ALLENTOWN, PA (September 8, 2018) - The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders topped the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 7-2 in 10 innings to advance to the International League Governor's Cup Championship Series. A grand slam by Bruce Caldwell in the top of the tenth pushed the RailRiders ahead to clinch their semifinal series against Lehigh Valley, the IL North Champion, three wins to one loss.
The RailRiders took a 1-0 lead in the third against Ranger Suarez. The right-hander allowed a leadoff single to Francisco Diaz and hit Mark Payton with a pitch. A wild pitch advanced both into scoring position and a Giovanny Urshela groundout plated Diaz for a 1-0 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre edge.
Mike King made the lead stick over the first four innings. After allowing back-to-back base hits in the first, the right-hander retired 12 straight, including five consecutive batters on strikeouts between the fourth and fifth. Lehigh Valley, however, tied the game on an error and two singles in the bottom of the fifth.
In the sixth, Danny Ortiz lined an 0-1 pitch from King over the high wall in right to give the IronPigs a 2-1 lead.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tied the game in the top of the ninth with two outs, Shane Robinson reached on an infield single and Quintin Berry scored from second to even the score at two and pin a blown save on Pedro Beato.
The RailRiders loaded the bases in the top of the tenth. Payton scored on an infield groundout by Ryan McBroom to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 3-2 advantage. With two down and the bases loaded again, Caldwell lined a 1-0 pitch from Tom Windle over the right field wall to seal the deal.
Raynel Espinal (1-0) worked 2.1 innings for the win while Ranfi Casimiro (1-1) was charged with four of the five runs in the tenth in the loss.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre moves on to face the Durham Bulls in the International League Governor's Cup finals, which are slated to begin on Tuesday, September 11, at PNC Field. Tickets are on sale now at swbrailriders.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.