Brady Lail came through when the RailRiders need him most, delivered 2-1 series lead

By DJ Eberle - [email protected] | September 9th, 2017 11:31 pm

T.L. EXPRESS

Today’s Games: The RailRiders continue their best-of-five series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. in Moosic.

Probable Pitchers: SWB LHP Nestor Cortes (2-4, 1.49 ERA) vs. LHV RHP Jacob Waguespack (9-7, 3.42 in A+/AA)

On Radio: The Game (1400-AM, 1440-AM, 106.7-FM)

HOW THEY SCORED

LEHIGH VALLEY FOURTH: Brock Stassi homers to deep left. LEHIGH VALLEY 1-0

RAILRIDERS FOURTH: Mason Williams singles to left. Donovan Solano doubles to the left field corner, Williams scores. Billy McKinney grounds out to second, Solano advances to third. Miguel Andujar hits a sacrifice fly to right center, Solano scores. RAILRIDERS 2-1

RAILRIDERS FIFTH: Kyle Higashioka works a walk. Mark Payton singles down the first base line, Higashioka to third. Jonathan Diaz hits a sacrifice fly to deep left, Higashioka scores. RAILRIDERS 3-1

RAILRIDERS SIXTH: Donovan Solano reaches on an infield single. Billy McKinney homers to deep right, Solano scores. RAILRIDERS 5-1

RAILRIDERS SEVENTH: Jonathan Diaz works a walk. Mason Williams singles to right, Diaz to third. Donovan Solano singles to left, Diaz scores and Williams to second. RAILRIDERS 6-1

MOOSIC — In the pivotal Game 3 of a deadlocked first-round series with the rival Lehigh Valley IronPigs, manager Al Pedrique and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders put the ball, and their faith, in Brady Lail.

The 24-year-old right-hander delivered with one of his strongest outings of the season.

Lail pitched six innings of one-run baseball, while the RailRiders backed him up at the plate, en route to a 6-1 victory over the IronPigs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre took the 2-1 edge in the best-of-five Governors’ Cup first-round series.

“I wanted the ball so bad. I was itching for it in Lehigh, even that long extra-inning game. I wanted to get out there,” Lail said. “It’s just so nice because I know this team’s been picking me up so much on a rough year. I wanted to go out there and leave everything I had, just to prove to guys that I’m still here and I love them and it’s ours to win. I wanted to make sure everybody knew that I’m out here for the playoffs to get going. I was just excited to get the win and these guys played their hearts out behind me.”

While Lail was effective much of the night, he was tested often by Lehigh Valley.

The IronPigs got runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings, including in the fourth and fifth when they had runners on the corners and two men in scoring position, respectively. However, Lail was able to pitch out of trouble each time.

Lehigh Valley’s lone run came on a Brock Stassi lead-off fourth-inning, home run. But Lail was able to bounce back and finish the frame.

“It’s back to that hard-nose, trying to get ahead, make them get themselves out, trying to stop being so fine on the edges and all the sudden I was trying to throw down the middle and the ball was ending up on the outer corner and I was able to play off of that. It just helped me out,” Lail said. “It’s really nice to have (catcher Kyle Higashioka) back. Higgy’s caught me for the last two, three years. He knows when I’m really good and when I’m really bad, so he just kept going with that stuff that he knows from the past that got me through things.”

Lail’s success came mostly from his aggressiveness with his fastball early, and his ability to mix in an impressive changeup that kept the IronPigs off-balanced.

The battery’s chemistry was evident as Lail only called off Higashioka once and was able to help develop a successful game plan. Lail gave up seven hits and a walk while striking out five in the win.

“I’ve pitched against these guys, I can’t even count how many times, so they know me, and I kind of just changed my game plan. Usually I’ve been pitching backwards to them,” Lail said. “I got to (my changeup and curveball) a little earlier than me and Higgy really wanted to, but me and Higgy were on the right page. Higgy really carried me through this outing.”

Billy McKinney, Donovan Solano and Mason Williams continued their dominance at the plate.

McKinney homered for the second time of the series with a two-run blast in the sixth in inning. His two-run shot broke the 3-1 game open. Solano was 3 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI. It was the veteran second baseman’s second multi-hit of the series. 4 Mason Williams, who’s red hot of late, registered his second-straight multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a run scored.

“It’s going to be a team effort,” Pedrique said. “I know from the top to the bottom, that if everyone’s hitting the ball the way I know we can, but I’m glad that McKinney, Solano, they’re coming up with huge at-bats. They’re coming through. The key for us is Mason Williams.”

Williams scored at least one run for the third straight game. He’s scored four of the RailRiders’ 15 runs this series.

“I just want to get on base,” Williams added. “If I can grab a hit or put a bunt down or maybe grab a walk, I just want to get on base and maybe hopefully steal a bag and help these guys behind me drive me in.”

For other RailRiders stories, click here.

RailRiders 6, Lehigh Valley 1

Lehigh Valley`AB`R`H`BI

Kingery 2b`5`0`2`0

Marrero dh`5`0`2`0

Stassi 1b`5`1`2`1

Mora ss`5`0`0`0

Walding 3b`2`0`1`0

Cozens rf`4`0`1`0

Pullin lf`3`0`1`0

H. Rodriguez cf`4`0`0`0

Moore c`4`0`1`0

Totals`37`1`10`1

RailRiders`AB`R`H`BI

Williams`4`1`2`0

Solano 2b`4`2`3`2

McKinney lf`4`1`1`2

Andujar 3b`3`0`0`1

Ford 1b`4`0`0`0

Higashioka c`3`1`0`0

Cave rf`3`0`0`0

Payton dh`3`0`1`0

Diaz ss`1`1`0`1

Totals`29`6`7`6

Lehigh Valley`000`100`000` —`1

RailRiders`000`212`10X` —`6

E: Solano (1); LOB: IronPigs 12, RailRiders 3; 2B: Stassi (2), Kingery (1), Solano (1); HR: Stassi (1), McKinney (2).

Lehigh Valley`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Alvarez`6.2`5`6`6`2`3

Venditte`1.1`2`0`0`0`2

RailRiders`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Lail`6.0`7`1`1`1`5

Gomez`1.1`2`0`0`1`1

Coshow`1.2`1`0`0`1`1

Umpires: Alex Tosi, HP; Robert Moreno, 1B; Dan Merzel, 2B; Ryan Clark, 3B.

Time: 2:35; Att.: 2,324.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Billy McKinney runs the bases after hitting a sixth-inning home run Saturday.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_rr_g3_2_faa20179922194620.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Billy McKinney runs the bases after hitting a sixth-inning home run Saturday. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Scranton /Wilkes-Barre RailRiders left fielder Billy McKinney gets under a fly ball during the second inning of Saturday’s Governors’ Cup first round Game 3 at PNC Field.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_rr_g3_3_faa20179922197394.jpgScranton /Wilkes-Barre RailRiders left fielder Billy McKinney gets under a fly ball during the second inning of Saturday’s Governors’ Cup first round Game 3 at PNC Field. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders third baseman Miguel Andujar throws to first base during the fifth inning of Saturday’s Governors’ Cup first round Game 3 at PNC Field.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/web1_rr_g3_faa201799221910239.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders third baseman Miguel Andujar throws to first base during the fifth inning of Saturday’s Governors’ Cup first round Game 3 at PNC Field. Fred Adams | For Times Leader
SWB takes 2-1 series lead over IronPigs

By DJ Eberle

[email protected]

T.L. EXPRESS

Today’s Games: The RailRiders continue their best-of-five series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. in Moosic.

Probable Pitchers: SWB LHP Nestor Cortes (2-4, 1.49 ERA) vs. LHV RHP Jacob Waguespack (9-7, 3.42 in A+/AA)

On Radio: The Game (1400-AM, 1440-AM, 106.7-FM)

HOW THEY SCORED

LEHIGH VALLEY FOURTH: Brock Stassi homers to deep left. LEHIGH VALLEY 1-0

RAILRIDERS FOURTH: Mason Williams singles to left. Donovan Solano doubles to the left field corner, Williams scores. Billy McKinney grounds out to second, Solano advances to third. Miguel Andujar hits a sacrifice fly to right center, Solano scores. RAILRIDERS 2-1

RAILRIDERS FIFTH: Kyle Higashioka works a walk. Mark Payton singles down the first base line, Higashioka to third. Jonathan Diaz hits a sacrifice fly to deep left, Higashioka scores. RAILRIDERS 3-1

RAILRIDERS SIXTH: Donovan Solano reaches on an infield single. Billy McKinney homers to deep right, Solano scores. RAILRIDERS 5-1

RAILRIDERS SEVENTH: Jonathan Diaz works a walk. Mason Williams singles to right, Diaz to third. Donovan Solano singles to left, Diaz scores and Williams to second. RAILRIDERS 6-1

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle


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