SYRACUSE, N.Y. – In his first plate appearance of the game, Emmanuel Burriss delivered an RBI single through the right-side hole as the host Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A/Washington Nationals) bested the SWB RailRiders in 11 innings on Labor Day Monday, 5-4. The IL North champion RailRiders concluded the regular season at 81-63 while the Chiefs finished at 66-78.
Syracuse used homers to plate each of its first three runs. Matt Skole launched a solo shot to right in the second off starter Chaz Hebert for a 1-0 margin. Ali Castillo’s broken-bat single drove Jake Cave home in the fifth for a 1-1 draw and Castillo’s seventh-inning double scored Cito Culver for a brief 2-1 SWB lead.
The Chiefs responded in the bottom half of the inning when former RailRider and New York Yankee Scott Sizemore blasted a two-run homer to left-center against reliever Jonathan Holder for a 3-2 score.
Castillo struck again in the ninth with an RBI that sent pinch-runner Ben Gamel home for a 3-3 draw. In the 11th, Castillo singled to left-center to push Cave across the plate as the RailRiders claimed a 4-3 lead. That all changed in the home 11th. With one out, Steve Lerud reached on an infield hit, Jose Lozada walked and Issac Ballou flied out to right. A pitching change brought Andury Acevedo into the game. The hard-throwing right-hander would not record an out. He walked Sizemore to load the bases, walked Jason Martinson to tie the game and allowed Burriss contact to end it.
Holder (0-1), who became the RailRiders’ IL record-tying 75th different player used this season, suffered the loss while Acevedo endured his first blown save. Summoned up from Short Season-A earlier in the day, reliever Connor Overton (1-0) got the win for Syracuse.
In Louisville, the Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates) blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth for a 3-2 loss that cemented the playoff picture. The Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) won the IL West while Indy claimed the wild-card spot and will face SWB in the opening round. The IL South champion Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) will oppose the Clippers.
The RailRiders will open their first-round playoff series at Indianapolis on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. SWB right-hander Kyle Haynes (3-2, 4.54) will face a to-be-announced starter for the Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates). The RailRiders will host Game 3 of the series at PNC Field on Friday, Sept. 11 at 6:35 p.m. For tickets or more information, please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
The RailRiders tied the IL record for players used in a season at 75. Norfolk set the mark in 2012.
Former RailRider and New York Yankee Brennan Boesch delivered a pinch-hit two-run single for Louisville to beat Indianapolis.