My parents were in town, so that meant hitting up another Pigs game. The RailRiders were back in town. Being a rivalry, it feels like they are in town every other series.
A 2-2 game going into the 7th inning, the RailRiders kicked on in the offensive firepower. Dustin Fowler hit a 2-run bomb to right to make it a 4-2 game. Dylan Cozens singled in the bottom half for the Pigs to make it 4-3, but then it was back to work for the SWB offense. The 8th inning saw four runs scored for the RailRiders. Kyle Higashioka drew a bases-loaded walk, Donovan Solano and Cito Culver hit RBI singles and Tyler Wade hit a sac fly.
Hector Gomez doubled in Nick Williams to make it 8-4 in the 8th, but Higashioka lifted a 3-run shot to deep left to give the RailRiders an 11-4 victory. Bryan Mitchell saw limited action as the starter for SWB, as he went 2 2/3 allowing a run on 4 hits with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Greg Bird was on rehab for the RailRiders and was 2-5 with and RBI and two doubles. Tyler Austin and Cito Culver both had two hits on the night. Solano finished 3-5 with a double, three runs and an RBI. Tom Eshelman pitched 6 1/3 innings for the Pigs allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits with a walk and 6 strikeouts. Dylan Cozens went 3-5 with 2 RBI. Cam Perkins and J.P. Crawford each finished with two hits.
Greg Bird on rehab
Top prospect Gleyber Torres with a hit
With SWB back in town, so was Gary Sanchez on rehab assignment. I had to take advantage and go watch him play. It was an early 10:30am Education Day game.
Lehigh Valley struck first in the bottom half of the 1st inning when J.P. Crawford singled to center scoring Roman Quinn and giving the IronPigs an early 1-0 lead. Gary Sanchez tied the game in the 3rd on an RBI double. Two batters later, Clint Frazier doubled himself to score Sanchez and making it a 2-1 RailRiders lead. Rhys Hoskins got a run back to tie the game in the 4th on a sacrifice fly.
A 2-2 game in the 5th, Dustin Fowler singled to right to score Tyler Wade as SWB regained the lead 3-2. In the bottom of the inning, Logan Moore homered to tie it back up yet again, now at 3-3. The IronPigs took the lead in the 6th. Dylan Cozens singled to score Crawford and then Nick Williams hit an RBI single himself. The Pigs led 5-3 and went on to win by that score.
Ben Lively started for the Pigs and went 5 innings allowing 7 hits and 3 runs with a walk and 5 strikeouts. Seven of the nine starters for Lehigh Valley had a single hit on the day, accounting for all seven IronPigs hits. The RailRiders also finished with seven hits. Wade and Sanchez each finished 2-5 on the day. Brady Lail started for the RailRiders and went 5 1/3 giving up 5 runs on 4 hits with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Ben Lively, J.P. Crawford and Dylan Cozens
Gary Sanchez on his rehab assignment
A few guys from work and I made it over to Game 1 of the International League Playoffs between Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Lehigh Valley. It was a great pitching matchup between Jordan Montgomery and Ben Lively, and they didn’t disappoint.
It was a true pitcher’s duel. There was no score until the 8th when Mason Williams crushed a 2-run homer over the fence in right field. Lively was pulled after that hit, but pitched a heck of a game. He finished the night going 7 2/3 innings giving up the two runs on the homer with 5 hits, 1 walk and 8 strikeouts.
Jordan Montgomery and Dietrich Enns shut down the IronPigs. Montgomery threw a gem. He went 7 innings and gave up only 3 hits and 3 walks with 5 strikeouts picking up the win. Mason Williams was the bright spot on the RailRiders offense going 3-4 with the 2-run homer, providing the only offense of the night. Lehigh Valley only managed four hits and Brock Stassi had two of them, going 2-4 on the night. SWB took the series lead 1-0 over the Pigs.
Getting ready to begin the Triple-A IL Playoffs
With my brother in town for only one more day, we went down the road to check out an IronPigs game. They were playing Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the team we just went and saw a few night prior.
The scoring got started early for both teams. Ben Gamel homered to lead off the game giving SWB a 1-0 lead right out of the gate. Lehigh Valley responded in the bottom half, though, doubling up the RailRiders. Nick Williams tripled to drive in J.P. Crawford and then Darin Ruf singled in Williams and just like that the Pigs were on top 2-1 after one inning.
With the score still 2-1 in the 4th, Gamel was back at it. He singled to left scoring Mason Williams and tying up the game 2-2. In the 5th, Williams did it himself for the RailRiders, knocking in two runs on a double to make it a 4-2 SWB lead. J.P. Crawford drew a bases-loaded walk in the 6th to cut the lead in half at just 4-3. Kyle Higashioka hit into a fielder’s choice in the 9th that scored another run and ultimately give the RailRiders a 5-3 victory.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre finished with ten hits on the night as four players had two hits each (Gamel, Refsnyder, Solano and Williams). Of the eight IronPigs hits, Darin Ruf was the only one to have a multi-hit game (2-5, 1 RBI).
Phillies #1 prospect J.P. Crawford
My brother was in town and we decided to head on up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barres to check out a RailRiders game, as they faced off against Pawtucket.
Aside from the 4th inning, this was a pitcher’s duel. Jordan Montgomery, who I just saw in Trenton a month ago, was on the hill for SWB and he threw a gem. He went 7 innings allowing only 3 hits and a walk with 8 strikeouts. Henry Owens was supposed to start the game for the PawSox, but was called up to the bigs to make a start the next day, so he was scratched. Chandler Shepherd took his place. He pitched well until he ran into the 4th inning. With the bases loaded, Pete Kozma unloaded them with one swing delivering a 3-run double. Ben Gamel came up a few batters later and drove in Kozma with a single. The RailRiders were up 4-0 and that’s all they needed.
SWB won the game 4-0 behind Montgomery’s brilliant performance. The offense put up 13 hits. Rob Refsnyder led the way going 4-4 with a double and a run scored. Gamel, Kozma and Donovan Solano each finished the night going 2-4. Shepherd took the loss for Pawtucket going only 3 1/3 innings allowing 3 runs on 5 hits with 4 punch outs. Three PawSox batters each had a hit, but that’s all they could manage on the night.
A view of PNC Field before the game
First pitch from Jordan Montgomery