LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders led by as many as six and owned a five-run lead in the ninth. But the host Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds) roared back to deadlock the game and force free baseball before a Kyle Roller home run and a perfect inning from Nick Goody gave the RailRiders an 8-7 win in 11 innings at Louisville Slugger Field on Thursday night.
SWB (49-44) scored six runs against prospect starter Robert Stephenson starting with a two-run homer by Aaron Judge in the first inning, his second at Triple-A. A four-run fifth saw run-scoring contact by Ben Gamel, Jose Pirela, Ramon Floresfor a 6-0 advantage. That seemed to be enough thanks to a fourth straight quality start by Kyle Davies who allowed two runs on four hits in his six frames.
Then came the ninth. Pirela singled Gamel home in the top half of the inning for a gaudy 7-2 lead. But in the home ninth, the Bats (45-48) sent a man to the plate 10 times and scored five runs with the Chris Dominguez’s tying tally hitting the plate thanks to Pirela’s second error of the game.
Nick Rumbelow started the inning out of the bullpen but recorded one out while allowing four runs on three hits and a walk. Caleb Cotham (1-0) blew the save as he allowed an inherited runner to cross along with the unearned game-tying score on his own line.
But in the 11th Roller, coming off an outstanding showing in the Triple-A All-Star Game, smashed a no-doubter to right for his team-leading 13th home run and the 8-7 margin that would go final. In the bottom half of the inning, Goody jumped ahead of all three hitters he faced 0-2 and struck each man out for his first career Triple-A save.
The four-game series continues at 7:05 p.m. on Friday with veteran right-hander Esmil Rogers (0-0, 3.63) facing southpaw Tony Cingrani (0-0, 0.00). The RailRiders will give away a special copy of Yankees Magazine to the first 2,500 fans in attendance on Friday, July 24, when the team hosts the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers). For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.