Chilly Start for the “Boys of Summer” at PNC Field

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PNC FIELD -- With the crack of a bat, baseball was officially back at PNC Field in Lackawanna County.

It was the home opener for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders who faced off against the Syracuse Chiefs.

But while the boys of summer are here for the season, the weather wasn`t even close to spring.

The chilly temperatures and extremely brisk wind made folks feel like they were gearing up for a completely different sporting event.

“It's more football weather,” Jen Moser from Red Rock.

“Oh, I pretended I was coming to a football game,” laughed Donna Fazio from Archbald.

“Yes, very cold and windy,” said Jael Melenez from Kingston.

And while fans did don their RailRiders gear, they were also armed with winter clothes and blankets to stay warm through the game.

“We brought a blanket, hat, gloves, that's about it, we brought two blankets just in case,” said Amy Matthews from Scranton.

“Blankets, coats and everything,” said Ryan Vinton from Waymart.

“We made sure he had some Under Armour underneath his coat,” said Megan Vanderberg who brought her young son from Plains Township. “And make sure we had a hat and gloves on, so anything you need to stay warm, can't believe it`s April.”

“Thermal blanket, three layers, Sponge Bob blanket,” said Moser. “Good to go, now all we need is just a winning game.”

Despite the weather, the RailRiders felt turnout was strong.

“This is my 16th opening day, first time I saw snow in the morning so that was different,” said Josh Olerud, the general manager for the team. “But I think that's what opening day is. People are going to come out, they've been looking forward to it since last September. We're happy to see the gates are full, we're expecting a really big crowd tonight.”

Those who came said they're glad they made the effort, saying they wouldn't miss the start of the season.

“It's really nice, it's beautiful here, it's not bad at all, we had a lot of people that didn't want to come with us and we're happy we're here,” said Fazio.

“It's little windy but we're here with friends today and we're having a great time so it doesn't matter, we're all excited,” said Kim Gillott from Waymart.

The Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders have home games through the 11th, playing against Syracuse through the weekend, then against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs Monday through Wednesday at PNC Field.

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