Charlotte, N.C. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) withstood a pair of late-inning rallies by the Charlotte Knights to grab a 5-4 win on Friday night. The RailRiders (11-12) earned their second victory at BB&T Ballpark (opened in 2014). The Knights fell to 13-8.
Joel De La Cruz (2-0) picked up the win in relief after dealing 3.1 scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out one. Nick Rumbelow earned his second save by tossing the final 1.2 innings. He allowed a run on five hits. He struck out two in the ninth with the tying run in scoring position.
Shawn Haviland (0-2) shouldered the loss for Charlotte after allowing four runs on five hits in six innings. He fanned six and walked one. The right-hander was perfect through three, but ran into trouble in the fourth. Jose Pirela and Ramon Flores set the table with two hits around a pair of outs. Tyler Austin was plunked on the side, loading the bases for Ben Gamel. SWB’s center fielder connected on single to center that score two. Austin Romine followed with a two-run double for a 4-0 lead.
Charlotte responded with two in the last of the fourth. The Knights sliced the deficit to one in the eighth when Jason Coats brought in Dan Black with a hit off Rumbelow.
Flores provided a pivotal insurance run in the ninth, scoring Jonathan Galvez from second on a single to center. The two-out knock came off reliever Maikel Cleto, who had not allowed a run in his prior six outings.
The Knights’ offense sparked one last time in the ninth against Rumbelow. Sanchez doubled to left and moved to third on a deep flyout to right by Neftali Soto. Matt Davidson scored Sanchez with a hit and moved to second on a bloop single by Trayce Thompson.
The RailRiders’ right-hander bounced back to whiff Dan Black and Engel Beltre to preserve the victory.
The RailRiders continue their series against the Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) on Saturday. First pitch at BB&T Ballpark is set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Jaron Long (0-1, 6.1) goes for SWB against RHP Chris Beck (0-1, 5.31) of Charlotte. The RailRiders return to PNC Field on May 5 to host the Gwinnett Braves at 6:35 p.m. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
–The first timer violation occurred in the fourth inning at 7:49 p.m. when Charlotte’s Shawn Haviland was charged an automatic ball.
–Jose Pirela finished the night 3-for-5 and now owns four hits and a .444 average in his rehab stint with SWB.
-Starter Matt Tracy pitched 3.1 innings (5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, K) and has left both starts with a lead (SWB 2-0).
-Ben Gamel’s two RBI tie him with Slade Heathcott (11) for the team lead.