Ryan L. Fox
On a blistering Labor Day holiday, 4,978 fans packed into McCoy Stadium to watch the Pawtucket Red Sox face off against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in the final game of the 2018 International League season. Although their playoff aspirations have long been foiled, they still continued to play for pride and finish the season on a positive note.
Taking the mound for the PawSox in their season finale was RHP Michael Shawaryn (3-1, 4.06) while the RailRiders countered with RHP Mike King (3-0, 1.09).
It was the PawSox who got the first run of the game in the bottom 1st inning. After loading the bases with only 1 out in the inning, 3B Michael Chavis hit a ball to RailRiders 2B L.J. Mazzilli. However Mazzilli ended up bobbling the ball, allowing PawSox LF Aneury Tavarez to score from third base for the early 1-0 lead.
However 3 innings later, the RailRiders were able to tie the game up in the top 4th inning. Facing an 0-1 count against Shawaryn, RailRiders 1B Wilkin Castillo launched a solo home run to right field to tie the game at 1-1.
In the top 6th inning, Mazzilli lead things off with a leadoff double. He was able to advance to third base on a single by teammate 3B Bruce Caldwell as the RailRiders had runners at the corners with no outs. Then with LF Zach Zenner, Zenner hit a bouncer up the middle. PawSox SS Mike Miller was able to snag the ball and get Caldwell out at second but Mazzilli was able to cross the plate to give his team the 2-1 lead.
The RailRiders continued to pummel the PawSox in the following top 7th inning. The first three batters were able to get on base, loading them up with no outs. Then DH Mark Payton hit a ball deep to center field. PawSox CF Kyle Wren was able to snag the ball for the out but it was deep enough for the man on third (RF Devyn Bolasky) to score to make it 3-1. The RailRiders almost scored another run but C Francisco Diaz was caught in a run down and then was tagged by PawSox reliever RHP Trevor Kelly.
Then in the top 9th inning, the RailRiders proceeded to put the nail in the coffin. After the first two batters got out out, Payton was able to get on base with a 2-out single. Next batter later, Mazzilli launched a 2-run home run down the third base line into the PawSox bullpen to make it 5-1.
The PawSox rally fell short in the following bottom frame of the inning as the final score in the season finale was 5-1 in favor of the visiting RailRiders.
Mike Shawaryn ended up getting the loss for the game, dropping his 2018 record to 3-2. He ended up going 5.2 innings pitched, giving up 6 hits (including a home run) and 2 runs (both earned) while striking out 5 batters on 87 pitches (61 for strikes).
The loss drops the PawSox to a final record of 66-73, marking the third season out of four of finishing the year under .500 since winning the Governors’ Cup.
After the game, PawSox manager Kevin Boles sat down with the media one last time in 2018. Listen to what he has to say.
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