ALLENTOWN, PA – The potent pitching of Jordan Montgomery and Dietrich Enns combined on a four-hit shutout and Mason Williams played both offensive and defensive hero as the SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) blanked the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) in their playoff opener at Coca-Cola Park on Wednesday night, 2-0.
Montgomery (1-0) fired seven innings at the start, yielding just three hits while walking three and whiffing five. His tightest jam came in the third, but he retired the Phillies’ top two prospects, J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams, in succession to leave two in scoring position.
He was aided by the brilliant defense of Mason Williams who robbed Nick (no relation) on a line drive in the first. He later did the same to Cedric Hunter in the third, Cody Asche in the seventh and Taylor Featherston in the eighth.
Enns benefited from the last of those four sterling plays while he twirled a pair of shutout frames, striking out three. He did so with a lead thanks to Jonathan Diaz’s keen eye and Mason Williams’ timely pop. Diaz engineered a full-count, two-out walk in the eighth against starter Ben Lively. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Mason Williams thundered a homer to right for the game’s only runs. The majestic shot not only cleared the second level of signage, it found the wrap-around concourse.
That ended the night for Lively (0-1), who led the minors with 18 wins during the regular season.
The IronPigs made it interesting as Perkins singled just inside the first-base chalk with one out in the ninth. Enns then promptly retired Asche on a fly-out to center and got a bouncer to first from Brock Stassi for the save.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series takes place at 7:05 p.m. in Allentown Thursday night. SWB’s Phil Coke (5-3, 2.96) will face fellow lefty Anthony Vasquez (4-1, 2.64).
The team returns home on Friday, Sept. 9 for Game 3 at 6:35 p.m. It would host an if-necessary Game 4 on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6:35 p.m. and an if-necessary Game 5 on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. A variety of ticket deals are available for playoff home games. For more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit www.swbrailriders.com.
OFF THE RAILS:
The RailRiders led the minors with a franchise-record 24 shutouts in the regular season. Two of those blankings came at Lehigh Valley’s expense. Each time, Dietrich Enns was the victorious starter in those affairs.
Jordan Montgomery lost his Triple-A debut despite a quality start at Lehigh Valley Aug. 2. On Wednesday, he won his first Triple-A playoff outing.
Mason Williams finished 3-for-4 with his two-run homer. Over 2,234 minor league plate appearances, Williams entered the game with 23 homers. He had no homers at Triple-A in 51 games played. In fact, from Aug. 25, 2014 until Wednesday night, Williams had homered just once. That blast came in his Major League debut on June 12, 2015 at Baltimore.
The RailRiders won despite an 0-for-5 showing with men in scoring position. The IronPigs went 0-for-2 in those circumstances.
In four combined starts against Yankees’ minor league clubs this season, Ben Lively had gone 4-0. That included two starts against SWB (2-0, 2.08) and two against Double-A Trenton (2-0, 0.00).
In the Yankees era (2007-Present), Game 1 has always told the tale in the playoffs for SWB. Every time it won the opener, the team went on to win the series. Every time it lost the playoff starter, it fell in the set.