Moosic, Pa. - Casey Stevenson was officially added to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) roster just hours before Saturday afternoon's game, but made an instant impact in his Triple-A debut. His ninth inning home run sent the RailRiders home winners after 11 innings in walk-off fashion over the Norfolk Tides (Baltimore Orioles) in game one of Saturday's split doubleheader, 6-4. Stevenson finished the game with two home runs and three total hits.
The RailRiders and Tides entered the 11th inning tied at four. Dan Johnson began the frame by hitting the ball hard to center field, but it was caught by Xavier Avery. Cody Grice followed with a hard single to left field. Grice's base hit setup the walk-off home run by Stevenson, who slammed a pitch from Andy Loomis over the right field wall. It was just Stevenson's fourth total home run of the year, and his second walk-off. He hit a three-run, game-winning home run for Advanced-A Tampa on May 24, also his first day with the team.
The RailRiders started the scoring with two runs in the first. Corey Patterson led off with a double to left-center field. Following a walk to J.R. Murphy, Fernando Martinez singled to right to drive home Patterson and move Murphy to third base. Murphy scored when Randy Ruiz grounded out to second base.
Stevenson extended the SWB lead to 3-0 with his first career Triple-A hit, a home run off of Norfolk starter Daniel McCutchen.
Norfolk got on the board with one run in the sixth. After Zelous Wheeler reached on a fielder's choice, Brandon Waring moved him to third with a double. Wheeler scored on Brandon Wood's sacrifice fly to left field.
An NEPA native tied the game in the seventh. After Trayvon Robinson and L.J. Hoes reached, Berwick, Pa. native and Hazleton product Russ Canzler clubbed a three-run home run to left field. It was Canzler's 11th of the season, and leveled the score at four. That line held up until Stevenson's second home run of the game in the 11th.
Caleb Cotham turned in a solid starting outing for SWB. He worked six innings, and scattered seven hits while conceding just one run. He walked one batter, and struck out five. Yoshinori Tateyama (1-0) made his RailRider debut after being acquired by New York from Texas on Friday. He worked the final two and one-third innings for SWB to earn the victory.
McCutchen was making a spot start for Norfolk, and lasted just three innings. He struck out six, but allowed three earned runs. Loomis (2-2) tossed two and one-third innings, and allowed the two-run homer to Stevenson in the 11th to get the loss.
The RailRiders and Tides will play the night portion of their doubleheader later on tonight, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Country Night will be celebrated at the ballpark, and the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo will entertain fans in addition to the baseball. Graham Stoneburner (2-3, 4.46) will get the starting nod for SWB, and he'll be opposed by Jake Arrieta (3-3, 5.50).
- SWB RailRiders - All Aboard! -
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.