Good things come to those who wait. After waiting out a rain delay that lasted two hours, ten minutes on Sunday and forced the game’s continuation Monday morning, the RailRiders pulled out a 2-1 victory over Lehigh Valley, then posted a 4-1 victory in the ensuing seven-inning game. That did more than just give the RailRiders a feel-good finish to the 2014 season, it allowed them to pass Lehigh Valley for fifth place in the International League North Division. It also gave the RailRiders a 68-76 record, preventing the worst mark in team history. So no playoffs this season for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but at least it was a fantastic finish.
RailRiders at the plate: Kyle Roller ended the season on a roll, collecting two hits in each of the RailRiders final two games and playing a big part of both victories over Lehigh Valley. Roller’s double in the fourth inning played big when Austin Romine ripped his sixth homer of the season two batters later. Romine went 3 for 3 in the regular game. Scott Sizemore added a solo homer, Carmen Angelini added a double and Taylor Dugas had a hit and a sacrifice fly which set the final score. Hits were hard to come by Sunday against Lehigh Valley starter Sean O’Sullivan, but fortunately for the RailRiders, one of them was a home run by Roller. Roller also beat a shift with an opposite-field, check-swing single past third base. John Ryan Murphy had the other two hits against O’Sullivan, a single and a ground-rule double. When the suspended game resumed Monday morning, Rob Refsnyder came off the bench to pound a game-winning RBI double.
RailRiders on the mound: Nik Turley threw a nice game, working five innings of one-run ball to pick up the victory in the regular game. Matt Tracy picked up his first save by pitching to scoreless innings and finishing things with a season-ending strikeout. In a patchwork effort between Sunday and Monday, the RailRiders bullpen pieced together a gem. Diego Moreno started and worked three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Danny Burawa followed with six strikeouts over 2 2/3 sparkling innings, allowing just one hit. Nick Rumelow held Lehigh Valley to two hits in 2 1/3 innings, but the last was Tyler Henson’s game-tying home run in the eighth inning. Tyler Webb picked up the pitching duties when the game resumed Monday and earned the victory after striking out all three batters he faced in the ninth inning.
Riding the Rails: Catcher John Ryan Murphy and pitcher Preson Claiborne were both headed to New York after Monday’s season finale as big league callups by the parent New York Yankees. Relief pitcher Burawa was promoted to the RailRiders from Double-A Trenton on Sunday, and pitched well upon his return to the RailRiders. To make room on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster, pitcher Zach Nuding was transferred to Trenton.
Suspended Game Attendance: 8,132
Regular Game Attendance: 7,565
Season Attendance: 401,618
Time of Suspended Game: 2:38 (2:10 rain delay)
Time of Regular Game: 2:00
HOW THEY SCORED
RAILRIDERS SECOND: Kyle Roller drove a long shot beyond the second retaining fence and onto the grassy hill in dead center field for his 17th homer of the season for the RailRiders. RAILRIDERS 1-0.
LEHIGH VALLEY EIGHTH: Tyler Henson led off with a game-tying home run to right-center field. TIED 1-1.
RAILRIDERS NINTH: Adonis Garcia was hit by a pitch, and one out later, raced home from first base on Rob Refsnyder’s shooting double into the right-center field gap. RAILRIDERS 2, LEHIGH VALLEY 1
RAILRIDERS FOURTH: Kyle Roller slammed a double to center field, and two batters later, Austin Romine’s drive slammed the top of the center field wall and bounded over for a two-run home run. RAILRIDERS 2-0.
LEHIGH VALLEY FIFTH: Cameron Rupp doubled, moved to third base when Nate Spears singled to left field and rode home on Tyler Henson’s sacrifice fly. RAILRIDERS 2-1.
RAILRIDERS SIXTH: Scott Sizemore led off by walloping a home run into the left field bullpen. Romine singled and moved to third base when Carmen Angelini drove a double high off the left field wall. Taylor Dugas lifted a long sacrifice fly to send Romine home. RAILRIDERS 4-1.