MOOSIC — For the second consecutive night, the RailRiders’ night was cut short due to heavy thunderstorms.
On Tuesday night, at least they finally finished Monday’s suspended game before rain and strong winds along with thunder and lightning bulldozed on top of PNC Field.
But now, after an 11-6 loss to Charlotte wrapped up, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is in another pitching predicament as the second game of Tuesday night’s scheduled twinbill will now be played today starting at 11:35 a.m., meaning the team will play consecutive doubleheaders with Rochester coming to town for two games on Thursday.
When Monday’s game was suspended in the fourth inning, it meant RailRiders manager Dave Miley could have seen the light at the end of the tunnel with a bullpen that has been taxed recently, throwing 23 1/3 innings in the last four games. Now, Miley will have to get at least 28 innings from his pitching staff over a 36-hour period.
On Tuesday, the RailRiders got a much-needed lift from Edgmer Escalona, who came on to pitch the top of the fifth when play resumed. The right-hander, who was signed by the team on July 2, pitched in his third game with the team and went three scoreless innings, holding one of the top offenses in the International League in check.
His pitching helped the SWB catch up as it trailed 6-3 entering play on Tuesday. And the RailRiders did indeed catch up, plating three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and could have had more.
Yangervis Solarte — who remained red hot with the club since joining the team on July 5 going 8 for 13 (.615) — singled in a run in the frame, while Zoilo Almonte tripled one in to tie the score 6-6.
In between those hits, Rob Refsnyder doubled to right field and Taylor Dugas was nailed at the plate trying to score on the hit. Refsnyder later scored on a wild pitch.
But it seemed like only a matter of time until Charlotte got its offense going. That happened in the top of the eighth when the Knights scored four times off Diego Moreno (1-2) and tacked on another in the ninth against Danny Burawa to secure the victory.
The game ended about 30 minutes before the nasty weather moved into the area and didn’t stop until late in the evening, prompting the game to be postponed. When the strong storm first started, fans were sent running for shelter on the concourse.
Notes: After the game — in what was supposed to be in between games — members of the RailRiders front office and a few players including Burawa and Nik Turley got their heads shaved to benefit the Vs. cancer foundation, an organization that benefits kids fighting cancer. The team raised $8,944 with Jeremy Ruby, executive vice president of operations raising the most as of Tuesday night with $2,264. Rob Crain, the team’s president and general manager was next, raising $1,945.