After dropping two straight games at home by 3-2 scores, the Aberdeen IronBirds went on the road Monday and won a one-run game, beating Hudson Valley, 7-6.
The win was highlighted by an Aberdeen rally in the top of the ninth. Trailing 6-5, Randolph Gassaway ignited the rally with a leadoff single.
Steve Wilkerson was hit by a pitch and both runners moved up a base on an passed ball with Austin Anderson at bat. Anderson singled on a ground ball to center field, plating both Gassaway and Wilkerson.
Aberdeen (23-45) scored a run in the eighth as well, as Hector Veloz belted his seventh home run of the season.
Wilkerson hit his second homer of the year in the third with one man aboard.
Aberdeen's other two runs were scored in the fourth on three straight hits. Jamill Moquete and Veloz hit doubles and Oswill Lartiguez added a single.
Anderson and Veloz each had two hits to lead Aberdeen's 10-hit attack.
Mike Burke pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three, in the win.
Extra-inning loss Sunday
For the 16th time this season, the Aberdeen IronBirds lost a one-run game Sunday, 3-2, in 10 innings to the Lowell Spinners, who took two of three from the IronBirds over the weekend.
The Spinners wasted no time getting to Aberdeen starter Matthew Grimes. Three singles, an error and two wild pitches produced two runs in the first inning.
Lowell pitcher Aaron Wilkerson, meanwhile, was shutting down the IronBirds in order over the first four innings. Wilkerson retired the first 12 batters on six ground ball outs, five fly outs and one strikeout.
Aberdeen designated hitter Jamill Moquete ended the Wilkerson streak, leading off the fifth by hitting a first pitch, fastball just over the wall in left.
"My first at bat, the guy, he tried to come in with the fastball. He got me, cause I didn't put any good swings on it," Moquete said. "I went into the dugout and my hitting coach Scott [Thomas] told me, I can't be taking those pitches anymore and on my next at bat, he was telling me, look for the first fastball. If you get it, just sit on it and hit it hard. I hit it really well."
The IronBirds rallied to load the bases with one out in the eighth, but Wilkerson struck out the next two batters to end his night. Wilkerson, the ace of the Lowell staff, allowed just four hits and one run. He walked two and struck out eight over eight innings.
Lowell reliever Mario Alcantara blew the save in the ninth. Riley Palmer drilled a pitch onto the roof beyond the Aberdeen bullpen to tie the game at 2 and give Aberdeen life.
Alcantara then picked up the win as Lowell scored a run in the10th. Raymel Flores singled with one out. He moved to second on a passed ball and stole third uncontested with two outs. Deiner Lopez squeezed home Flores with the game-winner with two outs. Flores beat a high throw to first for the game-winning single.
Despite Grimes' first inning issues, relievers Bobby Bundy (two innings pitched, two strikeouts, no hits and no walks) and Zach Albin (three innings pitched, one hit, one strikeout and no walks) shut down the Spinners. Stefan Crichton did as well for two innings before things unraveled in the 10th.
Another 3-2 loss
Aberdeen continued its miserable season with another one-run loss at Ripken Stadium Saturday night.
The IronBirds, who beat the Lowell Spinners Friday night after losing the previous two games, couldn't put together even the most modest of winning streaks – two games. Aberdeen scored twice and had the tie run on third in the bottom of the ninth before Cory Segui grounded into a force out to make the final score, 3-2.
The game was scoreless through five; Lowell scored the first fun in the sixth and two more in the eighth. Starter Stephen Tarpley pitched well for the IronBirds, going seven innings, striking out eight without issuing a walk, giving up just three hits and one run. One of the three hits, however, was an inside-the-park home run on a line drive down the left field line by Deiner Lopez.
Friday night against Lowell was a different story. After being swept by Hudson Valley the previous two nights, the IronBirds rebounded to beat the Spinners, 5-2.
Aberdeen scored three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth, while Lowell put up its two runs in the sixth.
Austin Anderson walked to start the fourth for Aberdeen and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jamill Moquete doubled to left field to score Anderson. With one out, Riley Palmer singled to center but ended up at second on the throw in the from the outfield. Tanner Murphy singled to the pitcher but his errant throw allowed Moquete and Palmer to Aberdeen's second and third runs.
Then in the bottom of the fifth with one out, Jay Gonzalez reached on a fielding error by Lowell's shortstop, Mauricio Dubon. Wilkerson tripled to center to score Gonzalez. Wilkerson then scored on a double by Anderson.
Wilkerson was 2-4 with a triple and an RBI, Murphy was 2-3 with an RBI, Moquete and Anderson were each 1-3 with a double and an RBI (Anderson also walked). Palmer was 1-4 on the night.
Swept by Renegades
The Aberdeen IronBirds were victimized by a six-run inning Thursday night that resulted in another loss. Hudson Valley completed the brief two-game sweep, beating Aberdeen, 7-3, at Ripken Stadium.
It was Aberdeen's sixth straight loss and eighth in the last nine games played.
The Renegades broke open a 1-1 tie with the big fourth inning. The Renegades pounded out 11 hits in the game, with six in the fourth. The inning was also aided by two walks, one error and one wild pitch.
Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Aberdeen tied the game with a pair of two-out hits. Federico Castagnini singled and scored on Randolph Gassaway's triple.
Aberdeen added two more runs in the sixth. Jamill Moquete hit a home run to left field, his sixth of the season. Riley Palmer then drew a walk and Hector Veloz tripled him in.
Lucas Long started the game for Aberdeen and pitched well for three innings. He allowed three hits, walked one and allowed one earned run. He struck out four.
Luc Rennie, who came on to start the fourth, took the loss. Rennie gave up six hits, six earned runs and a walk.
Moquete and Gassaway led the offense with two hits apiece.
All-Star game in Aberdeen in 2015
The 2015 New York-Penn League All-Star Game will be played at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, the Aberdeen IronBirds and the New York-Penn League announced Thursday. This will be the second time Ripken Stadium has hosted the game.
In 2006, more than 6,900 fans came through the gates.
"The Aberdeen IronBirds and Ripken Baseball are thrilled to have the best and brightest in the New York-Penn League come to Ripken Stadium next summer and play baseball the Ripken Way," IronBirds General Manager Joe Harrington said.
Additional events and activities surrounding the 2015 NYPL All-Star Game will be announced in the coming months and will be available through the IronBirds' official website, http://www.ironbirdsbaseball.com.
"We added the Ripken orange walls and new uniforms this year to continue to innovate the IronBirds experience and we are looking to reinvent the All-Star game experience next year," Harrington said. "We are very excited that the best players from around the league will come to Aberdeen and see the passion and energy that IronBirds fans bring to the ballpark each and every home game."
All-Star game tickets are on sale at http://www.ironbirdsbaseball.com or by calling 410-297-9292 as part of the 2015 season ticket plans, either a full or half season plan.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun