Moosic, Pa. - A back-and-forth ballgame went the way for the first-place Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) Saturday night at PNC Field. Carlos Moncrief and Audy Ciriaco delivered crushing back-to-back home run in the eighth inning against reliever Pat Venditte to erase a one-run Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) lead en route to a 5-3 win. The loss extended SWB's (57-63) current skid to six games, the longest of the season. Columbus (65-56) improved its current run of success to four-straight wins.
The two teams combined for five early runs in the first three frames. Antoan Richardson led off the home first with a single and stole second before scoring on Zoilo Almonte's base hit to left. After Columbus plated a run in the second on Matt Carnes' two-out base knock, Rob Segedin's sacrifice fly to right plated Corban Joseph from third to push the RailRiders' back ahead in the second, 2-1.
Columbus had a response, this time using a bouncing ball fielder's choice by Moncrief to plate Giovanny Urshela who doubled to open the frame. Richardson scored SWB's go-ahead run by threading his fourth triple of the season down the right-field line. Rob Refsnyder's bloop base hit to right-center field followed to plate Richardson from third for the 3-2 lead after three complete.
Zach Nuding received the start, twirling five innings and allowing two runs on six hits before giving way to Venditte in the sixth. Venditte (2-4) retired each of his first six batters faced before allowing the two home runs to Moncrief and Ciriaco in the loss. Josh Outman (2-1) worked a perfect seventh inning in relief of starter Toru Murata in the win. Austin Adams (4) worked around successive walks to Kyle Roller and Zelous Wheeler in the ninth inning to secure the save.
The RailRiders continue the eight-game home swing with the series finale against the Columbus Clippers, August 10 at 1:05 p.m. SWB will start left-hander Nik Turley (1-2, 6.43) while the Clippers counter with right-hander Tyler Cloyd (9-6, 4.03). John Sadak and Aaron Berlin will have the call on radio with the pregame show beginning at 12:35 p.m. on NEPA Sports Radio - The GAME, Northeast PA's largest sports radio network: 100.7 FM, 1340 WYCK-AM, 1400 WICK-AM, 1440 WCDL-AM and 106.7 FM. For season ticket information, single-game tickets or to book a ballpark group outing, call (570) 969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
Carlos Moncrief and Audy Ciriaco's successive home runs off Pat Venditte in the eighth marked the second time a team has turned the trick against SWB this year, with the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) accomplishing the feat on May 3 against Zach Nuding. That day Xavier Paul and Brett Wallace went back-to-back before chasing Nuding from the ballgame.
SWB has now lost each of the seven meetings this season against the Columbus Clippers and each of the last 14 meetings between the two clubs dating back to last season. During the seven-game run the Clippers have outscored the RailRiders 78-34.
SWB's current six-game slide marks the club's longest run this season without a win, topping a five-game skid from June 10-15, a stall started with an extra-inning home loss to the Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers) followed by a four-game sweet at Columbus.
- SWB RailRiders - All Aboard! -