L.J. Mazzilli powers RailRiders over Toledo

By DJ Eberle - [email protected]
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders second baseman L.J. Mazzilli throws to first bast for an out during Sunday’s game against Toledo at PNC Field in Moosic. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders third baseman Billy Fleming battles the sun as he catches a popup during Sunday’s game against Toledo at PNC Field in Moosic. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders shortstop Abiatal Avelino steals third under the tag of Toledo Mud Hens third baseman Ronny Rodriguez during Sunday’s game at PNC Field. - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders center fielder Shane Robinson dives safely back to first base. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Scranon/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starter Chance Adams delivers a pitch against Toledo Sunday at PNC Field. - - Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

MOOSIC — L.J. Mazzilli vowed after Friday’s shutout loss to the Toledo Mud Hens that the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders were going to turn things around.

He wasn’t kidding.

After falling just short to Toledo (11-4) Saturday, the RailRiders (8-8) avoided the three-game series sweep in a big way on Sunday. And Mazzilli was at the forefront.

The 27-year-old second baseman finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, home run, run scored and three RBI to lead Scranton/Wilkes-Barre past the Mud Hens 7-3.

“I told you we’d get something going,” Mazzilli said. “Today we had 12 hits as a team. Pitching has been good, but we haven’t really been able to get going, like I said. Today felt good, everyone felt good.”

Mazzilli was a part of a strong afternoon from the bottom of the lineup.

Ryan McBroom, Billy Fleming and Mazzilli combined to go 6-for-11 with three runs scored and four RBI from the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 spots, respectively.

It was Fleming, who was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the fourth. Then Mazzilli grounded into a double play to score Zack Zehner and give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 3-2 lead.

Mazzilli put the RailRiders ahead for good in the sixth inning with a double down the left-field line to score Fleming. He homered in the bottom of the eighth for good measure.

“Maz, it’s great to see that,” RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell said. “He wants to do well so bad. He’s just that type of player. It really helped us out with the RBI, and the home run was obviously huge to put us ahead by four. Really happy for him. They voted him player of the game.

“We kind of moved the lineup around a little bit today, and everybody did a good job of producing.”

With the offense firing on all cylinders, Chance Adams took the ball with confidence.

The New York Yankees No. 4 prospect pitched 5.2 innings of three-run baseball and didn’t factor into the decision. He did leave the game with a 3-2 lead before Oliver Perez gave up a two-out RBI double to deep left to score an inherited run.

Adams gave up the three runs on just two hits and two walks. He struck out six, which came in the first seven batters he faced.

“It was a team effort,” Adams said. “I just went out there and tried to do my best and the team kind of picked me up when I gave up those two runs.”

“I thought Chance was really awesome,” Mitchell added. “His curveball, threw a lot of good curveballs for strikes in hitters’ counts. Leading off, his first pitch to a lot of players was a curveball for strikes, which is huge, and his fastball worked really well. He moved it around well and he located it well.”

RailRiders 7, Toledo 3

Toledo`AB`R`H`BI

Mahtook lf`4`0`0`0

Gerber cf`3`0`0`0

Lugo 2b`4`1`0`0

Stewart dh`2`1`1`1

Huffman 1b`4`1`1`2

Adduci rf`4`0`1`0

Rodriguez 3b`4`0`0`0

Greiner c`3`0`1`0

Kozma ss`3`0`0`0

Totals`31`3`4`3

RailRiders`AB`R`H`BI

Avelino 3b`5`1`2`0

Higashioka dh`2`1`1`1

Robinson cf`4`0`0`1

Ford 1b`4`0`1`0

Kratz c`4`1`1`0

Zehner lf`4`1`1`0

McBroom rf`4`0`2`0

Fleming 3b`3`2`2`1

Mazzilli 2b`4`1`2`3

Totals`34`7`12`6

E: Greiner (1); DP: Toledo 2, RailRiders 0; LOB: Toledo 5, RailRiders 6; 2B: Greiner (2), Stewart (2), Avelino (2), Ford (4), Mazzilli (2); HR: Huffman (2), Higashioka (3); Mazzilli (1); SB: Avelino (5).

Toledo`000`201`000 — 3

RailRiders`100`201`12X — 7

Toledo`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Carpenter (L, 0-2)`7`10`5`5`1`3

Alcantara`1`2`2`2`0`0

RailRiders`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Adams`5.2`2`3`3`2`6

Perez (BS, 1)(W, 1-0)`0.1`1`0`0`0`1

Lail (H, 1)`2`0`0`0`1`2

Carroll`1`1`0`0`1`3

HBP: Fleming (by Carpenter)

Umpires: Dan Merzel, HP; Peterson, 1B; Erich Bacchus, 3B.

Time: 2:19; Attendance: 4,993.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders second baseman L.J. Mazzilli throws to first bast for an out during Sunday’s game against Toledo at PNC Field in Moosic.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL042318RailRiders_4.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders second baseman L.J. Mazzilli throws to first bast for an out during Sunday’s game against Toledo at PNC Field in Moosic. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders third baseman Billy Fleming battles the sun as he catches a popup during Sunday’s game against Toledo at PNC Field in Moosic.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL042318RailRiders_5.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders third baseman Billy Fleming battles the sun as he catches a popup during Sunday’s game against Toledo at PNC Field in Moosic. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders shortstop Abiatal Avelino steals third under the tag of Toledo Mud Hens third baseman Ronny Rodriguez during Sunday’s game at PNC Field.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL042318RailRiders_1.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders shortstop Abiatal Avelino steals third under the tag of Toledo Mud Hens third baseman Ronny Rodriguez during Sunday’s game at PNC Field. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders center fielder Shane Robinson dives safely back to first base.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL042318RailRiders_2.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders center fielder Shane Robinson dives safely back to first base. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

Scranon/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starter Chance Adams delivers a pitch against Toledo Sunday at PNC Field.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL042318RailRiders_3.jpgScranon/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starter Chance Adams delivers a pitch against Toledo Sunday at PNC Field. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
Mazzilli helps SWB avoid sweep

By DJ Eberle

[email protected]

T.L. EXPRESS

Today’s Game: The RailRiders open up their three-game set with the Columbus Clippers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

Probable Pitchers: LHP Josh Rogers (1-1, 4.24) vs. LHP Shawn Morimando (1-2, 8.22)

Today at PNC Field: Family FUNday – Kids run the bases after the game, CHAMP’s Kids Club Members receive free admission, and kids 12 and under receive a free meal voucher for Jersey Mike’s Subs; Military Discount – $2 off walk-up tickets only with a military ID; Wendy’s Kids Club Day.

Riding the Rails: INF Gleyber Torres and RHP David Hale promoted to New York. RHP Joe Harvey promoted from Double-A Trenton. INF/OF Tyler Wade has been optioned to RailRIders, but has yet to report.

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

HOW THEY SCORED

RAILRIDERS FIRST: Abiatal Avelino doubles to left. With Kyle Higashioka batting, Avelino steals third. Higashioka walks. Shane Robinson reaches on a force out, Avelino scores, Higashioka out at second, Robinson safe at first. RAILRIDERS 1-0

TOLEDO FOURTH: Christin Stewart walks. Chad Huffman homers to deep left, Stewart scores. TOLEDO 2-1

RAILRIDERS FOURTH: Erik Kratz singles to shallow left. Zack Zehner singles to left, Kratz to second. Ryan McBroom singles to left, Kratz to third, Zehner to second. Billy Fleming hit by a pitch, Kratz scores, Zehner to third, McBroom to second. L.J. Mazzilli grounds into a double play, Zehner scores, McBroom to third, Fleming out at second. RAILRIDERS 3-2

TOLEDO SIXTH: Mike Gerber walks. Dawel Lugo grounds into a force out, Gerber out at second, Lugo safe at first. Christin Stewart doubles to center, Lugo scores. TIED 3-3

RAILRIDERS SIXTH: Billy Fleming singles up the middle. L.J. Mazzilli doubles to deep left, Fleming scores. RAILRIDERS 4-3

RAILRIDERS SEVENTH: Kyle Higashioka homers to deep left. RAILRIDERS 5-3

RAILRIDERS EIGHTH: Billy Fleming singles to shallow left. L.J. Mazzilli homers to deep left, Fleming scores. RAILRIDERS 7-3

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

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