Last updated: May 09. 2014 10:36AM - 1014 Views

Indianapolis Indians first baseman Chris McGuiness puts an enthusiastic tag on RailRiders baserunner Ramon Flores (20) as he gets back to the bag in time Thursday at PNC Field.
Indianapolis Indians first baseman Chris McGuiness puts an enthusiastic tag on RailRiders baserunner Ramon Flores (20) as he gets back to the bag in time Thursday at PNC Field.
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MOOSIC — Sooner or later, Austin Romine figured, the hits were going to come for him.


It was the throws he was making that began to bother him. So Romine spent extra time on a recent road trip working on his mechanics and motion. It all paid huge dividends Thursday for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.


Romine gunned down three runners who were trying to advance a base, added three hits at the plate and scored three times while leading the RailRiders to their fifth consecutive victory, an 8-4 victory over Indianapolis that completed a four-game sweep at PNC Field.


“I’m just real happy with those throws tonight,” said Romine, whose recent low throws disappeared after working with RailRiders manager Dave Miley — an outstanding minor-league defensive catcher during his playing days — during a recent trip to Norfolk. “Miley got us out there, he got me back right. It was nice to see the ball make it there in the air.”


Romine spent the game’s early innings making quick work of Indianapolis baserunners from the catcher’s spot.


He gunned down former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre outfielder Chris Dickerson, who was trying to advance to second base in the first inning after a pitch fell briefly at Romine’s feet. A little later, Romine nailed Michael Martinez at third base, turning a strikeout of Nevin Ashley into an inning-ending double play. And in the second inning, Romine nabbed Jaff Decker trying to move up to third base after another pitch bounded a few inches away from him.


“That was big for me,” Romine said. “I’ve been struggling throwing the ball.”


Big for the team, too. Romine’s prowess for throwing out three of the game’s first five outs from behind the plate kept RailRiders starter Zach Nuding confident enough to work five innings of one-run ball while picking up his first victory of the season.


It would have been four runners thrown out by Romine, but his strong throw that would have gunned down Martinez at second base in the first inning didn’t count. Indianapolis batter Gregory Polanco walked on the pitch.


“It took the oomph out of their rallies,” Romine said of his defensive prowess.


He put some pop in the offense, also.


With the game tied 1-1, Romine followed Russ Canzler’s single in the fifth inning with a hard double down the left-field line. And when Ramon Flores lashed a triple down the right-field line, both runners scored to give the RailRiders a 3-1 lead.


Romine wasn’t done, though.


After Ashley’s home run pulled the Indians within 3-2 in the sixth inning, Romine was right in the middle of a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh. After Pirela chopped a single, Romine bunted the ball to first base — and beat it out for a base hit with a slithering move past the pitcher and a timely dive to the bag. He scored on a bases-loaded walk, between a run-scoring error and Adonis Garcia’s RBI single.


Finally, Romine added his third hit of the night, a single that allowed him to eventually score on Dean Anna’s sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. That raised Romine’s season batting average from .145 to nearly .180.


“I had to flip it up,” Romine said, “go back to what I was doing the last two, three years, which is being aggressive. I said, ‘I’m going to attack the ball.’ “


Mostly, he was proud of the way the RailRiders pitching staff attacked Indianapolis, both Thursday night and throughout the four-game sweep.


“My starting pitcher and my bullpen meant the most to me,” Romine said. “The pen came in and did what they’ve been doing for the last week. We’re playing good baseball right now, getting hits when we need hits. Everybody wants to get up there and swing the bat. And when your pitcher gives you five, six innings of one-run ball, you’re in pretty good shape.”


Even sporting an ice pack around a left thumb he injured during that dive into first base couldn’t get Romine bent out of shape.


“I kind of bent it back,” Romine said. “It should be all right.”


RailRiders 8, Indianapolis 4


Indianapolis`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR


Dickerson cf`5`0`1`0`0`0`0


Martinez 3b`4`0`1`0`0`0`0


Polanco rf`2`1`0`0`0`0`0


Ashley c`5`2`3`1`1`0`1


McGuiness 1b`4`1`1`0`1`0`0


Decker lf`2`0`2`1`1`0`0


d’Arnaud dh`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Andino ss`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Davis 2b`4`0`2`1`0`0`0


Totals`34`4`10`3`3`0`1


RailRiders`AB`R`H`BI`2B`3B`HR


Flores 1b`4`0`2`3`0`1`0


Richardson cf`5`1`1`1`0`0`0


Anna ss`3`1`0`2`0`0`0


Almonte rf`5`0`0`1`0`0`0


Garcia lf`4`0`2`1`1`0`0


Wheeler 3b`4`0`0`0`0`0`0


Canzler dh`4`1`1`0`0`0`0


Pirela 2b`4`2`2`0`0`0`0`0


Romine c`4`3`3`0`1`01`0


Totals`37`8`11`8`2`1`0


Indianapolis`000`101`011`—`4


RailRiders`000`120`32x`—`8


Indianapolis`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Brigham (L, 1-2)`6`5`3`2`0`7


Eppley`0.0`2`2`1`0`0


Schlereth`1`1`1`0`2`0


Kasparek`1`3`2`2`0`0


RailRiders`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO


Nuding (W, 1-1)`5`5`1`1`2`4


Cabral (H, 1)`0.2`2`1`1`1`0


Moreno (H, 1)`1.1`1`0`0`2`1


Coello`1`1`1`1`2`1


Miller`1`1`1`0`1`0

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