SWB Game Notes 4-21-15

CLICK HERE for the April 21 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.

QUINCEAÑERA: It took 15 innings on Monday night at PNC Field, but the RailRiders edged their in-state rival IronPigs, 4-3. Nick Noonan delivered the walk-off winner with an opposite-way single to left as the RailRiders posted their fourth straight win. The IronPigs dropped their fifth in a row and fell to a league-worst 3-9. It marked the RailRiders’ longest game by innings since the franchise-record 20-inning affair on July 25, 2013 against Toledo, a 2-1 win. At 4:13, it was the longest game by time since a 3-2 home loss to Louisville took 4:59 and 14 innings on Aug. 13, 2014.

NO SOUP FOR YOU: The RailRiders’ pitching staff has allowed just three runs over its last 35 innings of work.

BULLISH ‘PEN: Diego Moreno, Nick Rumbelow, Jose Ramirez, Tyler Webb and Danny Burawa (1-0) combined to twirl 9.2 innings of scoreless relief. The fivesome allowed just two hits and issued three walks while whiffing nine. SWB’s bullpen owns a 2.15 ERA. In 58.2 innings, it has struck out 67 (10.3/9 IP) against 21 walks. RailRiders’ relievers have not allowed a run in 18.1 IP going back to Friday’s game at Syracuse.

R&R: Rob Refsnyder posted a game-high three hits and played pivot in a crucial play. In the top of the 15th with Brian Bogusevic at first base, Cord Phelps laid down a sac bunt. Burawa fielded it and threw to the covering Refsnyder at first base. The usual second baseman then saw Bogusevic had never stopped at second and cut him down with an accurate throw to Cole Figueroa at third base.

IN FULL BLOOM: Ramon Flores enjoyed a 2-for-6 showing with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. He leads the league with four homers. His home run total equals or exceeds that of six other IL teams. Only Triple-A Fresno’s Preston Tucker (5) has more home runs in all of MiLB. Flores’ brisk beginning to the season has him on pace to club 48 homers on the 144-game season. He entered 2015 with 36 career home runs in 588 games. Flores has bashed double-digit home runs in a season just once when he collected 11 with Low-A Charleston in 2011.

ON A ROLL: Kyle Roller walked twice and bashed his first home run of the season, an impressive two-run shot to right in the third. He leads the league with 10 walks. Only three minor leaguers have drawn more walks than Roller with fellow Yankees farmhand Gosuke Katoh (11) of Low-A Charleston among them. Roller’s .458 OBP ties him for fifth in the IL.

NOT-SO-GENTLE BEN: Ben Gamel went 0-for-5 as his six-game hit streak stalled. He had delivered multiple knocks in five straight and hit .545 (12-for-22) over the six-gamer with four RBIs and four runs scored. Gamel reached base twice on Monday with a pair of walks including a leadoff full-count free pass to begin the 15th. He later crossed the plate as the winning run. He ranks 4th in the IL in average (.394) and trails only Louisville’s Ivan DeJesus (.514) in OBP at .487.

HELLO NOONAN: Since Noonan started the season 2-for-13 (.154) in his first four games he has gone 6-for-21 (.286) over his last six games with six RBIs.

STOP, THIEVES!: Lehigh Valley’s Chase d’Arnaud stole second in the ninth. SWB’s battery has allowed opponents to take 11 bags in 12 tries. Despite an .083 caught-stealing efficiency, SWB ranks in front of four IL teams. Charlotte has nabbed just one thief in 17 tries (.059) while Buffalo, Columbus and Rochester have yet to catch one despite six-plus attempts for each.

OFF THE RAILS: The two teams left a combined 25 men on base including 16 for SWB…The Pigs went 1-for-9 with men in scoring position while the RailRiders were 1-for-14 before Noonan’s winner…Lehigh Valley’s Phillippe Aumont (4) and Hector Neris (3) combined for seven innings of relief with 69 and 52 pitches respectively…SWB pitching has amassed a league-high 116 strikeouts in 114 IP.

RailRiders Walk Off IronPigs in 15 Innings

Moosic, Pa. – It took 15 innings on Monday night at PNC Field, but the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) edged their in-state rival, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, 4-3. Nick Noonan helped extend the RailRiders’ (6-6) winning streak to four. The IronPigs dropped their fifth straight.

The RailRiders’ bullpen shined in the winning effort, using five pitchers who combined for 9.2 scoreless innings. Danny Burawa (1-0) pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 15th for the victory. Adam Loewen (0-1) shouldered the loss after allowing the winning run across. Loewen surrendered two hits and walked five batters in 2.1 innings.

The IronPigs opened the scoring in the third inning against starter Jaron Long. Brian Bogusevic began with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Cord Phelps moved Bogusevic to third with a single to right. Domonic Brown, on a rehab assignment for the Phillies, hit a sacrifice fly to right and scored Bogusevic for a 1-0 lead.

Kyle Roller launched the RailRiders in front in the last of the inning against Jason Berken. Ramon Flores worked a one-out walk and Roller demolished a two-out home run over the right field fence for a 2-1 lead.

SWB held serve until a two-run rally by the IronPigs in the sixth. Brown singled and moved to second on a hit by Russ Canzler. Jordan Danks earned a walk to load the bases before Diego Moreno relieved Long. The right-hander allowed a walk to Tommy Joseph, forcing home Brown. Chris McGuiness beat out a double play attempt to score Canzler for a 3-2 advantage.

The RailRiders knotted the score at three in the seventh. Jonathan Galvez singled and moved to second a sacrifice by Noonan. A wild pitch from reliever Phillippe Aumont allowed Galvez to third. After Slade Heathcott worked a walk, Flores allowed Galvez home on a ground out to short.

Both teams had chances to win over the next seven innings. The RailRiders stranded the winning run in scoring position five times during that stretch before breaking through in the 15th. The IronPigs got a lead-off single by Bogusevic in the top of the final frame. Phelps attemped a sacrifice bunt successfully, but Bogusevic was cut down by Rob Refsnyder trying an aggressive move to third base.

Ben Gamel and Austin Romine worked consecutive walks off Loewen to open the last of the 15th. As rain began to fall, Galvez moved the runners up with a sacrifice. Noonan followed with a slicing single to left that scored Gamel just as the skies opened up.

The RailRiders continue their home series against the IronPigs on Tuesday night at PNC Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. LHP Eric Wooten (0-1, 4.70) faces Ironpigs RHP Severino Gonzalez (0-1, 4.63). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

SWB Game Notes 4-20-15

CLICK HERE for the April 20 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.

MAKE A WISH: Bryan Mitchell celebrated his 24th birthday with seven innings of three-hit ball as his RailRiders bested the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) Sunday, 4-1. Mitchell (1-1) logged his first win of 2015 while southpaw Jacob Lindgren notched his second save with a pair of scoreless innings. The RailRiders’ third straight win gave them the series over the Chiefs, 3-1.

FINE FINISH: Mitchell was perfect through the first two innings and concluded his outing by retiring 11 of the last 12 he faced including the last seven in succession. He became the first SWB hurler to last seven innings this season and fell one out shy of his longest professional outing. He went 7.1 innings for Double-A Trenton against New Britain on Aug. 29, 2013.

NO SOUP FOR YOU: The RailRiders’ pitching staff has allowed just one run over its last 20 innings of work.

LORD I WAS BORN A GAMELING MAN: Ben Gamel posted a pair of hits and an RBI. He returns home with a .464 average on the young season (13-for-28) along with a .531 on-base percentage. He has multiple hits in five consecutive games. He served as the SWB leadoff man for the second time this season and for the 30th time in his now 423-game professional career. Gamel trails only Charlotte’s Carlos Sanchez (.485) for the league’s best batting average. Only Lehigh Valley’s Maikel Franco (.682) and SWB’s Flores (.643) have a better slugging percentage than Gamel (.607).

HIGH NOONAN: Nick Noonan picked up another RBI in the RailRiders’ three-run sixth. After starting the season 2-for-13 (.154) in his first four games he has gone 5-for-16 (.313) over his last five games with five RBIs.

STOP, THIEVES!: Syracuse’s Matt den Dekker stole second base in the fifth inning. SWB’s battery has allowed opponents to take 10 bags in 11 tries. Despite a caught-stealing efficiency of .091, the RailRiders rank in front of four other IL teams. Charlotte has nabbed just one thief in 13 tries (.077) while Buffalo, Columbus and Rochester have yet to catch one despite six-plus attempts for each.

RAZOR RAMON: Ramon Flores cranked his league-leading fourth home run of the season on Saturday. His home run total equals or exceeds that of six other IL teams. He outright paces the circuit in homers and stands tied for the most big flies in all of MiLB. His brisk beginning to the season has him on pace to club 52 homers this season. He entered 2015 with 36 career home runs in 588 games. Flores has bashed double-digit home runs in a season just once when he collected 11 with Low-A Charleston in 2011.

IRONRAIL TROPHY: On June 13, 2013, the RailRiders and IronPigs announced the creation of the “IronRail Trophy”. The teams’ annual series decides the winner. The trophy is held by the previous year’s victor, displayed for all to see. The 2013 series was an 8-8 draw, but per the rules, the RailRiders’ win in the final meeting gave SWB the prize. Lehigh Valley responded by taking its second-ever season series against SWB and the hardware, 10-6. However, SWB swept the Pigs in a short two-game set at PNC Field to close out the 2014 season. That thrust Lehigh Valley into the IL North’s basement by itself and helped SWB avoid the club’s worst record since the 1998 campaign. SWB owns a 62-50 (.554) lead in the all-time series dating back to the Pigs’ inaugural 2008 season.

OFF THE RAILS: After facing the Chiefs in eight of their first 11 games this season, the RailRiders will not see Syracuse again until June 4…Rob Refsnyder made a fielding error in the eighth inning, his fifth in nine games played…Neither team registered an extra-base hit yesterday and the Chiefs went 0-for-9 with men in scoring position…Kyle Roller drew his eighth walk of the year…He leads the team and stands tied for the third-most free passes in the IL.

Mitchell Tosses Seven Strong in Birthday Win

Prospect Hurler Leads SWB to Series Victory

Syracuse, N.Y.Bryan Mitchell celebrated his 24th birthday with seven innings of three-hit baseball as his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) bested the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) on Sunday, 4-1. Mitchell (1-1) logged his first win of the season while southpaw Jacob Lindgren notched his second save with a pair of scoreless innings. The RailRiders’ (5-6) third straight win gave them the series over the Chiefs (4-7), 3-1.

Syracuse struck first when Jason Martinson bounced into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play in the fourth inning. But that play ignited a fierce finish by Mitchell who retired 11 of the last 12 he faced including the final seven in succession. He struck out four and walked three on 94 pitches (59 strikes).

Rob Segedin began the home fifth with a single. Two outs later, the red-hot Ben Gamel scored him from second base with a first-pitch single up the middle to tie the game.

The game ultimately tipped in the sixth when the first three RailRiders reached and all three scored. Each of those runs went unearned on starter Taylor Jordan (1-1) thanks to a pair of Chiefs errors including one by Jordan himself. Nick Noonan and Eddy Rodriguez each notched an RBI in the inning that made it 4-1.

The RailRiders return home on Monday for a seven-game homestand. It starts with the first of three against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) at 6:35 p.m. on a Dollar Dog Monday. In a battle of right-handers, SWB will send Jaron Long (0-1, 7.59) out against Jason Berken (1-1, 12.79) for the first IronRail series of the season. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Ben Gamel posted a pair of hits and an RBI. He returns home with a .464 average on the young season (13-for-28) with a .531 on-base percentage. He has multiple hits in five consecutive games. He served as the SWB leadoff man for the second time this season and for the 30th time in his now 423-game professional career.

Bryan Mitchell became the first RailRiders hurler to last seven innings in a game this season. He fell one out shy of his longest professional outing. He went 7.1 innings for Double-A Trenton against New Britain on Aug. 29, 2013.

Rob Refsnyder made a fielding error in the eighth inning, his team-worst fifth of the year.

The Chiefs failed to notch an extra-base hit and went 0-for-9 with men in scoring position.

After facing the Chiefs in eight of their first 11 games this season, the RailRiders will not see Syracuse again until June 4.

– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

SWB Game Notes 4-19-15

CLICK HERE for the April 19 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.

BOOKEND EFFORT: Kyle Davies weaved together five strong innings and the offense backed up the right-hander with 12 hits as the RailRiders shut out the Syracuse Chiefs on Saturday afternoon, 6-0.

THAT’S A START: Davies retired 13 of the first 14 men he faced before allowing a pair of baserunners in his fifth and final frame. He struck out six and walked one on 70 pitches (46 strikes).

DOWN THE STRETCH: Danny Burawa and Tyler Webb combined to pitch the final four scoreless frames for SWB. Burawa allowed two hits and walked a batter. Webb surrendered a triple, but struck out two.

NO SOUP FOR YOU: The Chiefs only advanced one baserunner to third, a two-out triple by Tony Gwynn, Jr. in the eighth inning.

GREAT SUCCESS: The RailRiders’ first shutout of the season leaves the league with only two teams that have yet to blank a foe: Gwinnett and Lehigh Valley.

TEAM EFFORT: Seven of the nine RailRiders recorded a hit and four of them finished with at least two hits.

RAZOR RAMON: Ramon Flores cranked his league-leading fourth home run of the season. He has as many dingers as six other IL teams. He outright paces the circuit in home runs and stands tied for the most big flies in all of MiLB. His brisk beginning to the season has him on pace to club 58 homers this season. He entered 2015 with 36 career home runs in 588 games. Flores has bashed double-digit home runs in a season just once when he collected 11 with Low-A Charleston in 2011.

LORD I WAS BORN A GAMELING MAN: Ben Gamel recorded three hits, two runs scored and an RBI. His fourth straight multi-hit effort of the season lifted his average to .478 (11-for-23). He owns an OBP of .556.

ON A ROLL: Kyle Roller singled and walked on a 1-for-4 day. The team’s usual first baseman has hit safely in five straight games and shares the team lead in hits. He has gone 11-for-34 (.324) with a team-best seven walks for a .439 OBP.

HIGH NOONAN: Nick Noonan doubled in a run and posted a pair of hits. He had played exclusively shortstop in his first seven SWB games, but started at second base on Saturday. After starting the season 2-for-13 (.154) in his first four games he has gone 5-for-12 (.417) over his last four games with four RBIs.

IT FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME: Saturday’s success made for the team’s first back-to-back victories since winning five straight from Aug. 15-19 last season. That run included a four-game sweep at Pawtucket and a win versus Syracuse.

OUT OF BALANCE: For the first time in the RailRiders era, SWB plays an unbalanced schedule. The IL docket had seen the club face its divisional brothers 16 times (eight home/eight road) and its non-divisional foes eight times (four home/four road). This year proves uneven in an effort to aid travel. Here is the breakdown for the RailRiders’ schedule against their divisional opponents: Rochester (20); Pawtucket (19); Lehigh Valley (18); Buffalo (17); Syracuse (16).

OFF THE RAILS: The RailRiders will be halfway through the 16-game Syracuse portion of their schedule after today’s road trip finale…They will not see the Chiefs again until June 4…All six of SWB’s home runs this season have been solo shots.

Davies Sharp as RailRiders Blank Chiefs

Syracuse, N.Y.Kyle Davies weaved together five strong innings and the offense backed up their right-hander with 12 hits as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) shutout the Syracuse Chiefs 6-0 on Saturday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, N.Y. The RailRiders (4-6) took a 2-1 advantage in the four-game series with the win. The Chiefs dropped to an equal record of 4-6.

Davies (1-0) stymied the Chiefs, allowing just two hits and a walk in his SWB debut. He fanned six hitters. Former RailRiders hurler Bruce Billings (0-1) absorbed the loss in his first outing against his former team. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits across five innings. He walked two and struck out a pair.

Nick Noonan got the RailRiders on the board in the second inning. After Game extended the frame with a single, Noonan drove a double to the right field corner and Game scored easily from first. Jonathan Galvez beat out a potential double play in the second to bring in Tyler Austin for a 2-0 advantage in the third.

Ramon Flores clubbed his fourth home run of the year in the fifth inning. The solo moonshot put SWB up 3-0. Gamel added to the advantage in the sixth. Cole Figueroa doubled with one away and scored on Gamel’s second hit of the afternoon. Figueroa plated a run in the seventh on a two out single that scored Austin from third.

Slade Heathcott drove in the final tally in the ninth. Gamel and Noonan opened the frame with consecutive knocks sandwiching a wild pitch and Heathcott scored Gamel with a hard single to right.

The four-game series wraps up on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Bryan Mitchell (0-1, 3.68) is scheduled to throw against RHP Taylor Jordan (1-0, 0.00). The team returns home on Monday, April 20, to host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Ben Gamel recorded three hits and an RBI. It was his fourth multi-hit effort of the season and increased his average to .478.

Danny Burawa and Tyler Webb combined to pitch the final four scoreless frames for SWB. Burawa allowed two hits and walked a batter. Webb surrendered a triple, but struck out two.

Seven of the nine RailRiders recorded a hit and four of them finished with at least two hits.

The Chiefs only advanced one base runner to third, a two-out triple by Tony Gwynn Jr. in the seventh inning.

– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

SWB Game Notes 4-18-15

CLICK HERE for the April 18 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.

BOOKEND EFFORT: Slade Heathcott began Friday night’s game at NBT Bank Stadium with his first career Triple-A home run. He ended it with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly that proved the difference in his RailRiders’ win over the host Syracuse Chiefs, 8-7. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the RailRiders and dropped the Chiefs back below .500.

TRIPLE THREAT: Heathcott posted three hits and three RBIs. He has been particularly effective against right-handed hurlers (9-for-28, .321/.367/.500/.867).

TO WHIT: SWB starter Chase Whitley allowed just three hits and three runs over six innings. He overcame a career-high four walks to become the first RailRiders’ starter to toss at least six innings this season.

MULTIPLICITY: Ramon Flores doubled on a 2-for-6 night with two RBIs. The RailRiders also got multi-hit showings from Jonathan Galvez and Austin Romine with each man scoring a pair of runs.

FOR THE WIN: Jose Ramirez (1-0) fired 1.2 scoreless innings for the victory. The former starter had not won since his penultimate SWB outing of 2014, a Fourth of July relief effort versus Buffalo in the team’s most dramatic victory of the season. Rob Refsnyder capped a comeback from 5-2 deficit with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth. The two-out, three-run shot won the MiLBY for “Home Run of the Year” from MiLB.com.

UNEARNED: The teams combined for five errors last night with one of the RailRiders’ two boo boos placing a Chief on base. Mark Minicozzi not only got aboard on Cole Figueroa‘s eighth-inning mistake, he also scored. Fifteen of the 51 runs (29%) scored by SWB foes have gone unearned on the pitching staff. The RailRiders and Chiefs are tied for the second-most errors in the league (11), trailing only Durham (16). SWB has the circuit’s second-worst fielding percentage outright at .967.

TSUNAMI OF RUNS: Since besting Syracuse on Opening Night 8-3, the RailRiders have lost six of eight. In that time, SWB has been outscored 48-26.

NOT-SO-GENTLE BEN: Ben Gamel went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Through six games played he has gone 8-for-19 (.421) with two triples and a pair of walks (.522 OBP).

ROCKY START: SWB has not started seasons particularly well since adopting the nickname RailRiders. In 2013 the record stood at 3-6 through nine games en route to a fifth-place finish and a 68-76 mark. In 2014, the club was 4-5 through and again finished in fifth place at 68-76. But bad beginnings don’t always lead to rough finishes. The 2012 SWB Yankees began the year 4-5 and rebounded to win the division at 84-60. A win today would make for the team’s first back-to-back victories since winning five straight from Aug. 15-19 last season. That run included a four-game sweep at Pawtucket and a win versus Syracuse.

OUT OF BALANCE: For the first time in the RailRiders era, SWB plays an unbalanced schedule. The IL docket had seen the club face its divisional brothers 16 times (eight home/eight road) and its non-divisional foes eight times (four home/four road). This year proves uneven in an effort to aid travel. Here is the breakdown for the RailRiders’ schedule against their divisional opponents: Rochester (20); Pawtucket (19); Lehigh Valley (18); Buffalo (17); Syracuse (16).

OFF THE RAILS: Neither team had played an extra-inning game this season entering the game…The RailRiders will be halfway through the Syracuse portion of their schedule after Sunday’s road trip finale.

Heathcott Plays Hero in Extra-Inning Victory

Leadoff Man Delivers Game’s First and Final Runs 

Syracuse, N.Y.Slade Heathcott began Friday night’s game at NBT Bank Stadium with his first career Triple-A home run. He ended it with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly that proved the difference in his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ (Triple-A/New York Yankees) win over the host Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals), 8-7. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the RailRiders (3-6) and dropped the Chiefs back below .500 (4-5).

Heathcott’s leadoff homer off Scott McGregor gave SWB a 1-0 lead. Two walks, a McGregor error and a pair of two-out hits then combined for a three-run second inning that ballooned the advantage to 4-0. The Chiefs responded with a picket fence when they plated single scores in four of the next five innings.

With the lead slimmed to a single score at 5-4, the RailRiders found breathing room in the top of the eighth thanks to RBIs from Nick Noonan and Ramon Flores. In the home half of the frame, however, Syracuse’s Kila Ka’aihue slammed a three-run homer to right field off of Nick Rumbelow to tie the game at 7.

Jose Ramirez (1-0) entered in relief thereafter and authored 1.2 scoreless innings of one-hit ball en route to the win. That was possible thanks to some late small ball. Jonathan Galvez singled off third baseman Ian Stewart’s glove to start the visiting 10th and Austin Romine followed with a single of his own. Noonan then dropped a successful sacrifice to advance the runners and Heathcott followed with a sac fly to center for the 8-7 edge.

Southpaw Jacob Lindgren struck out two in a scoreless 10th to log his first Triple-A save.

The four-game series continues on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Kyle Davies is scheduled to make his SWB debut against the RailRiders’ Opening Day man from a year ago, Bruce Billings (0-0, 1.80). The team returns home on Monday, April 20, to host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Slade Heathcott posted three hits and three RBIs.

Neither team had played an extra-inning game this season entering the game.

SWB starter Chase Whitley allowed just three hits and three runs over six innings.

Ramon Flores doubled on a 2-for-6 night with two RBIs. The RailRiders also got multi-hit showings from Jonathan Galvez and Austin Romine with each man scoring a pair of runs. 

– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

SWB Game Notes 4-17-15

CLICK HERE for the April 17 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 5:35 p.m.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The RailRiders dropped their first road game of 2015 at Syracuse on Thursday afternoon, 10-2. The RailRiders dropped their fourth straight affair while the Chiefs got back to .500.

TSUNAMI OF RUNS: Since besting Syracuse on Opening Night 8-3, the RailRiders have lost six of seven. In that time, SWB has been outscored 41-18.

MASTER CHIEFS: Eight of the nine men in Syracuse’s lineup notched a hit. The lone exception, nine-hole hitter Josh Johnson, worked a walk on an 0-for-3 day. Seven different Chiefs had at least one RBI.

EIGHT? NOT SO GREAT: The Chiefs sent all nine men to the plate in the third inning and had eight take a turn at the dish in the sixth. The day before, Rochester batted around in the sixth and ninth innings at PNC Field. Entering today, opposing lineups have sent eight or more to the plate in four of the last 12 innings.

SLADE OF STEAL: Twice Slade Heathcott had a chance to rob Ian Stewart of a home run. He just missed grabbing Stewart’s shot to right-center in the sixth. It cleared the wall for Stewart’s first dinger of the year. But Heathcott’s seventh-inning leap in true right saw him reach over the fence to bring a ball back for an out. Heathcott singled and drove in a run on Thursday.

NOT-SO-GENTLE BEN: Ben Gamel went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Through six games played he has gone 8-for-19 (.421) with two triples and a pair of walks (.522 OBP).

WHAT GOES UP: Tyler Austin hit third in the order for the first time with SWB on Wednesday, but he endured a rare bad day. Austin went 0-for-4 with a walk and wore the golden sombrero for the first time in his now 356-game pro career with four strikeouts. Usual three-hole hitter Rob Refsnyder got his first day off of the season. Austin has hit fifth most often through the RailRiders’ early stage of the season, a spot he saw more than any other with Double-A Trenton last year (46 times in 105 games played). He was the regular three-hole stick for the Thunder in 2013 (76 times in 83 games played).

ROCKY START: SWB has not started seasons particularly well since adopting the nickname RailRiders. In 2013 the record stood at 2-6 through eight games en route to a fifth-place finish and a 68-76 mark. In 2014, the club was 3-5 through eight contests and again finished in fifth place at 68-76. But bad beginnings don’t always lead to rough finishes. The 2012 SWB Yankees began the year 3-5 and rebounded to win the division at 84-60. A loss tonight would make for the team’s worst start through nine games in the Yankees era and since at least 2004.

OUT OF BALANCE: For the first time in the RailRiders era, SWB plays an unbalanced schedule. The IL docket had seen the club face its divisional brothers 16 times (eight home/eight road) and its non-divisional foes eight times (four home/four road). This year proves uneven in an effort to aid travel. Here is the breakdown for the RailRiders’ schedule against their divisional opponents: Rochester (20); Pawtucket (19); Lehigh Valley (18); Buffalo (17); Syracuse (16).

OFF THE RAILS: Jonathan Galvez doubled once, walked twice and scored a run…Rob Refsnyder was charged with his fourth error of the season when he made an off-line throw to first in the fifth inning…Former RailRider Rich Hill walked two and struck out two in the final frame for Syracuse…The RailRiders will be halfway through the Syracuse portion of their schedule after Sunday’s road trip finale.

Chiefs Take Series Opener from RailRiders

Chiefs Take Series Opener from RailRiders

SWB Drops First Road Game of 2015

Syracuse, N.Y. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) dropped their first road game of the 2015 season on Thursday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium to the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals), 10-2. The RailRiders (2-6) dropped their fourth straight affair while the Chiefs (4-4) got back to .500.

Taylor Hill (1-0) earned the win by limiting the RailRiders to two runs on five hits over 6.2 innings. Eric Wooten (0-1) took the loss in his first Triple-A start. Wooten surrendered four runs on seven hits across his four frames of work.

The RailRiders tallied their two runs in the seventh. Taylor Hill was an out away from making it through seven up 9-0 when Jonathan Galvez worked a walk to extend the inning. Ben Gamel followed with a single to chase the starter. Reliever Eric Fornataro entered and promptly gave up a run-scoring single to Nick Noonan that spoiled the Chiefs’ shutout bid. Slade Heathcott sliced the hole to seven with a single that scored Gamel before Fornataro escaped the inning on a grounder.

The four-game series continues on Friday night at 6:05 p.m. Right-hander Chase Whitley (1-0, 0.00) is scheduled to toss for the RailRiders against fellow righty Scott McGregor (0-1, 3.86). The team returns home on Monday, April 20, to host the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.

OFF THE RAILS:

Before the game, right-hander Joel De La Cruz joined the RailRiders.  He was needed as the first man out of the bullpen behind Wooten.  De La Cruz gave up five runs (three earned) in two innings of work on 57 pitches (40 strikes).

Eight of the nine men in Syracuse’s lineup notched a hit. The lone exception, nine-hole hitter Josh Johnson, worked a walk on an 0-for-3 day. Seven different Chiefs had at least one RBI.

Former RailRider Rich Hill walked two and struck out two in the final frame for Syracuse.

Twice Slade Heathcott had a chance to rob Ian Stewart of a home run. He just missed grabbing Stewart’s shot to right-center in the sixth. It cleared the wall for Stewart’s first dinger of the year. But in the seventh in true right Heathcott’s leap saw him reach over the fence to bring a ball back for an out.

Ben Gamel went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.  Through six games he has gone 8-for-19 (.421) with two triples and a pair of walks (.522 OBP).

Jonathan Galvez doubled once, walked twice and scored a run.

– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –

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