Moosic, PA. – On Easter Sunday the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (7-10) weren’t feeling too festive. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (8-8) collected two singles through its first eight at-bats, and IronPigs starter Cesar Jimenez faced the minimum in five shutout frames as Lehigh Valley topped the RailRiders at PNC Field, 9-4. The IronPigs combined for 15 hits and used a four-run fifth inning to take the third game of the four-game series. The loss drops the RailRiders back to .500 and gives Lehigh Valley a 2-1 lead in the race for the IronRail trophy.
Caleb Cotham struck out five batters and retired his first seven faced before laboring through the fourth and fifth. Top Phillies prospect Maikel Franco began the fourth with a single and came around to score on a triple by Koyie Hill. The IronPigs catcher scored the final run of the inning after Reid Brignac doubled to right, his third extra-base hit of the series.
The deficit swelled in the fifth after Lehigh Valley sent eight men to the plate. Tyler Hensen began the attack with a double and, after Jose Toussan misplayed an infield fly, rounded the bases on a run-scoring extra-base hit by Franco. The double by Franco was part of a four-run fifth inning that pushed the IronPigs lead to six.
Lehigh Valley struck for three more runs in the seventh to thrust the game out of reach. Back-to-back singles by Clete Thomas and Franco began the inning, followed by three-straight singles and a sacrifice fly by Leandro Castro to score the IronPigs final three runs. The three-run frame extended Lehigh Valley’s lead to 9-0.
SWB avoided the shutout with a four-run ninth inning. Antoan Richard and Jose Pirela added consecutive hits and came around to score on an RBI single by Zoilo Almonte. After a Russ Canzler strikeout, Adonis Garcia and Ronnier Mustelier each followed with hits of their own to plate the RailRiders final two runs. The RailRiders sent eight-men to plate and combined for five of their nine hits in the inning before Francisco Arica grounded out to end the game. The four-run ninth inning was not enough as Lehigh Valley claimed its second win of the series.
SWB will look to split the series with Lehigh Valley with a win on Monday night. Cotham (0-1) was slated with his first loss of the season and Jimenez (1-0) received his first win.
The RailRiders will continue an eight-game homestand at PNC Field Monday, April 21 at 6:35 p.m. against Lehigh Valley. SWB sends right-hander Chris Leroux (0-1, 3.68) to the hill, while the IronPIgs right-hander David Buchanan (1-0, 2.65) gets the nod. John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show starting at 6:05 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:
- Adonis Garcia extended a team-best eight-game hitting streak with a single in the ninth
- The RailRiders manager Dave Miley (2007-Present; 573-444) remains one win shy of tying SWB Red Barons skipper Marc Bombard (1997-2004; 574-502) for the all-time wins lead in franchise history.
- Francisco Arcia was the only RailRider hitter to reach base twice
- The RailRiders offense went in one-two-three order in seven of the nine innings.