Tyler Wade bunts RailRiders to series sweep of Lehigh Valley

By DJ Eberle - [email protected]
Wade -

MOOSIC — Even though his ability to bunt is one of Tyler Wade’s better skills, he wasn’t thinking bunt single to knock in the game-winning run when he settled into the batter’s box during the 11th inning Thursday against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

It wasn’t until he saw the only member of the Lehigh Valley infield playing on the grass was third baseman Trevor Plouffe that he decided to lay down a bunt on the first pitch he saw.

It was perfectly executed, and sealed the 5-4 walk-off win as the RailRiders (19-19) took the series sweep against the first-place IronPigs (20-17).

“It was last-minute. I saw the first baseman move back and said, ‘Might as well,’” Wade said of his bunt. “We’ve been playing good baseball and just have to keep it going.”

Despite their being two outs, the left-handed batter still went for the bunt single.

Wade laid the bunt down, which rolled just inside the first-base line, forcing IronPigs reliever Jake Waguespack to make a quick decision. Knowing the winning run, RailRiders left fielder Zack Zehner, was standing 60 feet from home plate and would likely beat Waguespack’s throw home, the right-hander fielded the ball and threw to first base hoping to nab Wade before Zehner scored.

He didn’t, and Wade was able to redeem himself from a seventh-inning opportunity when he struck out with two outs and two runners in scoring position and the RailRiders trailing 3-2.

“I just love that he bunted and used his game. That’s part of his game and he’s not afraid to use it, and I thought it was outstanding,” RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell said. “Really good bunt, obviously. He practices that.

“I like guys that use all of their tools and don’t forget about them, and he’s one of those guys. He can do a lot and he has a lot talent. I was really pleased with him doing it and actually succeeding at it. I think that’ll help.”

The RailRiders may not have even been in position to win the game if it wasn’t for a stellar relief appearance from Brady Lail.

Lail improved his record to 4-1 after holding the IronPigs to no runs and no hits over two innings and striking out four.

“I was just telling (Cale) Coshow — it’s a weird thing they added in, but it makes you really lock it in and execute,” Lail said. “Nothing changes though. It’s just like coming in to a bad situation if guys are on. Just feeling like you’re coming out, just like and extra-inning game.”

Mike Ford was the reason the RailRiders got to extras, tying the game, 4-4, with his eighth-inning, two-run home run off of Lehigh Valley reliever Austin Davis.

After getting off to a slow start this season, Ford has picked it up as of late. He has homered in back-to-back games and now leads the RailRiders in home runs with five.

“I’m just getting back to what I used to do,” Ford said. “I found some stuff mechanically that I’m working on. Yeah, I’m just kind of getting back to me.

“I haven’t really hit many homers this year so far. So just to kind of be feeling the way I should be feeling and knowing where balls are going to go off of the bat is a good feeling.”

After dropping six of their last nine games the RailRiders head to Buffalo winners of three straight and owners of their first sweep of the season.

With a three-game set against the last-place Bisons on tap this weekend, the RailRiders are looking to build some momentum as they continue to climb out of the International League North Division cellar.

“We were trying to get our feet going a little bit. Now I think we’re going to roll,” said RailRiders reliever J.P. Feyereisen, who pitched a pair of shutout innings on Thursday. “I think any time with this team we have a chance to put a serious run together and right now we keep playing like this in all of these close games that we’re playing, it looks like a good time to get on a roll.”

RailRiders 5, IronPigs 4, 11 innings

Lehigh Valley`AB`R`H`BI

Anna dh`4`2`1`0

Cowgill cf`5`0`2`0

Ortiz lf`5`0`1`2

Plouffe 3b`5`0`0`0

Cozens rf`5`0`0`0

Meneses 1b`4`2`2`1

Rickles c`5`0`1`0

Amarista 2b`4`0`2`1

Meneses ss`4`0`0`0



Wade cf-ss`6`0`3`1

Higashioka c`5`1`1`0

Lind dh`4`0`1`0

Ford 1b`5`1`1`2

McBroom rf`4`0`2`0

Zehner lf`5`1`0`0

Navarro ss-3b`4`1`1`0

Mazzilli 2b`4`1`1`2

Conde 3b`2`0`0`0

Robinson ph-cf`3`0`2`0


OA: Cowgill; Pickoffs: Milner (McBroom at 1B), Feyereisen (Amarista at 1B); DP: IronPigs 1, RailRiders 0; LOB: IronPigs 8, RailRiders 11; 2B: J. Meneses (10), McBroom (6), Navarro (1); Anna (2); HR: Meneses (5), Mazzilli (3), Ford (5).

Lehigh Valley`110`100`01000 — 4

RailRiders`000`020`020001 — 5

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


Milner (H, 4)`1`0`0`0`1`0

Arano (H, 1)`1`1`0`0`1`1


Davis (BS, 1)`1`1`1`1`0`1


Waguespack (L, 0-4)`1.2`1`1`0`1`1




Lail (W, 4-1)`2`0`0`0`1`4

IBB: Meneses (by Lail), Lind (by Waguespack).

HBP: Anna (by Rogers), Mazzilli (by Waguespack).

Umpires: Scott Costello, HP; Alex Toss, 1B; Ryan Wills, 3B.

Time: 3:16; Attendance: 10,000.


By DJ Eberle

[email protected]


Today’s Game: The RailRiders open a four-game series against the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Probable Pitchers: SWB LHP Daniel Camarena (2-2, 4.72 ERA) vs. BUF LHP Ryan Borucki (2-4, 4.13)

On Radio: All RailRiders games can be heard live on NEPA Sports Radio – The Game.


LEHIGH VALLEY FIRST: Josh Rogers pitching. Dean Anna triples to deep center. Danny Ortiz grounds out to second, Anna scores. LEHIGH VALLEY 1-0

LEHIGH VALLEY SECOND: Josh Rogers pitching. Joey Meneses douibles to left. Alexi Amarista singles to left, Meneses scores. LEHIGH VALLEY 2-0

LEHIGH VALLEY FOURTH: Josh Rogers pitching. Joey Meneses homers to deep right. LEHIGH VALLEY 3-0

RAILRIDERS FIFTH: Tom Eshelman pitching. Rey Navarro doubles to center. L.J. Mazzilli homers to deep left center, Navarro scores. LEHIGH VALLEY 3-2

LEHIGH VALLEY EIGHTH: Josh Rogers pitching. Dean Anna hit by a pitch. Collin Cowgill singles to left, Anna to third. Danny Ortiz singles to left, Anna scores, Cowgill to second. LEHIGH VALLEY 4-2

RAILRIDERS EIGHTH: Jake Thompson pitching. Kyle Higashioka singles to shallow center. Austin Davis replaces Thompson. Mike Ford homers to deep right, Higashioka scores. TIED 4-4

RAILRIDERS 11TH: Zack Zehner starts inning at second base. Jacob Waguespack pitching. Rey Navarro grounds out to first, Zehner to third. L.J. Mazzilli hit by a pitch. With Shane Robinson batting, Mazzilli advances to second on defensive indifference. Tyler Wade singles on a bunt ground ball to the pitcher, Zehner scores, Mazzilli to third. RAILRIDERS 5-4

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

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