Fittingly, an up-and-down month for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ended with an up-and-down game in Louisville.
Blake Trahan’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 11th inning handed the Bats a 5-4 win over the RailRiders on Thursday night as both sides squandered leads and opportunities to win.
The RailRiders finished May with a 14-15 record and fell to 24-28 on the season after missing out on a sweep of the Bats, who sit in the cellar of the International League at 17-33.
With new league rules that place a runner on second base in extra innings, both teams got the go-ahead run to third base in the 10th and 11th, but only Louisville managed to bring it home when Trahan sent a hard-hit ball to shortstop Tyler Wade, who couldn’t make a tough play to keep the winning run from scoring.
Reliever Giovanny Gallegos had managed to extend the game after stranding the winning run at third in the 10th by striking out D.J. Peterson and getting Josh VanMeter to fly out to right. But he couldn’t pull off another escape in the 11th.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre had a chance to make it an uplifting night after erasing a 4-2 deficit after seven innings.
With two outs in the eighth and the Bats turning to reliever Tanner Rainey on the mound, Ryan McBroom cut the lead in half with an RBI single to left, bringing home Billy McKinney.
Then it was onto the ninth, where Wade grinded out the tying run.
Wade led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a third strike in the dirt and finally, with two outs, came home on a wild pitch to make it 4-4.
Earlier in the night, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre claimed leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before falling behind.
Brandon Drury knocked in Clint Frazier with a single in the top of the third. After Louisville tied it in the fifth on a wild pitch, the RailRiders answered right back in the sixth when Mike Ford came home on a McKinney groundout.
What had been a solid night for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Erik Swanson, however, came apart in the home half of the sixth.
Louisville rattled off three straight hits to open the frame as Hernan Iribarren doubled and Dilson Herrera singled before both scored on a Nick Senzel double to put the Bats in front 3-2.
Swanson stayed in for one more batter, getting a strikeout before being replaced by veteran Oliver Perez. After another strikeout, former RailRiders outfielder Mason Williams delivered with an RBI single.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre finished the night with just five hits in the 11 innings, with Drury collecting two of them. He and Clint Frazier both doubled.
Swanson gave up four runs, all earned, in 5.1 innings while striking out seven with one walk. Perez and J.P. Feyereisen struck combined to strike out five without allowing a run before turning it over to Gallegos.
The RailRiders’ road trip continues Friday with the start of a three-game series in Indianapolis. First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m.