SWB Game Notes
SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE RAILRIDERS (67-62) vs. LEHIGH VALLEY IRONPIGS (78-53)
RHP Raynel Espinal (7-2, 3.36) vs. LHP Cole Irvin (12-4, 2.71)
| Game No. 130 | August 26, 2018 | Coca-Cola Park | Allentown, PA |
| First Pitch 1:35 p.m. | Pregame Show 12:05 p.m. |
LAST TIME OUT: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders fell 2-1 in walk-off fashion Saturday night at Coca-Cola Park to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
For the second straight night, the top two teams in the I.L. North battled before a sellout crowd of 10,100. The fans got something to cheer for entering the bottom of the 9th inning in 1-1 tie, George Kontos entered out of the bullpen and retired the first two men he faced before consecutive singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases for J.P. Crawford who delivered the walkoff single.
With the win, Lehigh Valley punches its ticket to the postseason for a third season, but clinches an I.L. North Division title for the first time in the 11-year history of the franchise.
The RailRiders jumped on the board first Saturday night with a run in the top of the 7th inning. After six scoreless innings from RailRiders RHP Erik Swanson, SWB gave its pitching staff some run support. The inning featured a pair of walks to Devyn Bolasky and Tyler Wade, and subsequently a passed ball and a wild pitch to plate Bolasky for the 1-0 lead.
The offense featured a 2-for-3 night with a walk from Zack Zehner as he extended his season to nine games. With another multi-hit game, he is batting .406 (13-for-32) in that stretch.
ACES IN THE HOLE: The top pitching prospect in the Yankees organization, LHP Justus Sheffield, made his bullpen debut for the RailRiders Tuesday night in Buffalo and pitched for a second time out of the bullpen Saturday in Lehigh Valley. RHP Chance Adams has been shifted to the bullpen and is expected to make his bullpen debut Sunday afternoon at some point in back of RHP Raynel Espinal. In his first season out of Dallas Baptist University where Adams was often used as a bullpen arm, all 14G in which he appeared were out of the bullpen to limit his innings. Since the start of the 2016 season however, the only one of his 75G that was not a start was August 18, 2016 when he came out of the bullpen in back of MLB rehabbing RHP Bryan Mitchell who pitched that night for the Trenton Thunder against the Akron RubberDucks.
RACE TO THE FINISH: The Wild Card race in the International League is heating up as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (67-62) hit the homestretch of the 2018 season. With 9G to go, SWB finds itself 1.0 GB of the Indianapolis Indians (69-62) and Columbus Clippers (69-62) for the Wild Card lead. It's looking like a four-team race for the final playoff spot with the Norfolk Tides (68-63) and Toledo Mud Hens (67-63) also making a playoff push.
EXTRA INCENTIVE: The playoff race is enough of a reason for the RailRiders to be motivated down the stretch, but the Lehigh Valley IronPigs entered the series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre needing just one win to clinch the IL North title, which they accomplished Saturday night. Though Lehigh Valley has made the postseason each of the last two seasons as the International League Wild Card, they clinched their first division title in the 11-year history of the team since moving from Ottawa before the 2007 season. They have made the postseason three times as the Wild Card in 2017, 2016 and 2011.
AND THEN THERE WAS ONE: With RHP J.P. Feyereisen heading to the Disabled List, the RailRiders have only one player who was on the SWB Opening Day roster and has not been on the DL or played with another team in the Yankees organization -- RHP Raynel Espinal, who is in his first season of Triple-A. RHP Cale Coshow was on the Opening Day roster but was on the DL from July 13-20 and the same can be said for INF Mike Ford who was on the DL from June 8 - July 12 (but player 6G on rehab with SS-A Staten Island).
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International League Stories from August 26, 2018
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