SWB Game Notes - 2018 Governor's Cup Finals - Game 2
INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
DURHAM BULLS (0-1) vs. SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE RAILRIDERS (1-0)
RHP Austin Pruitt (0-0, 5.06) vs. LHP Nestor Cortes (1-0, 0.00)
| Governor's Cup Championship Series | September 12, 2018 |
| PNC Field | Moosic, PA | First Pitch 6:35 p.m. | Pregame Show 6:05 p.m. |
LAST TIME OUT -- MOOSIC, Pa. (September 11-12, 2018) - Weathering a nearly three-hour rain delay, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders held off the Durham Bulls 3-2 on Wednesday morning at PNC Field. The RailRiders have a 1-0 lead over the Bulls in the best-of-five Governor's Cup Championship Series.
Domingo German made his return to the mound for the RailRiders and was terrific. The only blemish he allowed in 3.0 innings was a two-out double to Austin Meadows in the top of the first, while striking out five Bulls. In the top of the fifth Durham took a 1-0 lead when they loaded the bases with no outs against Justus Sheffield. The southpaw induced a double play from Jake Cronenworth for the first two outs, but Nate Lowe scampered home to score the contest's first run.
The RailRiders wasted no time in striking back in the bottom of the fifth against Ryan Weber, who eventually took the loss. Bruce Caldwell followed with a two-run double to put the RailRiders on top. After a Giovanny Urshela groundout and a walk to Mike Ford, Ryan McBroom laced a base hit into left, plating Caldwell and extending the SWB lead to 3-1. Former RailRider Rob Refsnyder connected for a solo home run against David Sosebee to narrow the gap to 3-2.
In the bottom of the eighth McBroom drew a walk to lead off the inning, and Zack Zehner ran a 2-2 count against Ian Gibaut when rain intensified and the game entered a two-hour, 59-minute rain delay. When the game resumed, the RailRiders were retired in the eighth. George Kontos walked Lowe leading off the top of the ninth, but settled down to retire the side on three flyouts to close out the victory.
RUN IT BACK: The 2018 Governor's Cup finals are a rematch of the 2017 championship round. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ousted Lehigh Valley- the IL North champions- Saturday night in Allentown, Pa. while the Durham Bulls sent Toledo home with a 3-1 series win. In 2017, the Bulls ended the RailRiders season with a 3-1 title series win before capturing the Triple-A National Championship at PNC Field. Durham took a 6-0 victory in Game 1 and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre won 4-0 in Game 2 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park before the series switched to PNC Field. The Bulls then clinched the crown with 6-2 and 6-4 wins at PNC Field to win the 2017 IL Championship. The series would normally be switching to DBAP following Wednesday's Game 3, but...
STORM SHIFTS SERIES: Tuesday afternoon the International League announced that the entire Governor's Cup Championship Series will be played at PNC Field due to Hurricane Florence; a Category 3/4 storm bearing down on the Carolinas, Virginia and potentially Georgia. Durham will serve as the home team in Game 3 and any additional games needed in this best-of-five.
DOMINANT FROM THE START: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starting pitchers compiled a 1.16 ERA (3R/3ER in 23.1 IP) in the four-game Lehigh Valley series to kick off the playoffs. RHP Erik Swanson, LHP Nestor Cortes, RHP Ryan Bollinger and RHP Michael King limited the IronPigs to just 11 hits during that span (11-for-79, .139 BAA), and RHP Domingo Germán picked up right where that quartet left off in Game 1 vs. Durham. In 3.0 shutout innings against the Bulls, hitters went 1-for-10 so now the numbers for RailRiders starting pitchers in the postseason are: 26.2 IP, 12 H (12-for-89, .135 BAA) 3R/3ER (1.02 ERA), 27 K
BRUCE ALMIGHTY: Bruce Caldwell's grand slam in Game 4 Saturday night plated more runs on one swing than any team had been used to scoring in any game of the series -- with neither team scoring more than 3R in any of the first three games. It was Caldwell's first career grand slam and was the decisive blow as SWB punched its ticket to the championship series. Caldwell then delivered the go-ahead double in Game 1 vs. Durham Tuesday night in the bottom of the 5th inning after the RailRiders had fallen behind 1-0. Caldwell, who has appeared in 4-of-5 postseason games for SWB, had played in only 3G for SWB since returning from Double-A Trenton where he was sent from 8/4 - 9/1.
FINALS DESTINATION: For the ninth time in 12 years as an affiliate of the New York Yankees, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders have reached the postseason. Since 2007, the RailRiders have won two league titles and have reached the championship round four times. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre holds a 7-6 mark in playoffs series as a Yankees affiliate and an overall playoff record of 26-22 in that time frame. The Bulls have been to the title series 11 previous times and have won five Governor's Cups since 1998.
BULLISH SEASON: Durham claimed the IL South title with a 79-60 record; 9.0 games ahead of the Gwinnett Stripers. The Bulls had the league's 3rd-best batting average (.259), 2nd-most HR (141) and lead the IL in runs scored (653). Durham's pitching staff posted a 3.54 ERA (3rd overall) and struck out a league-high 1,267 batters. The Bulls took two of three in each series against the RailRiders during the 2018 regular season.
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