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SWB Game Notes 5-9-15

CLICK HERE for the May 9 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. The game will air live regionally on MyTV with John Sadak and former SWB/MLB star Andy Ashby starting at 7 p.m. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with Darren Headrick. Pregame radio coverage starts at 3:35 p.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: A three-run seventh meant a late lead while the bullpen survived a comeback attack as the RailRiders defeated the best in the West, the Indianapolis Indians, 5-4.

SLADE’S BLADE: Slade Heathcott singled, walked and scored last night. He also secured his team-leading fourth steal. He leads the team with 12 multi-hit games and owns a squad-best five multi-RBI showings. His 36 hits on the season have him tied for fourth in the league with Lehigh Valley’s Brian Bogusevic. Since he suffered an 0-for-6 night in the 15-inning game against the IronPigs on April 20, Heathcott has gone 25-for-62 (.403/.471/.484/.955) to lift his season-long batting average by nearly 100 points (.234-.330). The usual leadoff man paces the team with 15 RBIs.

BUTTER MY BREAD: Kyle Roller drove in a pair of runs including his team co-leading fourth home run, a solo shot to left at the start of the home second. Roller entered the game in a 2-for-18 funk with six strikeouts. However, three of his four homers have come over his last seven games. His 26 homers between two levels (AA/AAA) last season placed him second on the Yankees’ farm as did his 74 RBIs. With 13 RBIs this season, he trails only Heathcott for the team lead.

INTERNATIONAL (LEAGUE) MAN OF MYSTERY: Tyler Austin also enjoyed a funk-busting night. The 23-year-old went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a hard line out to right field. Austin had gone 0-for-15 in his prior four games and entered the night hitting a slim .169 at PNC Field.

ALL GOOD THINGS: Rob Refsnyder walked twice and scored a run but went 0-for-3 to lose the longest hitting streak of his Triple-A tenure at 10 games. The spurt started in game two of the April 25 doubleheader against Pawtucket. During his string of swinging success, the RailRiders’ second baseman was 16-for-41 (.390) with four doubles and seven RBIs. It was the IL’s third-longest active hitting streak.

SCCCCCOOOOOORRRREEEEE!: The RailRiders snapped their longest scoreless stretch of the season with Roller’s homer. SWB had gone 14 frames without a tally since a four-run fourth in Wednesday’s 5-3 defeat of the G-Braves.

NOT-SO-GENTLE BEN: Ben Gamel‘s four triples have him trailing only Toledo’s Daniel Fields (5) for the IL lead. Gamel has more triples than four IL teams (Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk and Pawtucket). After his 1-for-3 showing last night with an intentional walk and a run scored, he ranks among the IL’s best in batting average (6th, .350) and on-base percentage (5th, .429). The intentional walk was the third of his career. The first two came with Adv.-A Tampa in 2013.

HIGHWAY ROBBERY: With southpaw Matt Tracy on the slab and Austin Romine behind the plate, the RailRiders nabbed two would-be base stealers in four tries. Despite that solid showing, SWB still sits at the bottom of the IL for patrolling the bases. The team has nabbed just five of 43 attempting to steal (.116). No IL team has a worse efficiency or has allowed more total swipes. The RailRiders sit tied with Rochester for the fewest successful steals in their favor at nine. However, the Red Wings have only been caught three times against 10 for SWB.

OFF THE RAILS: SWB’s Cole Figueroa entered today as the IL’s second-toughest hitter to whiff (25.25 PA/K)…Roller’s 18 walks have him trailing only Durham’s Vince Belnome (22) for the league lead…His 31 strikeouts make for the circuit’s fifth-highest total…With his solo shot last night, 13 of SWB’s 14 taters (93%) have come with the bases empty…The RailRiders have not been .500 since concluding last homestand at 9-9…The last winning SWB record was 1-0…The 2014 team’s final taste of the air above sea level came after a 7-4 win over Toledo on June 9, 2014…That SWB team then lost five in a row and never got back over .500…The RailRiders improved to 3-0 when Tracy starts.

RailRiders Hang on to Beat Indians

Moosic, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) took a three-run lead in the seventh and survived a comeback by the Indianapolis Indians to win 5-4 on Friday night at PNC Field. The RailRiders improved their record to 14-15 while the Indians slipped to 17-12.

Diego Moreno (1-0) pitched 1.1 perfect innings of relief to earn the win for the RailRiders. Jose Ramirez earned his fifth save of the year, despite allowing a run on three hits. Ramirez struck out Alen Hanson with runners on second and third to secure the win. Bobby LaFromboise (1-1) took the loss for Indy, allowing two hits and three runs in just 0.1 innings of action.

Roller started off the scoring in the second inning, launching an opposite field home run to surge the RailRiders in front 1-0.

Matt Tracy started the game, throwing 5.2 innings while allowing six hits and two runs. Indianapolis used speed to answer Roller’s power in the third. Alen Hanson laid down a bunt single and proceeded to steal second and third before making his way across home plate on a double steal attempt. Jose Tabata was thrown out going for second on the play, but not before Hanson could cross home to knot the score up at 1-1.

Deibinson Romero vaulted the Indians on top 2-1 in the fourth thanks to a towering homer out to left.

Cole Figueroa squared the game at 2-2 in the seventh by scorching a line-drive single to left that brought in Ben Gamel from second.

 In the bottom of the seventh, the Railriders sent all nine hitters to the dish. SWB plated three runs, starting with an RBI single from Kyle Roller. The next batter Tyler Austin stepped up to the plate and sent a double down the left field line to score Rob Refsnyder. Austin Romine capped the scoring by bringing home Roller on a sacrifice fly to center.

Things got dicey from there for the Railriders’ bullpen as Jared Burton allowed a run-scoring single to Jose Tabata, cutting the lead to 5-3. Ramirez was then able to hold on in the ninth for the victory.

The RailRiders continue their series against the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) with “Bark in the Park” on Saturday. First pitch at PNC Field is set for 4:05 p.m. RHP Jaron Long (0-1 7.23) is scheduled to face off with RHP Casey Sadler (2-1, 2.81). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 5-8-15

CLICK HERE for the May 8 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. The game will air live regionally on MyTV with John Sadak and former SWB/MLB star Andy Ashby starting at 7 p.m. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with Darren Headrick. Pregame radio coverage starts at 6:35 p.m.

LET’S GET SERIESOUS: The Gwinnett Braves scored their first season-series victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise since 2011 with a 5-0 decision on Thursday night at PNC Field. The G-Braves finished the year 4-2 against SWB.

THE HIT MAN: Slade Heathcott singled and secured his team-leading third steal last night. He leads the team with 12 multi-hit games and owns a squad-best five multi-RBI showings. His 35 hits on the season have him tied for third in the league with Norfolk’s Chris Parmelee. Since he suffered an 0-for-6 night in the 15-inning game against the IronPigs on April 20, Heathcott has hit .414 (24-for-58) to lift his season-long average by nearly 100 points (.234-.333). The usual leadoff man paces the team with 15 RBIs.

R&R: Rob Refsnyder entered today on the longest hitting streak of his Triple-A tenure and the team’s longest of the season, a 10-game run that started in game two of the April 25 doubleheader against Pawtucket. During his string of swinging success, the RailRiders’ second baseman is 16-for-41 (.390) with four doubles and seven RBIs.

WE’RE GOING UP THE QUAD AND TO THE GYMNASIUM!: Refsnyder’s long hitting streak in past years often coincided with promotions. He authored a 14-game run in 2014 that spanned from May 26-June 10. It started with Double-A Trenton and stalled in his second game with SWB after a promotion to Triple-A. The longest hitting streak of his pro career was an 18-gamer from April 18-30, 2013. That spurt was born with Low-A Charleston and concluded with Advanced.-A Tampa. His current 10-game streak is the third-longest active string in the IL.

TIME TO EAT THE DONUTS: The RailRiders suffered their second shutout of the season and consequently they are in their longest scoreless drought of the season at 13 innings. The last run came the four-run fourth inning of Wednesday’s 5-3 defeat of the G-Braves.

THAT’S A START: During the three-game series, Gwinnett placed its leadoff man on base 11 times. Nine (82%) of those men later came around to score.

TRIPLE THREAT: Ben Gamel‘s four triples have him trailing only Toledo’s Daniel Fields (5) for the IL lead. Gamel has more triples than four IL teams (Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk and Pawtucket). After his 2-for-3 showing last night with a double and a walk, Gamel ranks among the IL’s best in batting average (5th, .351) and slugging percentage (5th, .545).

HIGHWAY ROBBERY: The RailRiders sit at the bottom of the IL for patrolling the bases. The team has nabbed just three of 39 attempting to steal (.077). No IL team has a worse efficiency or has allowed more total swipes. Gwinnett went 10-for-10 in stolen-base attempts on the three-game series and 15-for-15 on the season against SWB’s battery. The G-Braves took four bags against the RailRiders for the third time in a single game last night. Gwinnett leads the loop with 38 steals. The RailRiders rank last with just eight successful swipes in 17 attempts.

OFF THE RAILS: SWB’s Cole Figueroa entered today as the IL’s toughest hitter to whiff (32.3 PA/K)…Kyle Roller‘s 17 walks have trailing only Durham’s Vince Belnome (22) for the league lead…His 31 strikeouts make for the fifth-highest total in the circuit…Twelve of the RailRiders’ 13 home runs have been solo shots…Rochester (9) is the only IL squad outside of SWB shy of double figures in stolen bases and the league mean average is 21.2…The RailRiders have not owned a winning record since they started 1-0…The 2014 team’s final taste of the air above sea level came after a 7-4 win over Toledo on June 9, 2014…That SWB team then lost five in a row and never got back over .500.

Braves Stifle RailRiders to Claim Series

Moosic, Pa. – The Gwinnett Braves scored their first season-series victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) since 2011 with a 5-0 decision on Thursday night at PNC Field. The RailRiders (13-15) endured their second shutout defeat. The Braves (13-14) finish 4-2 against SWB.

New York Yankees’ left-hander Chris Capuano (0-1) continued his comeback from a strained right quad he suffered in spring training. The Major League veteran limited the Braves to a run on four hits across 4.2 innings in the loss. He yielded two walks and struck out four. Sugar Ray Marimon (2-0) blanked the RailRiders for six innings to earn the win. The right-hander worked around two hits and three walks. Marimon struck out five hitters.

Gwinnett manufactured runs by getting the lead-off man on base all series. Over three games, the G-Braves lead-off man reached 11 times and the club scored nine of those runners. Thursday night saw them score three-of-five lead-off men.

With two out in the second inning, Braeden Schlehuber and Eury Perez opened the scoring with consecutive doubles.

Gwinnett made it 3-0 against reliever Daniel Burawa in the sixth. Adonis Garcia singled and stole second. Cedric Hunter flied to center and Garcia advanced to third. Elmer Reyes punched a soft grounder to Cole Figueroa at short, but Garcia beat the throw home. Barrett Kleinknecht singled and Reyes moved to third. A squeeze bunt by Joe Benson brought in Reyes.

Garcia beat out a double play attempt in the seventh to score Perez to pad the lead at 4-0. Perez worked a walk off reliever Branden Pinder in the ninth, stole second and scored on a throwing error. Jose Peraza popped out to second baseman Jonathan Galvez, but his throw to third rolled into the camera well, awarding Perez home plate.

SWB loaded the bases twice, but failed to bring runners across. The club finished the night 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Slade Heathcott extended his hitting streak to five games on a single in the eighth. The Braves were 10-for-10 in stolen base tries in the series.

The RailRiders welcome the Indianapolis Indians to PNC Field on Fireworks Friday for the first of three. LHP Matt Tracy (0-0, 5.68) is scheduled to face RHP Chris Volstad (1-1, 4.88). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 5-7-15

CLICK HERE for the May 7 edition of the RailRiders’ game notes. The game will air live regionally on MyTV with John Sadak and former SWB/MLB star Andy Ashby starting at 6:30 p.m. CLICK HERE to listen to the radio call live with Darren Headrick. Pregame radio coverage starts at 6:05 p.m.

YESTERDAY: The RailRiders survived both Mother Nature and the Gwinnett Braves to pick up a 5-3 victory on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Field. The teams waited through a 54-minute rain delay before taking the field. The win evened the three-game series and pushed the RailRiders to within a game of .500.

THE HIT MAN: Slade Heathcott posted a pair of the RailRiders’ seven hits and drove in two of the five scores yesterday. He leads the team with 12 multi-hit games and owns a squad-best five mutli-RBI showings. His 34 hits on the season have him tied for fourth in the league with Lehigh Valley’s Brian Bogusevic. Since he suffered an 0-for-6 night in the 15-inning game against the IronPigs on April 20, Heathcott has hit .426 (23-for-54) to lift his season-long average by over 100 points (.234-.337). The usual leadoff man paces the team with 15 RBIs.

R&R: Rob Refsnyder entered today on the longest hitting streak of his Triple-A tenure and the team’s longest of the season, a 10-game run that started in game two of the April 25 doubleheader against Pawtucket. During his string of swinging success, the RailRiders’ second baseman is 15-for-37 (.405) with four doubles and seven RBIs.

TRIPLE THREAT: Ben Gamel‘s four triples have him trailing only Toledo’s Daniel Fields (5) for the IL lead. Gamel has more triples than four IL teams (Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk and Pawtucket).

THE MEN WHO KNOCK: RailRiders pitchers have allowed 82 base knocks over the last seven games. Foes have amassed double-digit hits in all but one of those games (Gwinnett stroked nine yesterday). The team is 4-3 during this stretch. For the year, RailRiders hurlers have surrendered 248 hits, the third-most in the IL. Only Lehigh Valley (286) and Louisville (256) have yielded more hits.

STOP, THIEVES!: The RailRiders sit at the bottom of the IL for patrolling the bases. The team has nabbed just three of 35 attempting to steal (.086). No IL team has a worse efficiency or has allowed more total swipes. Gwinnett has gone 6-for-6 in stolen-base attempts on the series including three by top prospect Jose Peraza. The G-Braves have taken four bags on the SWB battery twice this season (April 29). Gwinnett leads the league with 34 stolen bases. The RailRiders rank last with just seven successful swipes in 16 attempts.

SAVE ME: Jose Ramirez logged his team-best fourth save in five tries yesterday. He has half of the team’s total and has notched a save in each of his last three appearances. He has owned left-handed hitters who have gone 3-for-24 (.125) against him, all singles, with nine strikeouts.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Last week, the RailRiders lost back-to-back games at Gwinnett for the first time in a single season. Before the Monday and Tuesday setbacks, the last consecutive losses at Coolray Field had come in the final 2010 clash on June 7 and in the first 2011 meeting on April 30. The Braves moved their Triple-A team from Richmond to Gwinnett in 2009. SWB had won eight straight in Lawrenceville entering last week’s set.

OFF THE RAILS: SWB’s Cole Figueroa entered today as the IL’s toughest hitter to whiff (31.0 PA/K)…Kyle Roller‘s 17 walks have trailing only Durham’s Vince Belnome (22) for the league lead…Roller’s Sunday home run came with nobody on base…Rochester (9) is the only IL squad outside of SWB shy of double figures in stolen bases and the league mean average is 20.3…The RailRiders have not owned a winning record since they started 1-0…The 2014 team’s final taste of the air above sea level came after a 7-4 win over Toledo on June 9, 2014…That SWB team then lost five in a row and never got back over .500…Starter Bryan Mitchell got the win yesterday and for the third time in four nods posted a quality start.

RailRiders Slosh Past Braves

Moosic, Pa. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) survived both Mother Nature and the Gwinnett Braves to pick up a 5-3 victory on Wednesday afternoon at PNC Field. The teams waited through a 54-minute rain delay before taking the field. The win evened the three-game series and pushed the RailRiders (13-14) to within a game of .500. The G-Braves slid to 12-14.

Bryan Mitchell (2-2) earned the win by holding Gwinnett to a run on four hits across six innings. He issued two walks and struck out a pair. Chien-Ming Wang (0-3) absorbed the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits over six innings. He walked four and fanned four. Jose Ramirez notched his fourth save by limiting the G-Braves to a run on two hits in the ninth.

Eddy Rodriguez set the table for SWB to open the scoring in the third. The backstop doubled on a grounder inside third and moved to third on a passed ball. With the infield in, Slade Heathcott punched a grounder past second baseman Jose Peraza to score Rodriguez for a 1-0 lead.

The RailRiders poured on the pressure against Wang in the fourth. The right-hander dispensed a pair of walks to being the stanza. Ben Gamel hit into a force at second, but Kyle Roller advanced to third. Jonathan Galvez singled in Roller and Noonan recorded a hit to load the bases. Rodriguez launched a sac-fly to right that brought in Gamel for a 3-0 lead. Heathcott and Ramon Flores followed with consecutive run-scoring hits to open up a 5-0 advantage before Wang escaped the inning.

Gwinnett mounted a comeback over the final four frames. Eury Perez singled and stole second in the sixth and scored on a pair of grounders to break-up Mitchell’s shutout bid. Todd Cunningham sliced the deficit to three by driving in Mycal Jones with a hit in the eighth.

Elmer Reyes and Barrett Kleinknecht began the ninth with back-to-back hits off Ramirez. A wild pitch advanced the two into scoring position, but Ramirez yielded one run, a sacrifice fly to center by Matt Kennelly, the rest of the way.

Rob Refsnyder extended his Triple-A career-long hitting streak to 10 games thanks to a single in the seventh.

The RailRiders look to win the series against the Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves) on Thursday night. A starting pitcher for SWB has not been announced. The Braves will send RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (1-0, 0.69) to the mound. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 5-6-15

CLICK HERE for the May 6 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 10:35 a.m.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Fans at PNC Field enjoyed a pitcher’s duel on Tuesday night as the Gwinnett Braves edged the RailRiders, 3-1. The Braves took the third of four meetings in the season series from the RailRiders.

THE HIT MAN: Slade Heathcott posted three of the RailRiders’ six hits for his team-leading 11th multi-hit effort of the year. His 32 hits on the season made for the league’s fifth-highest total entering today. Since he suffered an 0-for-6 night in the 15-inning game against Lehigh Valley on April 20, Heathcott has hit .420 (21-for-50) to lift his season-long average by nearly 100 points (.234-.330). The usual leadoff man paces the team with 13 RBIs.

LOVE POTION NO. 9: Rob Refsnyder entered today on the longest hitting streak of his Triple-A tenure and the team’s longest of the season, a nine-game run that started in game two of the April 25 doubleheader against Pawtucket. During his string of swinging success, the RailRiders’ second baseman is 14-for-34 (.412) with four doubles and seven RBIs.

NOT-SO-GENTLE BEN: Ben Gamel ranks among the IL’s best in batting average (6th, .357) and slugging percentage (5th, .557). His four triples have him trailing only Toledo’s Daniel Fields (5). Gamel has more triples than four IL teams (Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk and Pawtucket).

THE MEN WHO KNOCK: RailRiders pitchers have allowed 73 base knocks over the last six games (10+ in each). The team is 3-3 during this stretch. For the year, RailRiders hurlers have surrendered 239 hits, the third-most in the IL. Only Lehigh Valley (276) and Louisville (243) has yielded more hits. Starter Kyle Davies (2-2) allowed all 10 hits yesterday. He had allowed double-digit hits just once since 2011 until each of his last two nods, both against Gwinnett.

STOP, THIEVES!: The RailRiders sit at the bottom of the IL for patrolling the bases. The team has nabbed just three of 33 attempting to steal (.091). No IL team has a worse efficiency or has allowed more total swipes. Gwinnett went 4-for-4 in stolen-base attempts last night including two by top prospect Jose Peraza. The G-Braves have taken four bags on the SWB battery twice this season (April 29).

IT’S SO HARD TO SAY GOODBYE: Jose Pirela‘s rehab assignment concluded yesterday. Pirela mashed as he mended from a concussion suffered in spring training. His fourth and final SWB rehab game came on Sunday when he went 4-for-5 with three doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. During his short stay he went 11-for-19 (.579/.600/.947/1.547) with a home run, four doubles and four RBIs. He stroked at least three hits in each of the last three games.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Last week, the RailRiders lost back-to-back games at Gwinnett for the first time in a single season. Before the Monday and Tuesday setbacks, the last consecutive losses at Coolray Field had come in the final 2010 clash on June 7 and in the first 2011 meeting on April 30. The Braves moved their Triple-A team from Richmond to Gwinnett in 2009. SWB had won eight straight in Lawrenceville entering last week’s set.

OFF THE RAILS: SWB’s Cole Figueroa entered today as the toughest hitter to whiff in the IL (31.0 PA/K)…Kyle Roller‘s 15 walks have him tied for 2nd in the IL…Roller’s Sunday home run came with nobody on base…Twelve of the RailRiders’ 13 home runs (92%) have been solo shots…The exception also came thanks to Roller, a two-run job off of Lehigh Valley’s Jason Berken at PNC Field on April 20…The RailRiders’ six steals on the season have them dead last in the IL…Rochester (8) is the only other team shy of double figures and the league mean average is 19.7 with Gwinnett leading the way at 32…Davies became the second RailRiders hurler to last at least seven innings this season…Today’s starter, Bryan Mitchell, has turned the trick twice.

G-Braves Clip RailRiders

Moosic, Pa. – Fans at PNC Field enjoyed a pitcher’s duel on Tuesday night as the Gwinnett Braves edged the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) 3-1. The Braves (12-13) took the third of four meetings in the season series from the RailRiders (12-14). Slade Heathcott led the RailRiders with three hits, his team-leading 11th multi-hit effort of the year.

Matt Wisler (1-3) limited the RailRiders to a run on five hits across 5.1 innings to earn the victory. He struck out seven SWB batters while issuing only one walk. Kyle Davies (2-2) shouldered the loss despite giving his team seven innings. The right-hander worked around 10 hits to hold the Braves to three runs. Davies fanned three. John Cornely earned his first save in three tries with a scoreless 1.1 innings.

Todd Cunningham was instrumental in Gwinnett’s victory. The speedy center fielder opened the second inning with a single and stole second. A groundout by Barrett Kleinknecht moved Cunningham to third. He scored when Joe Benson singled to center.

The G-Braves made it 2-0 in the fourth when Cunningham led off with a double. A sacrifice fly to left by Kleinknecht pushed Cunningham across.

Kyle Roller helped the RailRiders to their only tally in the sixth. Heathcott opened the frame with his third single of the night. A base hit to right by Ramon Flores advanced Heathcott to third. After Rob Refsnyder flew out to center, Roller skied a pitch down the left field line. Cedric Hunter missed the catch, allowing Roller to reach on the error as Heathcott scored.

The Braves added an insurance run in the seventh thanks to a bunt single and an error. Davies played the bunt attempt by Kleinknecht, but his throw sailed into foul ground. The misfire allowed Kleinknecht to second. Benson followed with a single to bring him home for the final margin.

The RailRiders have an early wake-up call on Wednesday as they host the Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves) for the second game of the series at 10:35 a.m. RHP Bryan Mitchell (1-2, 2.84) takes the mound for SWB against former New York Yankee RHP Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 5.5). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders –

SWB Game Notes 5-5-15

CLICK HERE for the May 5 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 6:05 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: Jose Pirela led the RailRiders to a 6-5 win over the Charlotte Knights on Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. The RailRiders salvaged a split of the series with the Knights (14-9) and finished the road trip 3-4.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Last week, the RailRiders lost back-to-back games at Gwinnett for the first time in a single season. Before the Monday and Tuesday setbacks, the last consecutive losses at Coolray Field had come in the final 2010 clash on June 7 and in the first 2011 meeting on April 30. The Braves moved their Triple-A team from Richmond to Gwinnett in 2009. SWB had won eight straight in Lawrenceville entering last week’s set.

ROCKIN’ ROB: Rob Refsnyder returns home on the longest hitting streak of his Triple-A tenure, an eight-game run that started in game two of the April 25 doubleheader against Pawtucket. During his string of swinging success, the RailRiders’ second baseman is 14-for-34 (.412) with four doubles and seven RBIs.

ON THE MEND: Pirela continues to mash as he rehabs from a concussion suffered in spring training. In his fourth SWB rehab game he finished 4-for-5 with three doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. He is 11-for-19 (.579/.600/.947/1.547) with a home run, four doubles and four RBIs during his rehab stint with SWB. He has stroked at least three hits in each of the last three games.

A GAMEL-ING MAN: Ben Gamel ranks among the IL’s best in batting average (5th, .368) and slugging percentage (5th, .574). His four triples have him trailing only Toledo’s Daniel Fields (5). Gamel has more triples than four IL teams (Buffalo, Lehigh Valley, Norfolk, Pawtucket).

ON A ROLL: Kyle Roller doubled and homered on Sunday for his fourth multi-hit showing in his last seven games. During that time he has gone 10-for-29 (.345) with five doubles, two homers and six RBIs. His surge has lifted his season-long batting average by 30 points (.267-.297).

SOLO ARTISTS: Roller’s shot on Sunday came with nobody on base. Twelve of the RailRiders’ 13 home runs (92%) have been solo shots. The exception also came thanks to Roller, a two-run job off Lehigh Valley’s Jason Berken at PNC Field on

ABSORBING HITS: RailRiders pitchers have allowed 63 base knocks over the last five games (10+ in each). The team is 3-2 during this stretch. For the year, RailRiders hurlers have surrendered 229 hits, the second-most in the IL. Only Lehigh Valley (272) has yielded more hits.

STOLEN-BASE STRIFE: The RailRiders sit at the bottom of the IL for patrolling the bases. The team has nabbed just three of 29 attempting to steal (.103). Only Indianapolis has allowed more total steals (28), but owns a better efficiency (.243). Charlotte has also allowed 26 pilfered bags, but throws out runners at a .133 clip.

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders pitching staff ranks third in the IL with 196 strikeouts…SWB’s Cole Figueroa entered today as the toughest hitter to whiff in the IL (44.5 PA/K)…Kyle Roller‘s 15 walks have him tied for 2nd in the IL…Slade Heathcott has a team-high 10 multi-hit games…The usual leadoff hitter also paces the squad with 13 RBIs…With a swipe apiece, Rob Refsnyder and Ben Gamel gave the RailRiders their first multi-steal performance as a team on Sunday…The RailRiders’ six steals on the season have them dead last in the IL…Rochester (8) is the only other team shy of double figures and the league mean average is 19 with Gwinnett leading the way at 28.

Pirela Doubles RailRiders Past Knights

Charlotte, N.C.Jose Pirela led the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) to a 6-5 win over the Charlotte Knights on Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark.  The RailRiders (12-13) salvaged a split of the series with the Knights (14-9) and finished the road trip 3-4. Pirela finished 4-for-5 with three doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. He is 11-for-19 (.579) with a home run, four doubles and four RBI during his rehab stint with SWB.

Eric Wooten (1-3) earned his first Triple-A victory. The left-hander allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits across five innings. He walked three and struck out three. Brad Penny (1-3) shouldered the loss for Charlotte after allowing five runs on nine hits over four innings. Jose Ramirez earned his third save by retiring the final six batters in order.

The Railriders tallied the game’s first run in the opening frame against Penny. Pirela doubled on the game’s first pitch and scored on a single by Rob Refsnyder. Pirela made it 2-0 in the second inning when he drove in Cole Figueroa with a single. Slade Heathcott brought around two with a double for a 4-0 lead.

The Knights tied the game with four runs off Wooten in their half of the second. Matt Davidson and Dan Black worked walks to sandwich a single by Trayce Thompson. With the bases loaded, Engel Beltre grounded to second, scoring Davidson. Jason Coats launched a sacrifice fly to the warning track in center, but Heathcott missed the catch. The error allowed two runs to score. Jeremy Dowdy tied the game with a double that scored Coats from second.

Kyle Roller pushed the RailRiders back in front in the fourth. Pirela cracked his second double of the day and scored when Roller lashed a double into the left-center gap. The first baseman for the RailRiders launched his third home run of the year in the seventh, muscling a solo shot over the LF wall for a 6-4 lead.

Charlotte threatened in the bottom of the frame against reliever Branden Pinder. Leury Garcia led off with a walk and moved to third on a double by Carlos Sanchez. Matt Davidson earned a one-out walk to load the bases. Trayce Thompson blooped a single to left, scoring Garcia. Pinder dug in to retire Black on a flyout to shallow left and struck out Engel Beltre to end the inning.

The RailRiders return to PNC Field on May 5 for the first of three against the Gwinnett Braves at 6:35 p.m. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders –

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