The Aberdeen IronBirds, fighting for their New York-Penn League playoff lives, needed extra innings Wednesday night to get past the host Hudson Valley Renegades.
Aberdeen (31-27) scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning, taking advantage of a third Hudson Valley error, en route to a 6-5 victory. Hudson Valley didn't make it easy, putting four hits together in the bottom of the 10th for two runs. With the win, the IronBirds lead in the McNamara Division went back to a game and a half because of Brooklyn's 5-3 loss at Staten Island.
Aberdeen's 10th inning rally started with a Jared Breen single. Breen moved to second on Mike Yastrzemski's ground out and Hudson Valley chose to intentionally walk Trey Mancini (2-for-4). Connor Bierfeldt (1-for-5) then hit a drive into deep left-center field, where Renegades outfielder James Harris stumbled and dropped the ball. Both Breen and Mancini scored on the error.
Two batters later, Hector Veloz (2-for-5) doubled off the center field wall, plating Bierfeldt. It was a Veloz RBI single in the eighth, scoring Yastrzemski, that tied the game, 3-3, forcing the extra inning.
Donnie Hart pitched an inning and a third in relief for the win.
Neither team finished the game with their respective leaders. IronBirds manager Matt Merullo was thrown out of the game in the top of the eighth inning by home plate umpire Nate Caldwell for arguing a third strike call. Hudson Valley manager Michael Johns was ejected in the fourth inning by base umpire Dave Attridge.
Harvey takes tough-luck loss
Hunter Harvey, the Baltimore Orioles 2013 first round pick, made his Aberdeen IronBirds debut Tuesday, but it wasn't enough to get his team into the win column.
Harvey pitched fairly well over four and a third innings, allowing just four hits, a walk and one unearned run, but the run was enough for Hudson Valley, which shut out Aberdeen, 1-0, at Ripken Stadium.
Harvey, who was dealt his first professional loss, struck out five.
Hudson Valley starter Chris Kirsch stymied Aberdeen's bats for six innings, scattering three hits. He walked two and struck out five in collecting the win.
Mike Yastrzemski had two of the IronBirds' three hits. Connor Bierfeldt had the other hit.
Aberdeen slipped to 30-27 overall, just a half game ahead of the Brooklyn Cyclones (31-29), who defeated Staten Island, 2-0, Tuesday night.
The IronBirds return to Aberdeen tonight (Friday) to play the Connecticut Tigers. Game time is 7:05 p.m.