ALLENTOWN — Entering their final regular-season game, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders were not sure who their opponent might be in the first round of the Governors’ Cup playoffs, or where they would be traveling for the first two games of the series.
After falling in their final regular-season game, 4-3, on Monday in a close battle with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the RailRiders had both those questions answered.
They will be traveling to Allentown — and taking on the IronPigs.
The Labor Day victory helped the IronPigs secure the IL’s wild-card playoff spot. The IL North champions RailRiders (86-55), will face the IronPigs (80-62) on Wednesday in Allentown for Game 1 of the best-of-five series at 7:05 p.m.
On Monday, the IronPigs started out strong, building a 3-0 lead in the first inning behind J.P. Crawford’s two-run home run off RailRider starter Jose Pena. Dylan Cozens added an RBI infield single to end the first inning.
The RailRider’s bullpen came on in the third, with Joe Mantiply, Anyelo Gomez and Tyler Jones combining for six shutout innings, striking out seven and, at one point, retiring 12 consecutive IronPig batters.
The Railrider’s offense came to life in the top of the seventh with a home run to right field by Tyler Austin. Francisco Diaz added a RBI double in the eighth, and Austin added another home run to start the ninth.
IronPig’s All-Star closer, Pedro Beato, struck out Jake Cave, and Billy McKinney closed the game with a groundout to second. Starter Henderson Alvarez (2-0) picked up the win and Beato secured his minor league-best 33rd save.
The RailRiders’ first home playoff game will be on Friday at 6:35 p.m. Playoff tickets are on sale now. For tickets or more information, call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com