MOOSIC, Pa. (April 9, 2018) - The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 5-3 on Monday night at PNC Field. The RailRiders were helped to victory in the opening game of the 2018 IronRail series by a season-high 10 strikeouts from their pitching staff.
In the bottom of the first, Kyle Higashioka got the RailRiders on the board in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run to dead center. The round-tripper was the second of the year in three games played for Higashioka, who hit nine home runs in 30 games last season.
Daniel Camarena was strong in his first start of the season for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The southpaw threw 4.1 scoreless innings, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out three. When he was removed with runners on first and second in the top of the fifth, Raynel Espinal entered and retired the side.
Espinal was not as fortunate in the sixth, where he was touched up for a run on a Joey Meneses RBI single which cut the RailRiders lead to 2-1.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre struck back in the bottom of the sixth for a run against Ranfi Casimiro. Mike Ford led off the inning with a hustle double to left, and two batters later Billy Fleming drove him in with a single. Fleming now has at least one RBI in all four games this season.
Jonathan Holder made his 2018 RailRiders debut in the top of the seventh and allowed a two-run home run to Danny Ortiz to knot the game at three. Holder (1-0) was solid in his 2.0 innings of work, striking out four.
In the bottom of the seventh Scranton/Wilkes-Barre regained the lead when Gleyber Torres legged out a triple to left center and scored on a sacrifice fly from Higashioka. The RailRiders lead expanded to 5-3 in the eighth on an RBI single from Zack Zehner. Fleming, Ford, and Zehner all recorded two-hit games for the RailRiders, while Cody Asche reached base safely three times out of the leadoff spot.
Anyelo Gomez set the IronPigs down 1-2-3 in the ninth to record his first save of the season and seal the win.
The RailRiders continue their three-game series with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm. RHP Brody Koerner (first start) will start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, while RHP Enyel de los Santos (first start) takes the bump for Lehigh Valley. For tickets and more information, call (570) 969-2255 or slide to www.swbrailriders.com/tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.