Moosic, Pa. – A third inning grand slam by Tyler Austin wasn’t enough on Tuesday night as the Charlotte Knights edged the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 5-4 at PNC Field. The loss snapped the RailRiders’ winning streak at five. Charlotte improves to 22-16 while SWB slips to 21-19.
Veteran starter Brad Penny (3-3) took the win despite allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out eight. Matt Tracy (0-1) suffered his first loss after yielding five runs on nine hits across 4.1 innings. Jairo Asencio tossed a scoreless ninth for his seventh save.
The RailRiders carried a 27-inning scoreless streak into the second frame before a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center by Drew Garcia ended the run. The Knights built a 4-0 advantage with run-producing singles by Luery Garcia, Neftali Soto and Dan Black. Charlotte tried for two on Black’s single, but Ben Gamel threw out Jason Coats at the plate to end the inning.
SWB loaded the bases against Penny in the third. A walk to Ramon Flores was sandwiched by singles from Gamel and Rob Refsnyder. Penny whiffed Kyle Roller for the first out of the inning. Austin stepped to the plate and crushed a pitch left up over the center field wall.
Austin’s grand slam was the first by a RailRider this year and his second home run. Refsnyder finished with two hits and a walk to extend his on-base streak to 21 games.
Charlotte got the eventual game winner across in the fifth. Trayce Thompson singled with one out and Tracy was lifted for reliever Danny Burawa. Thompson stole second and scored on a hit by Matt Tuiasosopo.
The RailRiders wrap up their series and the season set against the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) on Wednesday morning. SWB is slated to start right-hander Jaron Long (2-2, 5.19) against right-hander Erik Johnson (3-3, 4.55). The RailRiders and Commonwealth Connections Academy present School Day – BATtle Bullying. For tickets or more information, call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit the team’s website, www.swbrailriders.com.