MOOSIC, Pa – As Chase Whitley stymied the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on the mound, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders put together clutch hits to back their starter in a 3-2 triumph Wednesday night at PNC Field. The RailRiders (7-7) took a 2-1 advantage in the “IronRail Series” while Lehigh Valley dipped to 4-10 on the year.
Whitley (2-0) limited the IronPigs to a run on six hits across six innings for the victory. As a staff, RailRiders pitching allowed one walk the entire night while totaling five strikeouts. Jose Ramirez worked the final 1.2 innings for his first save. Adam Morgan (0-2) shouldered the loss for Lehigh Valley despite throwing seven innings. The southpaw allowed three runs on seven hits. He struck out three.
Slade Heathcott sparked the offense in the opening stanza on a double to right. With two out, Tyler Austin walloped a single to left that scored Heathcott for a 1-0 lead.
The IronPigs quickly knotted the score in the top of the third. Chris McGuiness beat out an infield single with one away and moved to third on a fielding error by third baseman Cole Figueroa. Tommy Joseph reached on the miscue. Chris Nelson followed with a hit to left, bringing in home McGuiness.
The game remained deadlocked until the last of the fifth. Ben Gamel earned his first of two hits with a single. Austin Romine laced a grounder inside the bag at third and into the left-field corner. Gamel came around to score from first for a 2-1 advantage. With two away, Heathcott bounced an infield hit to second for his third knock. That allowed Romine across the dish for a 3-1 cushion.
Lehigh Valley made one last surge in the eighth inning. Against reliever Jacob Lindgren, Domonic Brown worked a walk and moved to second on an error by first baseman Rob Segedin. Ramirez came on to face pinch hitter Russ Canzler, but allowed a hit to left. With the bases loaded, Joseph bounced a grounder to first. Segedin recorded the out unassisted, but Brown crossed home to slice the lead to one. Nelson followed with a deep drive to right-center. Austin made an acrobatic catch for a sliding Heathcott to retire the side.
In the ninth, Brian Bogusevic laid down a perfect, two-out bunt to extend the game. However, the speedy outfielder for the IronPigs was thrown out attempting to swipe second to end the game.
The RailRiders host the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) for the first of four games on Thursday night. First pitch at PNC Field is set for 6:35 p.m. For more information please call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.