark with five hits and fell a triple shy of the cycle at Pawtucket on May 27. He posted a career-high-tying five RBIs in that game for the first time since an April 6, 2012 effort at Pensacola while with Double-A Montgomery under the Rays’ umbrella.

Davies & Co. Blank Chiefs

SWB’s Ace Notches 11th Win

Syracuse, N.Y. – Going back to 2009, no International League team entered Sunday with more shutouts than the SWB RailRiders’ 80 (Triple-A/New York Yankees). At 79, the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) stood right behind their IL North rival. On Sunday night at NBT Bank Stadium, the RailRiders (81-62) widened the gap with their 81st shutout over that span for their 81st win of the 2015 season, a 4-0 triumph over Syracuse (65-78) that deadlocked the three-game series.

SWB ace Kyle Davies (11-8) set the tone with six innings of three-hit baseball. He struck out seven and walked one as he became the franchise’s first pitcher with 11 or more wins since Ramon Ortiz went 13-7 in 2012.

Giovanny Gallegos and Chris Martin took the baton from there. In his second career Triple-A outing, Gallegos whiffed two over a pair of scoreless innings while the veteran Martin worked around a leadoff double with two strikeouts of his own in the ninth.

The RailRiders’ runs came in the middle innings. Cito Culver’s two-out single plated Kyle Roller in the fourth. An inning later, Slade Heathcott drove Juan Graterol and Jake Cave home with a single and Heathcott rounded out the scoring with an RBI infield hit in the sixth. While the last of those knocks came off former SWB Opening Day man Bruce Billings, all four runs went on the line of Syracuse starter Taylor Jordan (5-6).

SWB’s regular-season ends on Labor Day Monday with a 1:05 p.m. start in Syracuse. Southpaw Chaz Hebert (2-0, 0.75) gets the start in the rubber match against right-hander Paolo Espino (8-6, 3.28). The RailRiders will host the wildcard winner at PNC Field on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

In the fifth, Kyle Roller drew his sixth intentional walk of the season to snap a five-way tie for the league lead. He entered Sunday tied with his teammate Ben Gamel, Charlotte’s Dan Black, Columbus’ Jesus Aguilar and Louisville’s Brennan Boesch. Boesch was both a New York Yankee and SWB RailRider in 2013.

Jake Cave entered the game 3-for-14 at Triple-A. He went 4-for-5 as the leadoff man with a double.

Syracuse’s Taylor Jordan was tagged with a career-worst 11 hits. He had allowed 10 hits just three times on his seven-year pro career. Two of those occasions before Sunday came in the big leagues.

The RailRiders have recorded shutout wins in two of their last three games and three of their last eight.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 9.6.15

CLICK HERE for the September 6 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders were edged by the Syracuse Chiefs 6-5 in 10 innings. Mark Montgomery shouldered the loss on Isaac Ballou’s walk-off single to center.

CASTILLO FOR THREE!: Ali Castillo recorded his fourth three-hit game with SWB in Saturday’s loss. His three doubles tied Jose Pirela for the most in a single game for a RailRider in 2015. Since his return to SWB on Sept. 1, Castillo is slashing .409/.435/.591/1.026 with four doubles and four RBI.

MVG: IL All-Star and Rookie of the Year Ben Gamel stroked two doubles and tallied two RBI as part of a three-hit night. The 23-year-old co-leads MiLB with 14 triples and entered this series ranked among the IL’s top three in batting average (3rd, .300), hits (3rd, 150), slugging percentage (2nd, .472), extra-base hits (3rd, 52), runs scored (3rd, 76) and total bases (2nd, 236). He leads the loop in outfield assists (13). The Neptune Beach, Fla. owns 10 round-trippers on the year, matching his 10 career home runs from the past five seasons (1,634 at-bats). His 51 multi-hit efforts lead the club. The usual leadoff man paces SWB with 64 RBI. He is SWB’s first IL ROY since Austin Jackson in 2009.

SLADE’S BLADE: Slade Heathcott also turned in a three-hit night. Over his last three games, Heathcott has hit .500 (6-for-12). This stretch includes a double, a home run and four RBI. Through four games in September, he owns a slash line of .400/.471/.667/1.137.

EXTRA! EXTRA!: The RailRiders played overtime baseball for the 13th time this season, tied for the fourth fewest in the IL. Rochester has only played seven overtime games this year. The loss dipped the club’s record to 8-5 in extra-inning affairs. SWB is 2-2 against the Chiefs in extra innings this year.

KINGS OF THE NORTH: The RailRiders have a chance to finish with a winning record against all five division rivals. SWB claimed the season sets already against Pawtucket (13-6), Rochester (11-9), Lehigh Valley (10-8) and Buffalo (9-8). The RailRiders are 8-6 record against the Chiefs this year and need to win one of the final two to clinch a winning season against the Nationals’ top affiliate.

A TOAST!: The division championship is the first in the RailRiders era of SWB. The club won five under the SWB Yankees moniker (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012). The team won the IL North in 1992, 1999, 2002 and 2006 as the SWB Red Barons (Phillies). The 2008 SWB Yankees went on the claim the franchise’s only Governor’s Cup title with a 20-2 win over the Durham Bulls in North Carolina.

TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS?!: The RailRiders will face the wildcard winner in the first round of the Governor’s Cup playoffs beginning Wednesday, September 9. The RailRiders will host their first playoff game on Friday, September 11th,  at 6:35 p.m. While their opponent has not been decided, SWB knows it will come from the IL West. Indianapolis and Columbus have both clinched a playoff berth. With two games to go, the Indians and Clippers are tied for the division lead. Down in the IL South, Norfolk and Gwinnett are separated by two games with two left. Norfolk finishes at Durham while Gwinnett plays host to Charlotte.

OFF THE RAILS: SWB relievers Conor Mullee and Cesar Vargas combined to retire 15 of 16 Chiefs over five innings (3.0IP by Vargas)…the duo totaled 10 strikeouts (five apiece) during that stretch…Mullee entered in the last of the fourth with the bases loaded and no outs and struck out three straight to quell the threat…The loss at NBT Bank Stadium was just the second for the RailRiders this year (5-2)…Over the last three games, SWB has gone 13-for-37 (.351) with men in scoring position…Saturday’s walk-off loss was the ninth of the year for the RailRiders and sixth since the start of July…

 

RailRiders Fall in Extras at Syracuse

Syracuse, N.Y. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) fell to the Syracuse Chiefs in 10 innings by a 6-5 final. The RailRiders (80-62) rallied from three runs down, but were turned away on Isaac Ballou’s walk-off single in the 10th. The Chiefs (65-77) earned their second win against SWB at NBT Bank Stadium.

Mark Montgomery (1-1) shouldered the loss after issuing a lead-off walk to Jose Lozada. Emmanuel Burriss sacrificed the runner to second and a wild pitch allowed Lozada third. Ballou launched a 3-1 pitch over the head of center fielder Jake Cave to score the winning run.

Sam Runion (3-3) held the RailRiders scoreless for three innings to take home the win in relief. He walked two and struck out a pair.

SWB trailed 5-2 after four innings, but rallied for two in the sixth. Ben Gamel rolled a double down the right field line and moved to third on a single by Aaron Judge. Gamel scored on a single by Kyle Roller a two-out, infield hit by Cave plated Judge to trim the deficit to one.

Slade Heathcott and Ali Castillo teamed to stroke consecutive doubles, tying the score in the seventh. With Gamel at the plate, Castillo was thrown out at third when a pitch glanced off the glove of catcher Steve Lerud. Gamel would single later, but the RailRiders failed to score.

OFF THE RAILS:

Ali Castillo doubled three times; tying Jose Pirela for the most by a RailRider in a single game in 2015…Ben Gamel notched his 11th three-hit game. He leads SWB with 51 multi-hit showings…Slade Heathcott also tallied three hits for the third time this season…Gamel and Kyle Roller were both intentionally walked; they lead the team with five IBBs this year…Relievers Conor Mullee and Cesar Vargas combined to retire 15 of 16 with 10 strikeouts…SWB is now 5-2 at NBT Bank Stadium this year and 8-6 against Syracuse overall…With the loss, the RailRiders are 8-5 in extra innings and 2-3 in their last five overtime games…

The boys of SWB continue their final regular season series against the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) at NBT Bank Stadium on Sunday night. Right-hander Kyle Davies (10-8, 3.44) is scheduled to face right-hander Taylor Jordan (5-5, 2.75). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will host the wildcard winner at PNC Field on Friday, September 11 at 6:35 p.m. Tickets are available. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 9-5-15

CLICK HERE for the September 4 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders blanked the Buffalo Bisons 2-0 on Friday night at PNC Field to close out the home portion of their schedule.

CAPUANO’S BRILLIANCE: Veteran Chris Capuano fired six scoreless, one-hit innings to earn the win for SWB. Capuano faced one over the minimum, using 71 pitches. Through six starts with the RailRiders, Capuano has limited opposing offenses to four runs over 28.1 innings (1.27) ERA.

MMM DONUTS…: Friday’s skunking of the Bisons marked the 10th shutout win for the RailRiders in 2015. Three of those came at the expense of Buffalo. The Bisons’ offense has been held scoreless a league-worst 20 times. SWB owns 79 shutout victories since 2009, tied with Syracuse for the most on the circuit in that span.

MEANWHILE, AT MONTAGE MOUNTAIN: 8,484 fans were on hand to watch the RailRiders polish off the sweep of Buffalo. A total of 402, 731 fans passed through the gates of PNC Field this summer, the second highest total since 2008. The crowd was the 18th fixed-seat sellout (7,115) and the club enjoyed six complete sellouts (10,000), a RailRiders era record. SWB went 18-4 in Moosic after the All-Star break.

MVG: The league announced Ben Gamel as both an IL postseason All-Star and its Rookie of the Year earlier this week. The 23-year-old co-leads MiLB with 14 triples and entered this series ranked among the IL’s top three in batting average (T-5th, .296), hits (3rd, 147), slugging percentage (3rd, .466), extra-base hits (4th, 50), runs scored (3rd, 75) and total bases (2nd, 231). He leads the loop in outfield assists (13). The Neptune Beach, Fla. owns 10 round-trippers on the year, matching his 10 career home runs from the past five seasons (1,634 at-bats). His 50 multi-hit efforts lead the club. The usual leadoff man paces SWB with 61 RBIs. He is SWB’s first IL ROY since Austin Jackson in 2009.

KINGS OF THE NORTH: The RailRiders have a chance to finish with a winning record against all five division rivals. SWB claimed the season sets already against Pawtucket (13-6), Rochester (11-9), Lehigh Valley (10-8) and Buffalo (9-8). The RailRiders own an 8-5 record against the Chiefs this year, but must win one this weekend to capture the season series.

A TOAST!: The division championship is the first in the RailRiders era of SWB. The club won five under the SWB Yankees moniker (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012). The team won the IL North in 1992, 1999, 2002 and 2006 as the SWB Red Barons (Phillies). The 2008 SWB Yankees went on the claim the franchise’s only Governor’s Cup title with a 20-2 win over the Durham Bulls in North Carolina.

TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS?!: The RailRiders will face the wildcard winner in the first round of the Governor’s Cup playoffs beginning Wednesday, September 9. The RailRiders will host their first playoff game on Friday, September 11th,  at 6:35 p.m. While their opponent has not been decided, SWB knows it will come from the IL West. Indianapolis and Columbus have both clinched a playoff berth. With three games to go, the Indians and Clippers are tied for the division lead. Down in the IL South, Norfolk and Gwinnett are separated by two games with three left. Norfolk finishes at Durham while Gwinnett plays host to Charlotte.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders used two relievers to finish the Bisons on Friday night…Andury Acevedo allowed two base runners in a scoreless 1.1 innings…Chris Martin notched his second save (1.2IP, 0H, 0R)…Ali Castillo provided the only run SWB really needed by beating out a double play attempt to score Taylor Dugas in the third…Cito Culver added a sac-fly to CF in the 4th…

RailRiders Blank Bisons in Home Finale

Moosic, Pa. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) closed out the home portion of their 2015 regular season scheduled with a 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Bisons on Friday night at PNC Field. The RailRiders (80-61) finish the year 9-8 against the Bisons (67-74) and 39-33 at PNC Field.

Veteran lefty Chris Capuano (2-1) was stellar on the mound. He faced one over the minimum across six innings of one-hit, shutout baseball. He walked one and struck out four. Chris Martin polished off the skunking by holding the Bisons scoreless for 1.1 innings to earn his second save.

Chad Jenkins (8-6) shouldered the loss for the second straight time against Capuano. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits over six frames.

The win was SWB’s 10th shutout on the campaign and third against Buffalo. The Bisons have been held without a score 20 times this year, most in the International League.

The RailRiders scored their runs in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Taylor Dugas raced home in the third when Ali Castillo beat out a double play attempt at first base. Cito Culver tallied an RBI in the fourth on a sacrifice fly to center.

The boys of SWB hit the road for the final three games of the regular season against the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) at NBT Bank Stadium. Right-hander Brady Lail (3-2, 3.71) is scheduled to face right-hander Taylor Hill (3-10, 5.19). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. The RailRiders will host the wildcard winner at PNC Field on Friday, September 11 at 6:35 p.m. Tickets are available. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

SWB Game Notes 9-4-15

CLICK HERE for the September 4 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with Darren Headrick. Pregame coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders clinched the IL North Division title with a resounding 12-2 win over the Buffalo Bisons. The pennant is the 10th for the proud SWB franchise since winning their first in 1992.

HISTORICAL REPEAT: The last time SWB clinched the IL North at home came on Aug. 29, 2010 in a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Bisons. Jesus Montero belted two home runs and finished with four RBI.

PENNANT FEVER: The division championship is the first in the RailRiders era of SWB. The club won five under the SWB Yankees moniker (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012). The team won the IL North in 1992, 1999, 2002 and 2006 as the SWB Red Barons (Phillies). The 2008 SWB Yankees went on the claim the franchise’s only Governor’s Cup title with a 20-2 win over the Durham Bulls in North Carolina.

HOME COOKIN’: The RailRiders celebrated their achievement in front of 10,000 boisterous fans at PNC Field. The crowd marked the sixth sellout of the year and the 17th fixed-seat sellout. The team announced 10,000 fans at just two games last season and four times in year one of the RailRiders era (2013). SWB has won 17 of 21 at home since the All-Star break.

POURING ON: The RailRiders collected a season-high 19 hits in the win. Cito Culver paced the club with four singles and Ali Castillo notched his third three-hit game with SWB. All nine hitters came away with it at least one hit.

MVG: The league announced Ben Gamel as both an IL postseason All-Star and its Rookie of the Year earlier this week. The 23-year-old co-leads MiLB with 14 triples and entered this series ranked among the IL’s top three in batting average (T-6th, .298), hits (3rd, 147), slugging percentage (3rd, .468), extra-base hits (4th, 50), runs scored (3rd, 75) and total bases (2nd, 231). He leads the loop in outfield assists (13). The Neptune Beach, Fla. native gave his team the lead for good Monday night with a two-run homer in the seventh, his 10th of the year. He entered 2015 with 10 career home runs over five seasons and 1,634 at-bats. He also singled in that Buffalo contest for his team-best 50th multi-hit game. The usual leadoff man paces SWB with 61 RBIs. He is SWB’s first IL ROY since Austin Jackson in 2009.

KINGS OF THE NORTH: The RailRiders have a chance to finish with a winning record against all five division rivals. SWB claimed the season sets already against Rochester (11-9), Pawtucket (13-6) and Lehigh Valley (10-8). The RailRiders are 8-8 against the Bisons and have a chance to win the series with a victory in their home finale. SWB is 8-5 against the Chiefs.

TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS?!: The RailRiders will face the wildcard winner in the first round of the Governor’s Cup playoffs beginning next Wednesday, September 9. The RailRiders will host their first playoff game on Friday, September 11th, a scheduled 6:35 p.m. first pitch. While their opponent has not been decided, SWB knows it will come from the IL West. Indianapolis and Columbus have both clinched a playoff berth. With four games to go, the Indians lead the Clippers by one for the West crown. Down in the IL South, Norfolk and Gwinnett are separated by a game and meet head-to-head tonight.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders went 8-for-16 with runner’s in scoring position on Thursday…Slade Heathcott lined a three-run homer to right field in the fourth inning…it was his second of the year and first since April 17 at Syracuse…After going homerless in 40 games with SWB, Gregorio Petit has hit two in the last three games…he launched his second onto the pedestrian bridge out to left in the fifth of last night’s win…

RailRiders Clinch IL North Title

Moosic, Pa. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) rolled the Buffalo Bisons 12-2 on Thursday night at PNC Field to lock up the International League North Division title. The RailRiders (79-61) celebrated before a sellout crowd of 10,000. The title is the 10th in the proud history of the SWB franchise and the sixth in the Yankees era. The Bisons dipped to 67-73.

All nine RailRiders recorded at least one hit against Buffalo. Johnny Barbato (4-0) earned the win in relief after tossing a scoreless 1.1 innings behind starter Eric Wooten. SWB pounded Bisons’ hurler Andrew Albers for seven runs on 10 hits over four frames.

The RailRiders built a 1-0 lead on a fielder’s choice by Kyle Higashioka. Ben Gamel lined a double to the right field wall in the second inning to score Ali Castillo for a 2-0 advantage and Rob Segedin later pushed the advantage to 4-0 by lacing a two-run double inside third.

Slade Heathcott blew open the game with a three-run blast to the Honda Homer Zone beyond right and Gregorio Petit padded the rout with a two-run shot onto the pedestrian bridge in left.

Leading 10-2 in the sixth, the RailRiders capped the scoring when Cito Culver drove in Aaron Judge with his fourth hit of the night and Heathcott tallied his fourth RBI of the evening on a run-scoring single in the same stanza.

Friday night marks the final regular season home game for SWB and the final postgame fireworks show. Left-hander Chris Capuano (1-1, 1.61) gets the start against right-hander Chad Jenkins (8-5, 2.98). 2015 playoff tickets are available. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders Baseball – The Place to Be! –

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