Late home run carries Chiefs over RailRiders

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One swing by Syracuse overshadowed a season-high six doubles by the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and proved to be the difference as the Chiefs rallied to defeat the RailRiders 4-2 at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse.

The RailRiders held a 2-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Syracuse shortstop Matt Reynolds drilled a three-run home run off Brady Lail and the Chiefs held on the win the series finale.

After battling to a scoreless tie after three innings, Syracuse’s Jose Marmolejos opened the scoring with a solo home run off SWB starting pitcher Nestor Cortes. The Chiefs then loaded the bases before Cortes pitched out of the jam by inducing a fly out and a ground out to close the inning as the southpaw held to score to 1-0.

The game remained 1-0 into the sixth inning when the RailRiders jumped ahead with a string of doubles. With one out, Brandon Drury drilled a double off the right-field wall and, following a Ryan McBroom strikeout, Billy McKinney doubled him home to tie the game.

Syracuse went to its bullpen, bringing in Chris Smith to replace starting pitcher Tommy Milone (5.2 IP, 5 H, 2R/2ER, 9 K). Tyler Austin — in his first game with the RailRiders this season — then hit a double off the wall in left field to score McKinney and give SWB a 2-1 lead.

That would be the last lead the RailRiders (33-35) would hold, as Reynolds delivered his go-ahead homer just an inning later off of Lail to push the Chiefs ahead for good. The RailRiders put the tying run on base with one out in the ninth inning with runners on the corners, but a strikeout and a ground out off Syracuse closer Jimmy Cordero ended the threat, and the game.

Wilkin Castillo had the best game of his season with SWB. In his first seven games this year with the RailRiders, Castillo had been 4-for-24 with a pair of doubles. On Sunday, Castillo went 4-for-4 to bring his season batting average to .286.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is off Monday before opening a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday at PNC field against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.


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