MOOSIC — Looking to turn their luck around, the RailRiders wore maroon hats with the scripted SWB logo for the first time this season during Wednesday night’s home game against Louisville.
While some parts of the team’s game improved, other aspects performed worst than average as the cap experiment didn’t do much damage.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre strung together 15 hits, but left 11 runners on base. RailRiders pitchers only allowed seven hits, but walked a season-high 10 batters against as the Bats defeated SWB 3-2 in 14 innings in the longest game of the season for the RailRiders. The game lasted 4 hours, 59 minutes surpassing the previous high this season which was 4:44 and 13 innings in a game played at Durham in April. The Bats won the game in the top of the 14th when they loaded the bases with no outs against outfielder Taylor Dugas — who pitched the last inning for the RailRiders —then scored the winning run.
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte got the start for the RailRiders and performed well, but stuck with the theme of the night. He went three hitless innings, but allowed three walks and one run. He walked the bases loaded in the top of the third before former RailRider Thomas Neal brought in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The RailRiders answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Rob Refsnyder tied the game with an unconventional double to score Taylor Dugas. Refsnyder skied the ball near the line in right. Bats rightfielder Felix Perez chased the ball and had it hit his glove before he crashed into the area of the wall in right that jets out as Refsnyder reached second. The next batter, Zoilo Almonte doubled to center scoring Refsnyder as the RailRiders opened a 2-1 lead.
Louisville equaled the score at 2-2 in the top of the fifth on a run-scoring single by Donald Lutz against left-hander Jeremy Bleich, who walked five in three innings of work.
The left-handed Bleich was also part of a strange sequence in the top of the sixth.
On consecutive pitches to Ray Navarro, the Louisville shortstop hit catcher Jose Gil with a backswing in the catcher’s mask. RailRiders trainer Darren London and manager Dave Miley came out and Gil stayed in the game. On the very next pitch, Navarro hit a liner to the mound that got pitcher Jeremy Bleich in the groin. Bliech fired to first for the out then hunched over in pain. He also stayed in the game to finish the inning.
Notes: RailRiders first baseman Kyle Roller continued his streaking month with a single in the second inning. Roller has five homers this month which is tied for most in all of Triple-A and is third in all of the minors entering Wednesday. …The RailRiders nine walks were a season-high with the previous high this season being eight. The most the team allowed last season was 10.