SWB Takes Two from LHV
ALLENTOWN, PA - The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders took two games from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Saturday at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, winning 6-2 in the completion of a suspended game and 4-1 in a seven-inning version of the scheduled game. The wins clinched the 2021 IronRail Rivalry Series for the RailRiders with one game left to play.
On Wednesday, the IronPigs plated a run against RailRiders starter Brody Koerner in the bottom of the first on a pair of singles, including a run-scoring knock by TJ Rivera, for a 1-0 lead. Rain halted play, however, in the bottom of the second inning.
Play resumed on Saturday afternoon and Lehigh Valley tallied a run in the top of the third against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Matt Krook. A Luke Williams sac fly plated Charlie Tilson to extend the lead to 2-0.
The RailRiders could not square up a base hit off of Josh Hendrickson, who was making his Triple-A debut. The southpaw walked two batters in the third and the fifth but kept the RailRiders at offense at bay until the seventh.
Max Burt doubled to left and Hendrickson walked Estevan Florial and Andrew Velazquez to load the bases with one out in the top of the seventh. Chris Gittens drove a 3-2 pitch over the high wall in right-center to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 4-2 lead. The grand slam was his second of the season against the IronPigs, having also completed the feat on June 27 in a 19-1 win.
Gittens's home run was his 14th of the season, nine of which have been hit off of Lehigh Valley pitchers. 29 of the first baseman's 44 total runs batted in this year have come against the IronPigs.
The RailRiders added a run in the eighth when Kyle Holder was balked in from third base by Taylor Guerreri. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre capped the scoring in the ninth when Trey Amburgey singled home Jonathan Davis for a 6-2 RailRiders advantage.
Krook (5-5) allowed one run on three hits over 6.2 relief innings in back of Wednesday's starter Brody Koerner, striking out seven and walking one. Hendrickson (0-1) took the loss despite allowing just one hit, walking six and striking out three.
Brady Lail and Sean Boyle made spot starts in the seven-inning nightcap. Lail, the former RailRider, blanked his old club on one hit with three strikeouts over three innings. Boyle held Lehigh Valley in check over four scoreless, walking two and striking out one.
Relievers Mark Appel and Major League rehabber Domingo German kept the game scoreless through five complete. In the sixth, Appel walked Jonathan Davis and gave up a double to Donny Sands; the catcher's third hit of the game. Lehigh Valley walked Greg Allen to load the bases. The IronPigs brought in left-hander Tyler Alexander to face lefty Rob Brantly, but Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Doug Davis countered with Chris Gittens as a pinch hitter. Alexander struck out Gittens looking. Trey Amburgey then pinch-hit for Holder and double to the left-field corner to clear the bases for a 3-0 RailRiders lead. Matt Pita singled home Amburgey to extend the edge.
The IronPigs plated a run against German in the bottom of the sixth and Nick Nelson shut the door in the bottom of the seventh to close the game. German (1-0) garnered the win, allowing one run on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts over two innings, throwing 35 pitches, 22 of which were strikes. Nelson's save was the first of his professional career spanning 123 appearances across all levels. Appel (3-5) took the loss for Lehigh Valley.
The RailRiders now hold a 20-15 record against the IronPigs in 2021. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Lehigh Valley conclude their 2021 season series on Sunday in the regular-season finale. JP Sears and Mauricio Llovera will start for the RailRiders and IronPigs, respectively, on Sunday with first pitch set for 1:35 P.M. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre returns to PNC Field next Wednesday for five additional games against the Syracuse Mets in Triple-A Baseball's Final Stretch. Tickets are available at swbrailriders.com.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Record:
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