By Michael Marzzacco
Compiled via team press releases:
Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs fell to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 5-4, Sunday afternoon at PNC Field. Kyle Higashioka reached on a walk-off fielder’s choice to win the game for the RailRiders, who scored three unanswered runs in the eighth and ninth. Matt den Dekker and Caleb Ramsey each tallied two hits and combined for three RBIs.
Syracuse (61-81) started the scoring in the second inning against Matt Wotherspoon. Matt Skole doubled to start the frame and score two batters later on Zach Collier‘s single to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (90-52) answered in the bottom of the second off Aaron Laffey. With a runner on, Jake Cave launched a two-run home run to give the RailRiders a 2-1 lead.
The Chiefs squared the game in the third. Matt den Dekker singled with two outs and stole second. He scored on a Caleb Ramsey single to tie the game.
Syracuse took the lead in the fifth. Khayyan Norfork walked and moved to second on a single. Norfork moved to third on a force out, and scored on Ramsey’s sacrifice fly for a 3-2 Chiefs lead.
Brian Jeroloman scored a fourth Chiefs run in the seventh. Jeroloman dropped a bunt single down the third-base line and moved to second on a throwing error on Jose Rosario. Jeroloman moved to third on a groundout, and scored two batters later on den Dekker’s RBI single for a 4-2 Syracuse advantage.
The RailRiders squared the game in the eighth. Mark Payton led off Derek Self’s third inning out of the bullpen with a double. After a sacrifice bunt and pop out, Cesar Puello doubled home Payton to cut the deficit to one. Jose Rosario followed with a single to tie the game.
A wild ninth inning led to the walk-off win. Pete Kozma walked to start the inning against Justin DeFratus. After a single, fly out, and walk, the bases were loaded. DeFratus the struck out Jonathan Diaz and got Higashioka hit a ground ball to third. Matt Skole double clutched a throw to second with Norfork late covering and was late, allowing the game winning run to score.
The Chiefs wrap up their 2016 season Monday afternoon at PNC Field against the RailRiders. Joe Ross is scheduled to start for Syracuse on Major-League rehab against Richard Belier for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): With their season on the line, the Harrisburg Senators came out of the gate early to best the Hartford Yard Goats, 6-3, in front of 4,399 fans at FNB Field. The Senators forced the post-season picture to shift to the last day of the regular season with an Altoona loss.
Harrisburg (75-66) broke out the bats early and often as they scored runs in the first four innings of the game. Rafael Bautista led off the game with a triple, scored on a single from Andrew Stevenson, who in turn raced home on a Jose Marmolejos double. The Yard Goats responded with a run off Harrisburg starter Phillips Valdez, but the Senators took advantage of two Hartford errors on their way to answer with a run of their own.
Two more triples, off the bats of Isaac Ballou and Wilmer Difo, were the centerpieces of the next two innings as the Senators increased their lead to 6-2.
Valdez (6-4) was solid as the right-hander held the Yard Goats at arm’s length for seven innings. Hartford scored three runs, all the product of lead-off base hits, off Valdez as he walked two and struck out six in his outing.
Nick Lee, Mitch Lively, and Robert Benincasa secured the victory with two combined shutout innings.
The Senators’ final game of the regular season is slated for Monday afternoon at FNB Field against the Hartford Yard Goats.
Potomac (High-A Carolina League): With an opportunity to clinch a home playoff game with a win, the Potomac Nationals (72-65, 38-31) saw the visiting Myrtle Beach Pelicans (82-56, 46-22) score three batters into the game and plate six runs in the first inning, as the Pelicans handed Potomac its third straight defeat. Myrtle Beach scored nine times over the first three innings in route to an 11-4 victory.
One night prior, the Pelicans got a three run home run from 3B David Bote three batters into the game. Sunday night, Bote made it 1-0 Myrtle Beach three batters into the matchup with an RBI double off of RHP Austen Williams (L, 4-6). 1B Yasiel Balaguert followed with a two-run home run, his 19th home run of the season. The Pelicans then loaded the bases on a single, a walk, and a hit by pitch, and with a 2-2 count on SS Andrew Ely, Williams departed for RHP Jorge Pantoja. Ely tallied an RBI with a bases loaded walk, LF Charcer Burks made it 5-0 with an RBI single, and CF Donnie Dewees made it 6-0 with an RBI single of his own. Pantoja got Bote to ground out to end the frame. Williams surrendered six earned runs on four hits over 0.2 innings. It was the right-handed starter’s third consecutive start in which he allowed six earned runs.
Pantoja continued for Potomac and gave up at least a run in each of his two full innings. In the top of the second, Balaguert led off with a double and scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by RF Daniel Spingola. Myrtle Beach plated another pair of runs on a two-out, two-run single by Balaguert in the third frame, as the Pelicans scored nine of the first 11 runs of the game. Pantoja gave up three runs, but just one earned, over 2.1 innings.
RHP James Pugliese (W, 7-5) allowed four runs, but just two earned, over 5.2 innings in the victory. Already ahead 7-0 after 1.5 innings, the righty gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. C Raudy Read led off the frame with a single and moved to second base as 3B Austin Davidson drew a walk. After Pugliese got SS Osvaldo Abreu to fly out, RF Drew Vettleson moved both runners up 90 feet on a groundout to first base. With men at second and third and two outs, 1B Matt Page cut the deficit to five runs with a two-run single.
With the Pelicans’ two runs off of Pantoja in the third, they took a 9-2 lead into the second half of the game. Potomac trimmed the deficit back to five runs with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pugliese quickly got the first two outs in the frame but then gave up a double to Davidson and a single to Abreu. After Abreu stole second base, Vettleson hit a pop up right in front of the plate, but C Erick Castillo missed on a basket catch attempt, which allowed both Davidson and Abreu to score. Those were the final two runs of the night for Potomac, as Myrtle Beach led 9-4 after six innings.
The Pelicans capped off the scoring with two runs in the eighth inning against RHP Mario Sanchez. Sanchez, who saved the Potomac bullpen with six innings of relief out of the pen, did not allow a run in his first four innings. Balaguert led off the eighth inning with a single, his fourth hit of the night, and 2B Bryant Flete reached on a HBP. Two batters later, Spingola wrapped up the offensive outburst for Myrtle Beach with a two-run double.
After two-shutout innings from RHP Daury Torrez, Myrtle Beach went to their closer, as RHP Ryan McNeil got the final four outs of the game. McNeil gave up a double to Davidson in the eighth inning, but the right-handed reliever retired the final four men that he faced and closed out the 11-4 win.
All nine Myrtle Beach starters reached base in the victory, while seven of the nine had at least one hit. Balaguert had a game high four hits, while Burks and Dewees each had three hits. With the loss, Williams fell to 0-3 in three starts vs. the Pelicans. The righty has an 11.57 ERA in his three losses to the Myrtle Beach.
Despite three straight losses, the P-Nats still control their own destiny to host a playoff game. With a win Monday afternoon, the P-Nats would host the Lynchburg Hillcats Wednesday night for game one of the Northern Division Series. A loss by the Hillcats Monday afternoon would also get the P-Nats a home playoff game. First pitch in the regular season finale between Potomac and Myrtle Beach is set for 1:05pm Monday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium.
Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): Ian Sagdal was a triple short of the cycle, scoring three runs and driving home a couple as the Hagerstown Suns topped the Asheville Tourists 10-5 in the South Atlantic League on Sunday.
Grant DeBruin singled four times with a run and an RBI for Hagerstown (82-57, 39-30 second half).
With the game tied at 1, Hagerstown batted around in the fourth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring five runs, including a two-run home run by Sagdal and a solo homer by Jake Noll.
Asheville scored a run in the fourth, and the Tourists continued to cut into the deficit in the fifth. Eric Toole scored on a wild pitch and Max George came home on a groundout.
Suns right-hander Joan Baez (9-7) picked up the win, allowing four runs on three hits over six innings.
Opposing starter Javier Palacios (1-6) took the loss after a rough outing in which he allowed six runs and nine hits over 3 2/3 innings.
Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): Auburn dropped both games of their doubleheader against Batavia by scores of 1-0 and 6-5 respectively.
The first game was a suspended game from August 13. Dane Dunning got the start that day and yesterday he finished that game with six innings pitched. Total he pitched nine innings allowing one run on six hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.
Steven Funtes got the start in the second game and threw four scoreless innings allowing two hits and striking out seven batters.
In this shortened seven inning contest (due to the doubleheader), the Doubledays led 5-0 before squandering six runs in the final two innings, including five in the final inning.
The last game of the season for Auburn takes place today at 1:05 against Batavia.