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Pigs walkoff on Rickles hit; stay alive in IL Division Series

Nick Rickles
Nick Rickles singles in a game against the Charlotte Knights at Coca-Cola Park on May 31, 2018. (Photo courtesy Cheryl Pursell)

The Pigs kept their season alive in their usual fashion.

Lehigh Valley collected yet another walkoff winner on Friday to stave off elimination and force a fourth matchup with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders in the best-of-five series.

In the bottom of the thirteenth inning, Nick Rickles dropped a single into short right field and secure a 3-2 win.

“I think it might have been a cutter, I didn’t see the velocity on it,” said Rickles. “It was down and away but earlier in the game they started throwing me away and I figured that the catcher has been around long enough that he would know to stick with the game plan and thankfully, it fed right into what I was looking for.”

Much like the first two games of the series in Moosic, the evening began with a pair of dueling pitchers. The RailRiders eventually struck first when Rey Navarro snuck a ball into the right field corner for a solo home run off Drew Anderson. The IronPigs starter was eventually lifted in the sixth inning with a runner on second base that eventually came home to score as well.

Meanwhile, the Pigs could not manage to scratch Ryan Bollinger until the sixth inning, when the left hander-departed with a runner at first base. George Kontos entered the game to try and keep the shutout intact, but Collin Cowgill swiftly drilled a ball into the left field bullpen to tie the game at two.

With each bullpen logging scoreless frames, the game eventually extended deep into the night before the Pigs could deliver the knockout blow. A leadoff double by Danny Ortiz and a well placed sacrifice bunt from Ryan Goins set the table for Rickles’ heroics.

Lehigh Valley still finds themselves on the brink of elimination, trailing in the best-of-five series, two games-to-one. Game Four will get underway at Coca-Cola Park Saturday evening when Ranger Suarez (2-0, 2.74) climbs the hill for the Pigs. Scranton counters with Mike King (4-0, 1.55).

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