Moosic, Pa. – Right-hander Bruce Billings (3-1) tossed seven strong innings and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (8-7) took advantage of some timely miscues Saturday night at PNC Field to top the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (6-10), 4-3. The RailRiders offense combined for eight hits and plated three runs in the sixth inning to take the second game of the four-game tilt. The win moved SWB a game above .500 and evened the chase for the IronRail trophy at a game apiece.
After a 12-pitch first inning, Billings labored in the second. Back-to-back doubles by Reid Brignac and Leandro Castro began the frame to score the game’s first run. A single by Steve Susdorf marked the third-straight hit of the inning and a balk by Billings plated Lehigh Valley’s second run to extend the lead to 2-0.
SWB responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the second. Russ Canzler began the inning with a double and came around to score on a throwing error by Lehigh Valley’s Troy Hanzawa. The run by Canzler brought the deficit to one where it would remain until the sixth.
After three scoreless innings, the RailRiders benefited by a couple of costly IronPigs mistakes. Jose Pirela and Zoilo Almonte opened the sixth with back-to-back singles and, after consecutive outs, Adonis Garcia slapped a single that scored Pirela. The final two runs of the frame came after IronPigs starter Sean O’Sullivan fielded a groundball and overthrew first baseman Maikel Franco. The miscue allowed Almonte and Garcia to score, extending the RailRiders lead to 4-2.
Billings departed in the seventh after retiring 18 of his last 21 batters and right-hander Jim Miller pitched the final two innings in relief. Miller allowed a leadoff home run in the eighth to Tyson Gillies before settling down to finish off the IronPigs in the ninth. It all added up to a 4-3 win for SWB, giving the RailRiders their first win of the eight-game homestand.
Billings became the first RailRider to reach three wins and Sullivan (0-2) was slated with the loss. The save is the first of the season for Miller.
The RailRiders will continue their four-game set with Lehigh Valley Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Caleb Cotham (0-0, 3.68) twirls for SWB and the left-hander Cesar Jiminez (0-0, 1.35) gets the nod for Lehigh Valley. John Sadak and Aaron Berlin have the call on radio with pregame coverage beginning at 12:35 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio – The GAME, Northeast PA’s largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
- Bruce Billings’ balk in the second inning was the first of his professional career in 204 games
- SWB has won five of its last seven games
- Dave Miley (2007-2014; 573-443) is now one win shy of tying SWB Red Barons manager Marc Bombard (1997-2004; 574-502) for the all-time wins lead in franchise history
– SWB RailRiders – All Aboard! –