Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Week Ahead

May 25. 2013 11:31PM

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Here’s a look at what the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders will encounter in the next seven days.

Norfolk Tides

The RailRiders venture out another road trip starting tomorrow when they head to Norfolk for four and then to Durham for four more as the team continues a stretch of 18 of 24 games away from PNC Field. SWB will try to improve on a horrid road trip that ended last week when it went 1-7 through Ohio.

But it won’t get any easier from a toughness standpoint.

This trip begins with an afternoon tilt Monday when they take on Norfolk at Harbor Park. They will run into the first-place team in the I.L. South Division. The Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles entered Saturday with the second-best record in the International League.

The Tides also have an old friend on the squad in Hazleton Area grad Russ Canzler, who at one point during the offseason was part of the Yankees organization. But after being designated for assignment, he latched on with the Orioles and was soon assigned to Triple-A. The outfielder/infielder/designated hitter is batting .276 this season with seven home runs, 26 runs, 28 RBI and an on base percentage of .380. His home runs, RBI, runs scored, total bases (78), hits (48) and slugging percentage (.448) would all lead the RailRiders’ regulars.

Durham Bulls

Once the RailRiders leave Norfolk after Thursday’s game, they will go a little more south to face Durham at Durham Bulls Athletic Park for a four-gamer from Friday through Monday to close out the season series.

The Bulls, who are leaving Moosic after today’s afternoon contest, entered Saturday’s games outscoring the RailRiders 17-9 in the series’ first two games. Not too far apart, but in the first four innings of those games Durham has plated 14 runs to SWB’s two.

While the RailRiders’ bullpen had problems on the latest road trip, it’s been the starting pitching that’s struggled in the first half of this weekend’s Durham series against the high-powered offense.

A Memorial Day Bash

There are a few days on the calendar in which baseball is meant to be played. Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

While the RailRiders will be on the road this week, PNC Field will continue that tradition hosting a day of baseball on Monday when four PIAA District 2 championship games will be held. The action begins at 10 a.m. and the final game of the day is set for 7 p.m. The last game is the one which consists of the only team from Luzerne County going for a district title. That game is the Class 4A contest pitting Wyoming Valley West versus Scranton.

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