Last updated: April 04. 2013 12:09AM - 3116 Views

Gil Velazquez of the SWB Railriders connects on a pitch during batting practice at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. (PETE G. WILCOX/THE TIMES LEADER)
Gil Velazquez of the SWB Railriders connects on a pitch during batting practice at PNC Field in Moosic on Wednesday. (PETE G. WILCOX/THE TIMES LEADER)
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5:20 p.m., ribbon cutting ceremony at main gates
5:30 p.m., gates open
5:35 p.m., county commissioners plaque ceremony at University of Scranton Guest Services
6 p.m., pregame ceramonies begin
6:25 p.m., ceremonial first pitches
6:45 p.m., team introductions
7:01 p.m., National Anthem
7:05 p.m., first pitch
RailRiders versus Pawtucket Red Sox
Starting pitchers: RailRiders' LHP Vidal Nuno (9-5, 2.45 ERA in 2012 with Trenton) vs. Pawtucket RHP Steven Wright (10-7, 2.54 in 2012 with Akron, Portland and Pawtucket)
Giveaway: Fans leaving the stadium will receive a first pitch photo.
Promotion: Thursty Thursday with beer and Pepsi products costing just $1.
Fireworks: There will also be firework display after the game.
TV: The game can be seen live on WNEP
Radio: All games can be heard on WYCK 1340-AM, 100.7-FM

MOOSIC — Temperatures didn't get out of the 40s Wednesday night and a gusty wind swirled into PNC Field. But that didn't stop more than a thousand fans from going to Moosic to check out the $43 million renovation project.
As construction workers put the finishing touches on the stadium, fans were treated to a sneak peek of the restructured stadium and all its amenities Wednesday. It's an idea RailRiders president and general manager Rob Crain got at his previous stop with the Omaha Storm Chasers when the team went through a similar makeover, started on the road and hosted a high school baseball game at their newly-renovated stadium. To go along with the high school game, fans were able to get an early look at the stadium.
“Since we were staring at home this year we couldn't have a high school baseball game but we wanted to have some type of event for the public to come out and see the ballpark,” Crain said. “It also gives us a test run to make sure all the toilets flush and all the concession stands work and taking care of the little things.”
The gates opened at PNC Field at 5:30 p.m. and didn't close until 8:30 for a three-hour glimpse of the new facility. Some left after taking one walk all the way around. Others stayed for a longer period, getting some food or drink at one of the numerous concession stands that were open or to just take in the baseball music that was being played over the sound system.
The biggest attraction on the evening was the kids zone that appeared to have a long line from start to finish. The area, which is behind the batter's eye in center field, consists of games and activities including a huge 30-foot blowup of the team's original mascot, Champ featured as a bounce house. Kids can enjoy the features for $5 for the entire game. Quill's Club members have free admission to the area.
Youngsters also got to meet the two new mascots, a porcupine and a super hero. There was a contest earlier in the year to name Champ's two new friends. The name unveiling will occur during pregame festivities of tonight's home opener.
Not only could spectators get a tour of the new building, they watched the RailRiders take batting and fielding practice.
Some players were even set up at a table on the concourse signing autographs. It was a revolving door of players bundled up in team hoodies with big, right-handed pitcher Dellin Betances one of the first out there. Heck, Crain was even stopped to sign a picture a fan had taken to the stadium Wednesday night. It was a photo Crain and the fan took together at the name the team party in November.
“It's different. I feel like I made his picture a little less worthy because I wrote on it. But I'm happy to do whatever they like,” Crain said.
The lawn area for tonight's game will not be available. Due to the colder than normal weather, the sod hasn't been able to root itself yet and therefore will not be in use. General admission seating in the bleachers will be available for $8.
The forecasted high temperature for today is predicted to be in the mid 50s with clear and sunny skies. Last week, Crain issued a guarantee that the temperature would reach 60 degrees and if not, anyone in attendance will receive a free ticket to a Sunday through Thursday game the rest the season.
The forecast doesn't scare Crain and he's not backing down.
“It should be a fun time and I'm still sticking to my guarantee”
Fans will be notified sometime during today's game how high the temperature reached.

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