MOOSIC — A lot went right for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Friday night.
On the other hand, plenty of things didn’t go the way the RailRiders would have liked during a 3-2 loss to Columbus.
For positives, right-hander Brett Marshall had his best outing of the season lasting 5 1/3 innings and set a season-high with seven strikeouts. But he also walked a season-high five batters. Marshall got ahead of hitters 13 times with first-pitch strikes out of the 25 batters he faced. He reached the 100-pitch mark, consisting of 56 strikes and 44 balls.
“I wasn’t too happy with the walks. Walks will kill ya,” Marshall said. “Fortunately they didn’t kill me too bad tonight, but it could’ve been worse. I would get to 2-0, 3-0 and just lose it. I don’t know what happened. It’s like I would forget how to do it, and then I would find it.”
The RailRiders also showed fight tying the score twice after the Clippers took one-run leads. But RailRiders’ miscues led to a big run for Columbus in the top of the sixth. That’s when a ball was skied to left field and SWB outfielder Zoilo Almonte appeared to have the ball tracked down, but it brushed off his glove allowing a run to score to put the Clippers in front 2-1.
After Columbus regained the lead at 2-1 in the top of the sixth, Luke Murton got jammed but fought off the inside pitch, pulling it down the right field for a run-scoring double to even the score at 2-2. Cody Johnson followed with a shallow fly to center. At first umpire Andy Dudones called the ball a trap, but the ruling was overturned by the home plate umpire to end the inning.
“It is what it is, and yeah that would’ve put us up by two, but we still got to go out and get them the next inning and not let that get to us. And we didn’t,” said RailRiders shortstop Addison Marsuzak, who finished the game 2-for-3.
Once Marshall exited the game in the sixth, Jim Miller took over and looked unhittable striking out six of the first seven hitters he faced. While he excelled with the strikeouts, he may have thrown too many pitches. The eighth batter he faced, Matt Carson, hit a home run to left just clearing the wall to give Columbus a 3-2 advantage.
Again the RailRiders fought back in the bottom of the frame. Almonte led off with a single and moved to second and third on wild pitches. Then with one out, Bobby Wilson popped a foul down the right field line that was caught. Almonte tagged up, but was doubled up when he couldn’t get back to third safely.
“In a game like this, one pitch or one swing can get you a win,” Maruszak said. “But it’s early in the season and this is baseball. We didn’t play bad, but we didn’t pull through.”
SWB catcher Austin Romine left the game in the top of the third inning and Wilson replaced him. Romine was called up to New York because Yankees’ catcher Francisco Cervelli reportedly suffered a broken hand in Friday night’s game against the Blue Jays and left early after being hit by a foul tip while catching.
“I was confused. I was like, ‘Did they just pull Romine?’ ” Marshall said about the strange timing on the switch. “I didn’t know what happened. But then Bobby came out and it clicked that they were sending (Romine) up to New York.”
Columbus lefty T.J. House made his first Triple-A start for the Clippers. He made a great debut for the team lasting six innings giving up five hits and two runs. He struck out seven and walked two.
The RailRiders didn’t have a baserunner until Almonte hit an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the fourth.