MOOSIC, PA – The 2016 SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/ New York Yankees) penned their name in the history books with 4-3, 10-inning triumph over the Syracuse Chiefs on Monday afternoon at PNC Field. The RailRiders (91-52) won seven straight to close the regular season and tied the franchise record for wins. Their final .636 winning percentage is best in franchise history. The Chiefs finish 61-82.
J.R. Graham (2-2) took home the win after firing two scoreless innings in relief. The right-hander allowed three hits and struck out three. Richard Bleier allowed three runs across 5.2 frames in the start and Giovanny Gallegos held the Chiefs off the board for 2.1.
The pitching staff finished with a collective earned run average of 2.98, the lowest in the International League since the 1980 Columbus Clippers ended at 2.92.
Activated off the disabled list earlier in the day, Clint Frazier demolished the second pitch he saw out to left for his third Triple-A homer and a 1-0 SWB lead. The Chiefs, however, got three runs off a pair of hits from Jhonatan Solano to build a 3-1 lead after six innings.
The RailRiders rallied against Austin Voth (7-9) in the seventh. Kyle Higashioka clubbed a double down the left field line to score Jake Cave. Higashioka scored two batters later on a single by Cito Culver.
SWB loaded the bases in the last of the 10th on walks, including an intentional pass to Donovan Solano. Down in the count 0-1, Cesar Puello thundered a single off the base of the center field wall to score Culver for the game-winner.
The walk-off win was the 12th of the year for SWB and the team finished 8-3 in extra-inning affairs.
Your 2016 IL North Division champion SWB RailRiders will face the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Game One of the Governor’s Cup Divisional Series beginning Wednesday, September 7. Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (5-1, 0.97) gets the starting nod against right-hander Ben Lively (11-5, 3.06).
The RailRiders will host Game Three on Friday, September 9 at 6:35 p.m. If necessary, SWB will host the IronPigs for Game Four on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6:35 p.m. and Game Five on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 1:05 p.m. Come cheer on your RailRiders as they seek the franchise’s second Governor ‘s Cup! Purchase playoff tickets by calling 570-969-BALL (2255) or online at swbrailriders.com!