Extra innings have been a problem for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders this season.
That theme continued Friday night in Durham as the Bulls scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to squash the RailRiders’ chances at a series-opening victory.
Durham catcher Nick Cuiffo hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Nathaniel Lowe and seal the Bulls’ 4-3 victory.
Mark Payton put the RailRiders in position to earn their fifth extra-inning win of the season when he laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt back to Durham pitcher Ian Gibaut. The Bulls reliever overthrew first base when trying to throw out Payton, not only allowing L.J. Mazzilli, who was standing on second base, to take third but score on the play.
But the Bulls quickly answered back.
RailRiders reliever J.P. Feyereisen jogged back onto the mound in the bottom of the 10th inning after pitching a perfect ninth, which included a pair of strikeouts. However, Feyereisen wasn’t as effective as the inning prior.
With Bulls right fielder Jason Coats standing on second base to start the frame, Feyereisen quickly loaded the bases after a Lowe single to left and Brandon Snyder walk. Looking to record his first out of the 10th, Feyereisen continued to struggle with command and walked former RailRider Rob Refsnyder on five pitches, tying the game 3-3.
Catching the RailRiders reeling, and the bases still loaded, Cuiffo hit his flyball to left field. RailRiders left fielder Ryan McBroom positioned himself perfectly under the ball, but with an urgency to throw home, didn’t secure the catch as he attempted to make a rushed throw. Lowe to score easily with no threat at the plate.
RailRiders starting pitcher Nestor Cortes gave up two runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out five batters in 6.1 innings of work.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Durham return to action at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Chance Adams (3-5, 4.50 ERA) will make his first start with the RailRiders since his big-league debut while Zach Lee (3-3, 3.70) will take the mound for the Bulls.
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