Unlike the Rochester Red Wings, the Syracuse Chiefs were able to get their 2018 season underway on time. They were first tasked with facing the New York Yankees top affiliate for the first three games of the season. The results aren’t exactly what they had hoped for, but the games sure had some excitement.
Scranton/WB 6 – Syracuse 5
After a difficult 2017, the Chiefs had hoped to get the new season off on the right foot. Things would look good early as Syracuse jumped out to an early lead. After matching zeroes in the first inning, the Chiefs would tag RailRiders starter and top Yankees pitching prospect Chance Adams for four runs to take the early lead.
After Irving Falu doubled in the first two runs of the game for Syracuse, Andrew Stevenson stepped in and took a 2-2 pitch by Adams deep over the right field fence for his first home run of the season. The Chiefs would tack on one more run in the fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead.
Austin Voth was cruising for Syracuse with his only blemish on what would otherwise be a successful night, would come in the bottom of the fourth, when RailRiders Kyle Higashioka hit a solo home run to bring the game to 5-1.
With the game seemingly in hand due to strong relief appearances by David Goforth and Carlos Torres, the Chiefs looked well on their way to a victory in the first game of the season. That was until the bottom of the ninth.
Scranton/WB would rattle off five runs including a walk-off two-run home run by Abiatal Avelino and take the first game of the series.
Syracuse 4 – Scranton/WB 3
The Chiefs looked to avenge a difficult loss in the second game of this three game set. It appeared that they would have no ill effect after the previous night, as they would jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Jose Marmolejos would get the Chiefs on the board first with a RBI-single scoring top prospect Victor Robles. Marmolejos would later score in the inning on a sac-fly by Chris Dominguez. One of the things that was difficult for Syracuse on 2017 was scoring. So far that doesn’t seem to be the case early on in 2018.
Scranton/WB would cut the Chief’s lead in half on a two-out RBI-double by Billy Fleming. Syracuse would get that run back in the top of the sixth on a Robles single. The lead would be short lived as the RailRiders would tie the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Chiefs starter Tommy Milone gave up all three runs to the RailRiders in this one, which was a different story than the night before. Syracuse got good outings from their bullpen that kept Scranton/WB scoreless to set up the theatrics in the top of the ninth.
Robles, who was already 4-for-4 in this game drew a one-out walk in the top of the ninth. He would go on to steal second, and thanks to a throwing error by the RailRiders Higashioka, Robles would come around to score which would wind up being the game-winning run.
Austin Adams would come on in the ninth for Syracuse and make it interesting allowing two base runners before slamming the door closed securing the first win for the Chiefs.
Scranton/WB 5 – Syracuse 4
Well if the first two games were any indication of how this series would be played out, the rubber match had no choice but to be entertaining as well. For the first time this season (sure this is only the third game) the Chiefs didn’t get on the scoreboard first.
Prior to that though, Syracuse’s Erick Fedde was flying. He motored his way through five innings allowing four hits and a walk while striking out two. Unfortunately the Chiefs’ bats wouldn’t back up his effort and Fedde would leave with the score 0-0.
Billy Fleming would get the scoring started in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to an RBI-double. Syracuse would tie the game up in the top of the seventh 1-1.
With the teams deadlocked at one run apiece, the RailRiders seemingly put the game out of reach with a four-spot in the bottom of the eighth. Wild pitches and walks by the Chiefs bullpen didn’t help the cause out either. Syracuse was in a deep hole down 5-1 heading into the ninth.
Two RBI-singles and a sac-fly would get the Chiefs within one, but that would be as close as they’d get. Syracuse dropped the final game of the series 5-4.
The Chiefs are back in action on Monday when they travel a bit north to face the rival Rochester Red Wings. As long as the weather cooperates. Syracuse is sending Edwin Jackson, Cesar Vargas, and Austin Voth to the hill for this series.