IronBirds come back Monday to knock off Williamsport, 6-3

After surrendering a pair of first-inning runs to the Williamsport Crosscutters Monday night, the Aberdeen IronBirds came back with a four-run rally in the sixth that helped them to a 6-3 road win.

The victory moved Aberdeen to 18-32 for the season.

Williamsport got to Aberdeen starter Matthew Grimes for a pair of tallies in the bottom of the first, scoring twice on single, two errors and a sacrifice bunt.

Through the next two innings, Grimes held the hosts hitless and issued a pair of walks.

Matt Schuh (2-0), who earned the win, came on in the fourth and tossed two perfect innings, striking out three of the six hitters he faced.

Steven Wilkerson started off Aberdeen's half of the sixth with a double to left, then moved over to third on Cory Segui's base hit to left.

Oswill Lartiguez then brought Wilkerson home for Aberdeen's first run on a sacrifice fly, and Justin Viele followed up with a game-tying, RBI double to right.

Alex Murphy put the IronBirds ahead to stay with a double that scored Viele, while Federico Castagnini got in the act as well, bashing a double to left that scored Murphy from second and put guests up, 4-2.

Aberdeen reliever Josh Walker allowed a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, which allowed Williamsport to cut the deficit to 4-3. The home run, however, would be the only hit Walker surrendered over his two innings.

Wilkerson was the spark for Aberdeen's second rally of the evening, as he roped a one-out double in the seventh. Segui once again knocked Wilkerson home with an RBI single.

After Lartiguez followed with a single and Viele walked to load the bases, Murphy hit into an RBI groundout that brought Segui home from third for the final run of the game.

Ivan Hernandez came out of the Aberdeen bullpen for the home half of the eighth but only stuck around for one out, as the inning's leadoff hitter sent a line drive off Hernandez's head. Viele, playing shortstop, was able to field the ball and fire to Segui at first to get the out, but Hernandez was removed from the game.

Aberdeen's Derrick Bleeker came on and retired the next two hitters on groundouts.

In the ninth, after Bleeker retired the first two hitters, the hosts loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batter. Bleeker, however, was able to escape the jam and end the game on a strikeout with the winning run at the plate.

'Birds whitewashed

Playing away against Williamsport on Sunday night, the IronBirds were held to four hits and in a 2-0 loss to the Crosscutters.

Aberdeen starter Stephen Tarpley (1-3) took the loss despite allowing just one earned run on five hits over six innings. Before exiting prior to the seventh, Tarpley posted four strikeouts and issued one walk.

Reliever Nik Nowottnick went two innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits and recording two strikeouts.

Jay Gonzalez had half of the IronBirds' hits on the evening, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.

Alex Murphy and Jamil Moquete both went 1-for-3 with a single.

Scoreless after the first

Things started well for the IronBirds on Saturday night, as they scored once in their first turn at the plate, but their bats went silent for the remaining eight innings in a 5-1 loss to host Williamsport.

Aberdeen's Alex Murphy reached base on a fielding error with one out in the top of the first, then moved over to third when Williamsport misplayed Austin Anderson's dribbler in front of the plate. Riley Palmer followed by hitting a sacrifice fly that allowed Murphy to tag up and score.

The Crosscutters were silent until the fourth, when they went ahead for good with a two-run rally. Two more runs followed in the fourth, while Williamsport's final tally came in the sixth.

IronBirds starter John Means (0-2) took the loss, allowing two earned runs on five hits, striking out three and issuing zero walks over 3-2/3 innings.

Stefan Crichton struck out two, walked one and allowed three earned runs on four hits over 1-1/3 innings, while teammate Nigel Nootbaar tossed three hitless innings, striking out one and walking two.

Jay Gonzales, the only Aberdeen batter with multiple hits, went 2-for-4.

Comeback win

The Aberdeen men staged their biggest comeback of the season thus far on Friday night, scratching their way back from a 4-1 deficit to beat the State College Spikes, 5-4, in 10 innings at State College.

Trailing, 4-1, after six full innings, Aberdeen got a spark in the top of the seventh, when Austin Anderson blasted a two-out, two-RBI double to center that scored Tad Gold and Justin Viele, who had both reached base with one-out walks.

Still needing a run in the ninth inning, Aberdeen saw Jay Gonzalez lead off with a walk. Tad Gold moved his teammate over to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Gonzalez later came around to score the tying run when Alex Murphy's grounder to third was misplayed.

After tee Spikes went down in order in the bottom half of the ninth, Aberdeen's Riley Palmer started the 10th with a base on balls. One out later, Jamil Moquete slammed a triple to left field that brought Palmer home for what would be the winning run.

Luc Rennie (1-1), who had come on in relief in the fifth and pitched the balance of the game, retired the side in the bottom of the 10th to earn his first win of the season. Over six innings, Rennie struck out three, walked one and allowed three earned runs on four hits.

David Hess started for the IronBirds and went four innings, striking out four, walking two and allowing one earned run on four hits.

Aberdeen scored in the first inning, producing a run on three straight one-out singles from Murphy, Anderson and Federico Castagnini.

State College tied the game with a single run in the fourth, then went ahead with a three-run rally in the sixth.

Double-header split

Playing a double-header with host State College Thursday, the IronBirds won the first game, 3-2, but dropped the second, 8-2.

The two teams were playing a twin-bill because Wednesday's contest was rained out. Both of Thursday's games were shortened to seven innings as a result.

With the score tied, 2-2, in the seventh inning of the opening game, Aberdeen got what would be the winning run when Alex Murphy hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Steve Wilkerson to tag up and score from third. Wilkerson led off the inning with a single, then moved over to third on Jay Gonzalez's base hit to right.

Riley Palmer went 2-for-3 with his second home run of the season, a double and two RBIs, while was Tanner Murphy went 3-for-3 in the victory. Hector Veloz went 2-for-3, while Alex Murphy was 1-for-3 with one run.

Reliever Derrick Bleeker (1-1) earned the win, striking out two and allowing two earned runs on three hits over two innings. Tanner Chleborad made the start and went five innings, striking out one, walking three and holding the hosts to three hits.

In the second game, Austin Anderson, the only IronBird with multiple hits, went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI. Federico Castagnini and Cory Segui both went 1-for-3 with one run. Alex Murphy was 1-for-2 with an RBI double.

Starter Lucas Long (0-1) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and striking out five, while not walking a batter over 3-2/3 innings. Matt Trowbridge allowed three earned runs on three hits, struck out two and walked one over 1-1/3 innings. Augey Bill surrendered two earned runs on four hits and recorded one strikeout in one inning.

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