Friday, June 30, 2017


Choi Powers Victory in Syracuse
Clubs Two Homers, SWB Posts 12th Win in 16 Games

Syracuse, N.Y. – The SWB RailRiders (Triple-A/New York Yankees) jumped out to a 6-0 lead and held on for a 7-6 win over the host Syracuse Chiefs (Washington Nationals) on Thursday night. The RailRiders (49-30) claimed both the four-game series and the season-long set over the Chiefs (27-50). The RailRiders have won 12 of their last 16 games. The Chiefs fell to 5-9 against SWB on the year with only three meetings remaining.

Ji-Man Choi launched a pair of homers to fuel the SWB offense. The first came in the opening inning, a two-run shot to right-center against starter Greg Ross (2-7). All nine RailRiders came to the plate in a three-run fourth that chased Ross. The big blow was Abiatal Avelino’s two-run single up the middle with the infield in. In the fifth, Choi smashed a solo shot off the batter’s eye in straightaway center.

Three-spots in the sixth and seventh by the Chiefs made it interesting. Neftali Soto connected on two homers of his own in that time, a two-run job in the sixth off starter Brady Lail (5-2). He snuck a three-run laser just over the right-center fence in the seventh off of reliever Joe Mantiply.

Thanks to Cito Culver’s two-out RBI single in the top of the seventh, SWB never faced a deficit in the game. It stayed that way thanks to Ben Heller. The right-hander retired the final six he faced over two scoreless innings for his fourth save.

The RailRiders’ road trip shifts to McCoy Stadium for a four-game set against the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox). The series opens up at 7:35 p.m. on Friday with SWB right-hander Bryan Mitchell (1-2, 4.18) facing southpaw Jalen Beeks (2-3, 3.90). The RailRiders return home on the Fourth of July to face the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays) at 7:05 p.m. The contest will sport post-game fireworks courtesy of the PA Lottery. For tickets or more information, please call 570-969-BALL (2255) or visit

Ji-Man Choi posted his first multi-homer game since Aug. 4, 2016 when he launched two as an Angel off of Oakland’s Jesse Hahn. He went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. He had never hit more than one homer in a minor league game. Choi has been a stateside pro since 2010. Thursday marked his 440th career minor league game.

Donovan Solano went 2-for-5 with a double and scored twice. Since the start of June, Solano has gone 30-for-92 with seven extra-base hits, 11 RBIs and 14 runs scored, slashing .326/.360/.391/.751. That has boosted his average by over 100 points (.164-.267).

Clint Frazier singled, walked and scored, going 1-for-4. Over his last five games he has gone 7-for-21 (.333).

The RailRiders also got multi-hit showings from Cito Culver (2-for-4, 2RBIs), Abiatal Avelino (2-for-4, 2RBIs, SB) and Billy Fleming (2-for-4, SB).

The game endured a 27-minute weather delay before it got underway.

With a win on Friday night, the RailRiders would reach the 50-win mark in 80 games. The 2016 Triple-A National Championship RailRiders got their 50th win in their 82nd game of the season.

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