(Release from the Louisville Bats)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville (53-56) dropped a one-run ball game for the second straight night on Saturday as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (53-54) overcame a three-run deficit, taking a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning. It was the fifth straight one-run game for the Bats.
Louisville's offense got off to a hot start in the second inning with Felix Perez and Denis Phipps hitting back-to-back singles. Emmanuel Burriss then doubled off the base of the wall in right field to score both runners and give the Bats a 2-0 lead.
They would add to that lead in the fifth inning, sparked by Billy Hamilton's 60th stolen base of the season. Henry Rodriguez moved Hamilton to third on a bunt single, and Neftali Soto scored Hamilton with a sacrifice fly.
Louisville starter Ryan Dennick, in only his second start with the Bats, looked sharp. The left-hander went 5.2 innings and allowed one run.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre began the comeback in the sixth inning when Dan Johnson doubled to score Ronnier Mustelier. Jose Arredondo relieved starter Dennick and got the Bats out of the inning, stranding two more RailRiders on base.
The RailRiders tied the game in the seventh with back-to-back RBI-singles. Brendan Harris singled to left to score Jose Pirela to make it a 3-2 game. Randy Ruiz followed that with a single of his own to bring in Harris and the game-tying run.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre capped off the rally in the top of the ninth inning. Pirela led things off with a single against Bats' reliever Nick Christiani (L, 5-4). After a two-out walk to put runners on first and second, Jim Riggleman made some defensive changes. The manager brought in Zach Duke to pitch, moved Christiani to third, Soto to first, and brought Mike Hessman out of the game. Dan Johnson drove a single up the middle to score Pirela and give the RailRiders their first lead of the game. Riggleman then brought Christiani back to the mound and brought in Kristopher Negron to play third.
The Bats mounted a rally in the bottom of the frame against Chase Whitley (S, 3). Jason Donald lined a one-out double to left field, but would be stranded there as Hamilton grounded out to end the game.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre reliever Matt Daley (W, 1-1) took home the win, while Christiani got hit with the loss.