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Wilmer Difo walks it off for Scranton in an electric win. (SWB RailRiders)


Ridin’ High into the Break: Scranton Recap

Game 1: Jhony Brito (1-1, 7.80 ERA) vs Nick Nelson (0-1, 4.50 ERA)

The 4th of July is here, and a sellout crowd was on hand to see the RailRiders take on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Jhony Brito toed the slab to try and keep the RailRiders hot in their second half start.

One of the big stories was the call up of Everson Pereira from Somerset. Pereira, the Yankees number 4 overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline, wasted no time as he launched a 3-run missile over the center field wall. 

Brito was pitching well until the 5th when the IronPigs were able to put up 2 runs against Brito with a fielder’s choice and single cutting the Scranton lead to 3-2.

In the top of the 7th the IronPigs tied the game up on a fielder’s choice given up by Michael Gomez, who came on for Brito in the 6th. Gomez wound up giving up two more runs on a single and a sac-fly in the top of the 8th and, just like that, Scranton was down 5-3.

After the Pereira 3 run shot, the RailRiders offense went dormant. Down 5-3 in the bottom of the 8th, Scranton was threatening with runners at the corners with no outs. Carlos Narvaez immediately grounded into a double play that did score a run but ended a potentially big inning.

The RailRiders did load the bases in the bottom of the 9th, setting the stage up for some 4th of July fireworks. Oswald Peraza grounded into a double play and Pereira grounded out to end the game and comeback for Scranton. This was a disappointing loss for a team that has been playing so well; they will need to forget this heart breaker fast, though, as Will Warren and the crew are back at it Wednesday night for Game 2.

Game 2: Will Warren (3-3, 5.22 ERA) vs. TJ Zeuch (3-3, 4.96 ERA)

Will Warren got the start in this one and showed why he is one of the Yankees top pitching prospects. Warren went 5.2 innings allowing only 2 hits and struck out 6 in route to getting his 4th Triple A win.

The offense tonight was nothing short of electrifying. Every RailRider in the game reached base at least once. Andres Chaparro went yard as one of the big blows in this one, as Scranton routed the IronPigs 14-0. Chaparro went 3-4 and had 6 RBIs in the game leading the way.

Everson Pereira also continued his hot start with Scranton going 2-4 and driving in 2 runs, as well. He has quickly become a fan favorite, as people are even calling for him to just be moved up to the bigs due to the Yankees’ lack of offense. Obviously, it is still too early for that to happen but, if this continues, he may force their hands.

The shutout was the 2nd of the year by Somerset pitching. It was a great bounce back by the team after a heartbreaking loss in front of the first sellout crowd in years the day before

Game 3: Mitch Spence (6-4, 4.63 ERA) vs. Drew Hutchinson (0-1, 8.10 ERA)

For the second straight game in a row, the Scranton bats came to life and absolutely routed Lehigh Valley in an offensive explosion. 

Mitch Spence got the start and, right off the bat, gave up a home run to the second batter he faced; Scranton found themselves down early in the 1st inning 1-0. In the 4th inning, Scranton started to show life. There were 3 straight walks to load the bases, and the RailRiders were in business. A chopper back to the mound that resulted in a throwing error at home plate gave Scranton their first 2 runs of the game. 

The inning continued with Jesus Bastidas launching a 2-run bomb that went 441 feet, which was then followed by a Brandon Lockridge double. Estevan Florial then came to the plate and raked his 21st home run of the year, which then gave Scranton a 7-1 lead and blew the game wide open. 

The RailRiders continued to pour it on for the rest of the game with Ben Rortvedt hitting 2 long balls himself. Franchy Cordero also had 3 RBIs in this one, finishing the game 3-4. It seemed like just about every single RailRider was showing out for the Thursday night crowd.

Mitch Spence (W, 7-4) impressed with 7.2 innings on 103 pitches, both the most of his career. He allowed just two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Blas Castano, who was just called up from Somerset, finished off the eighth and ninth scoreless. The Railriders ran away with this one, winning by a score of 18-2. Scranton has now outscored Lehigh Valley 32-2 in the last two games.

Game 4: Zach Greene (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Bailey Falter (2-0, 5.79 ERA)

The RailRiders looked to build off their hot start to the second half of the season when Zach Greene took the mound for game 4. After the first 3 batters of the game, Scranton already found themselves down 2-0. In the 5th inning, DJ Snelton came on to give up 5 more runs. Just like that, Scranton was down 7-0 through 5 innings. 

If the last two games have told us anything, it’s that this Scranton offense can come to life at any moment. In the 6th inning, the RailRiders got on the board when Carlos Narvaez drove in Everson Pereira and cut the score to 7-1. The 7th inning is where that Electric City magic came to life. With two outs in the 7th, the RailRiders loaded the bases and Everson Pereira cut the deficit to 4 runs with a 2 RBI single. Scranton did not stop there, as Narvaez and Jamie Westbrook were both hit by pitches and Jesus Bastidas walked to load the bases once again.

Michael Hermosillo dug into the box and, with one swing of the bat, drilled a grand slam to deep left field and tied the game at 7. The game remained deadlocked at 7, and there was some Friday night free baseball on hand at PNC Park. In the top of the 10th inning, the IronPigs quickly took back the lead on an RBI double and were 3 outs away from escaping a collapse. With Westbrook starting as the ghost runner on second, the first two RailRiders failed to get him in to tie the game. Wilmer Difo was Scranton’s last chance to tie the game and quickly was down 0-2 in the count. He worked the count back to 2-2 and, with Scranton down to its last strike, Difo belted a walk-off two-run home run to left field sending the PNC crowd into bedlam. 

Scranton capped off a dramatic comeback win and improved to 7-2 to start the second half of the season. Everson Pereira has been incredible since being called up from Somerset, having multi-hit games in each of his starts in Scranton. Tanner Tully will take the ball in game 5, looking to clinch the series win.

Game 5: Tanner Tully (5-3, 4.94 ERA) vs. Nick Nelson (0-1, 5.75 ERA)

The RailRiders looked to clinch a series win on Saturday as Tanner Tully got the start and looked to get his win count up to 6. Unfortunately for Tully, the IronPigs jumped out to an early 1-0 as Jake Cave went yard before most fans could even find their seats. 

Tully went 6 innings allowing 5 runs but only 2 of them were earned. He took the loss as the Scranton offense unfortunately failed to get anything going in this one. While they had been lighting up the scoreboard the past 3 games, they managed to pull together only 3 hits the entire game and scored only one run on a Jamie Westbrook solo shot in the 7th. 

The only other RailRiders to get hits were Florial (1 for 4) and Pereira (1 for 3), both of which were singles. Everson Pereira remains a bright spot, as his batting average is now .529 since joining Triple-A. 

Even though Tully got the loss, his ERA dropped to 4.80 after only allowing 2 earned runs. Following Tully was Somerset call up Zac Houston, who had been dominating for the Patriots this season. Houston wound up going 1.1 innings, allowing 1 earned run after giving up 4 hits. While this was not the Zac Houston we have grown accustomed to, the Scranton fans are in for a treat as he has shown he has big league stuff. 

Scranton went on to lose 6-1 in what wound up being the series finale, as game 6 was postponed due to rain. The RailRiders go into the All-Star Break tied for first in their division at 7-3 and look to continue their hot streak when they return to the diamond on Friday in Norfolk.

The Futures Game was also this week and Clayton Beeter made a solid appearance going .2 IP and striking out a batter for the AL Futures team.

Written By

Father, Husband, Baseball Writer

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