SWB Game Notes
SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE RAILRIDERS (76-65) @ DURHAM BULLS (75-64)
RHP Brian Keller (1-2, 6.91) vs. RHP Jose De Leon (2-1, 3.51)
| Game 1 I.L. Semifinals | Durham Bulls Athletic Park | Durham, NC | September 4, 2019 | First Pitch 7:05 p.m. |
MOOSIC, PA (September 3, 2019) -- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders clawed back from certain defeat Tuesday afternoon, winning a one-game playoff against the Syracuse Mets to claim the International League North Division title and stun the Mets who took a seven-run lead into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Trailing 7-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the RailRiders had been held to just one hit over the first six innings by Ervin Santana. However, Kyle Higashioka drilled a leadoff home run to get the juices flowing for the RailRiders offense, making it a 7-2 game. Then Kratz, Gosuke Katoh, Wendell Rijo and Zack Zehner followed with four-straight singles to load the bases. Brandon Wagner hit his first Triple-A single, followed by a Billy Burns walk. Alvarez rolled over on a first-pitch breaking ball and a run scored for SWB, making it 7-6.
Syracuse extended its lead in the top of eighth inning, plating six runs and regaining control 13-6, putting the RailRiders up against it with six outs left to work with offensively. In the bottom of the inning, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took control of the game and plated six runs. Going up against a bullpen that wound up surrendering nine runs on six hits and six walks over 2.0 innings, the RailRiders mounted their ferocious comeback. Trailing 13-12 with two outs and Mandy Alvarez at third base and Terrance Gore at second, Erik Kratz nailed a go-ahead double that plated thrust the RailRiders ahead with a 14-13 advantage over the Mets.
THEY DID WHAT?: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre completed the Mircale on Montage Mountain Tuesday afternoon in a one-game playoff against the Syracuse Mets to determine the International League North Division title. Trailing 7-1 entering the bottom of the seventh inning and having just one hit to that point of starting pitcher Ervin Santana, the RailRiders scored five times to make it a 7-6 defict. When Syracuse responded with six runs in the top of the eighth inning it seemed as if the RailRiders' fate was sealed, but instead they plated a season-best eight runs in an inning and grabbed a 14-13 lead en route to a win as Ben Heller slammed the door on the victory in the ninth with a 1-2-3 frame.
HELLO, MY NAME IS: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders franchise record for players used in games over the course of a season entering 2019 was 75 by the 2015 SWB RailRiders. This season, SWB used 46 pitchers and 36 position players, totaling 82 players in 2019. The initial postseason roster released Wednesday afternoon by the RailRiders includes two players in INF Angel Aguilar and RHP Greg Weissert who have not yet appeared in a game for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. If they do, it would mark each player's Triple-A debut.
STORMING TO THE FINISH: INF Gosuke Katoh has been in the midst of a hot stretch of his season where he has been finding his way on base in any way possible for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In 27G since returning from the Double-A Trenton Thunder, the infielder is batting 27-for-88 (.307 AVG), 3 2B, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 25 BB (.460 OBP) and 3-for-4 SB. Entering Thursday's game, Katoh has reached safely in 37-of-his-last-71 plate appearances (.521 OBP), going 17-for-51 (.333 AVG) with 20 BB. His 25-game on-base streak to end the season ties Mike Ford for the second longest on-base streak by a RailRiders batter this season, and winds up as T-2nd for the longest streak among active players in the I.L. (Ryan LaMarre, GWN -- 35 games).
MAKING MOVES: Despite nearing the end of the regular season and heading into Tuesday's one-game playoff, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are keeping up their torrid pace of roster moves. Following a year in which they made 275 roster moves total (1.99 moves/game) during the regular season. SWB has now made 339 heading into Wednesday's game against the Durham Bulls following an 11-move morning Sunday, surpassing the 2015 season record of 305 moves in a year. The team is averaging 2.39 moves/game this season.
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International League Stories from September 4, 2019
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