With back-to-back swings of the bat, the RailRiders looked poised to steal a win Wednesday night.

The Lehigh Valley had other ideas.

The IronPigs overcame a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre home run in the top of the eighth to tie the game in the home half and win 4-3 on Darrick Hall’s single in the ninth.

It was a missed opportunity for the RailRiders in a tight Illinois East title race as Durham lost for the first time in six games on Wednesday.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (78-64) remains a game and a half behind the Bulls (80-63) for first place with eight games remaining on the schedule.

Third-ranked Jacksonville (76-66) also lost to fall 3.5 games back.

The RailRiders trailed most of the night in Allentown after giving up a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on Scott Kingery’s home run against starter Johnny Britt.

Ryan LaMarr got a run and made it 2-1 with an RBI single in the fourth, but the RailRiders struggled to get a key hit with runners on most of the night.

Things turned around in the top of the eighth when Vinny Nittoli, who started the season with the RailRiders and had not yet been released in July, took over for the IronPigs.

With one out, Chris Owings laced a 2-2 pitch over the center field fence to tie the game. Nittoli stayed on the pitch and his first offering to the next batter, Ben Rortvedt, also left the yard to give the RailRiders a brief lead.

It didn’t last.

A walk, a flyout and a wild pitch by Jacob Barnes put a runner on third and Jorge Bonifacio brought home the tying run, followed by a single.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre managed to strand two runners in the top of the ninth before the IronPigs escaped the threat and then ended the game in the home half.

Anthony Banda had the first strike, then was charged with a throwing error after throwing a strike to put runners on the corners.

Banda got one out before Hall stepped in and sent an 0-1 pitch into right field to win the game.

Lamar led the offense with three hits, while Owings finished 2-for-4 with a double and a homer. Rortvedt also had two hits.

Banda took the loss on a night when the RailRiders used seven pitchers after Brito walked with two outs in the second inning.

Albert Abreu and Stephen Ridings joined the team after being reassigned from Double-A Somerset. Abreu was sixth and Ridings was seventh. Both allowed a hit and Ridings had two strikeouts.

Matt Crook went the longest, going three innings, allowing three hits and two strikeouts.

The six-game streak continues tonight at 7:05 PM in Allentown and will continue through Sunday.


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