Editor’s note: At press time, the RailRiders and Toledo Mud Hens were tied at 1-1 in the 15th inning.
MOOSIC — If not for a seemingly harmless fly ball, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders would have had a quick victory, their starting pitcher would have earned the win and their outfielder Cody Grice wouldn’t have felt so badly.
But when that fly ball got lost in the lights, all hopes of a neat and tidy RailRiders victory disappeared along with it.
Instead, the RailRiders went into the 14th inning Thursday tied with Toledo, 1-1 at press time.
All because of a ball that should have been an out.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Toledo’s Mike Cervenak laced a double into the left field corner.
The next batter, Danny Dorn, sent a long but lazy fly ball to right field for what looked like — at least off the bat — the inning’s final out. But RailRiders right fielder Grice never moved.
Looking helplessly to the sky, Grice couldn’t pick up the ball as it traveled over his head and dropped behind him. Cervenak charged home, and Dorn raced all the way to third base for a triple.
That put Toledo up 1-0 and spoiled a near-perfect night for RailRiders starting pitcher David Huff.
Huff didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings and took a one-hitter into that seventh inning. But he left after the seventh with a hard-luck no-decision.
At least he didn’t absorb a loss because of it.
The RailRiders evened the score, 1-1, by stringing together three straight singles in the bottom of the seventh.
Grice made up for the run when he started the rally with a single. He moved to second on a passed ball, went to third base on a single by Alberto Gonzalez and scored on a hit to right field by Adonis Garcia.
But that’s all the RailRiders managed, despite a 16-hit outburst.
The left the bases loaded in the seventh inning and again in the 10th inning, when Scranton/Wilkes-Barre had the bases loaded with nobody out and didn’t score.
A bouncer to the pitcher, pop up and strike out ended that golden opportunity.
Garcia led the offensive attack with three singles, and five other RailRiders had two hits apiece.