LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – The potent pitching of Brady Lail, Dietrich Enns and J.R. Graham combined on a five-hit shutout as the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) blanked the Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves) in a critical Game 3 of the Governors’ Cup Championship Series on Thursday night, 3-0. SWB owns a 2-1 series lead and sits one win short of the franchise’s second-ever Governors’ Cup crown and first since 2008.
The run scoring came early with RBI hits from Chris Parmelee and Kyle Higashioka in the first frame to plate Mark Payton and Donovan Solano. The second inning began with a line-drive homer off the immense retaining wall in left from Pete Kozma.
Lail handled things from there, firing 6.1 scoreless innings. The right-hander struck out five, walked none and had faced three over the minimum before he plunked Sean Kazmar, Jr. and got the hook in the seventh. Enns entered and struck out Reid Brignac looking before Tyler Moore lined out to short.
Gwinnett’s best chance came in the eighth with a Kyle Kubitza single and a hit-and-run poke by Braeden Schlehuber to put men at the corners with nobody out. Enns rebounded, striking out Emilio Bonifacio and Mel Rojas, Jr. in succession. SWB manager Al Pedrique then called upon Graham, who whiffed former RailRider Ronnier Mustelier to put a bow on the eighth.
In the ninth, Graham worked around a two-out walk of Brignac, getting Moore to fly out to center field to end it.
Game 4 in the best-of-five series takes place at 7:05 p.m. at Coolray Field Friday night. SWB’s Dan Camarena (NR) will face a to-be-announced hurler.
Season tickets for the 2017 season are now on sale. Should SWB advance to the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game, the RailRiders staff will host a watch party at Revello’s Café Pizza in Old Forge, Pa. on Tuesday, Sept. 20 beginning at 8 p.m. There will be pizza and drink specials, raffles and prizes from the RailRiders. To purchase tickets or to find out more information, call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
The RailRiders led the minors with a franchise-record 24 shutouts in the regular season. Three of SWB’s five playoff wins during this run have been shutouts.
SWB’s 47 road wins tied with Nashville for the most in Triple-A this season. The team has gone 3-0 on the road during these playoffs, all shutout wins.
The RailRiders have gone 5-0 at Coolray Field this season between the regular campaign and playoffs combined. Since the Braves moved their top affiliate to suburban Atlanta in 2009, the SWB franchise has won 26 of 32 at Coolray Field including all three playoff meetings in Lawrenceville.
Since Gwinnett scored six runs in Game 1’s opening inning, the G-Braves have amassed just two runs over the last 26.1 innings.
Donovan Solano went 2-for-3 in Game 3 with a double, two bruises and a run scored.
Pete Kozma enjoyed a 2-for-4 night with a lined single in addition to his homer.
Chris Parmelee walked twice and finished 1-for-3 with an RBI.