Moosic, PA – Not so long ago, in a ballpark that’s actually quite close, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ early season dominance over the Durham Bulls continued to erode in a 4-2 loss on Saturday night. After winning the first five meetings, the RailRiders (22-22) dropped their second straight decision to the Bulls (23-22) at PNC Field. The Bulls now threaten to claim the four-game series with a win on Sunday.
Matt Buschmann (4-3) held the RailRiders at bay for seven innings, scattering two hits and a pair of walks. The right-hander struck out six. Bryan Mitchell (2-4) suffered the defeat, allowing three runs on seven hits across six frames. He walked four and fanned four. Ronald Belisario earned his eighth save with a scoreless ninth.
The two clubs marched through the first four innings scoreless before the Bulls tallied three runs in the fifth. Corey Brown doubled, Luke Maile walked and Leonardo Reginatto singled to load the bases. Taylor Motter singled home Brown and a double played produced another run for a 2-0 lead. Eugenio Velez made it 3-0 with a single before Mitchell could escape the inning.
Against reliever Nick Rumbelow, Motter singled, stole second a moved to third on a hit by Elmore in the seventh inning. He scored on a double play to push the Bulls’ lead to 4-0. Rumbelow settled in to pitch three innings, allowing a run on two hits with three strikeouts. The right-hander retired the final eight batters he faced.
SWB rallied against Durham’s bullpen in the eighth. Tyler Austin singled off reliever Jordan Norberto and Kyle Roller worked a walk to chase the left-hander. Jim Miller allowed a run-scoring singles to Cole Figueroa and Mason Williams that trimmed the deficit in half.
Rob Refsnyder extended his on-base streak to 24 games with a single to open the ninth. Belisario dug in, however, and retired the final three hitters to secure Durham’s victory.
The RailRiders, with the season series already secured, face the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays) for the final time on Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Matt Tracy (0-1, 4.84) opposes southpaw Scott Diamond (3-2, 3.77). First pitch at PNC Field is set for 1:05 p.m. For tickets or more information, call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit the team’s website, www.swbrailriders.com.