Baseball: IronBirds fall, 7-3, in season opener

The Aberdeen IronBirds, playing on the road Monday night in the opening game of their 2012 campaign, lost, 7-3, to host Hudson Valley, despite twice battling back from early-inning deficits.

Hudson Valley went up for good in the fourth, scoring a pair of runs on IronBirds starter Sebastian Vader, who exited after the inning was completed. The Renegades then came back to hang three more tallies on Aberdeen reliever Ryan Palsha in the fifth, making the score 7-2. The IronBirds scored their final run in the top of the sixth.

IronBirds reliever Gene Escat closed out the game for the visitors with two innings of shutout ball, striking out one, allowing no walks, and holding the hosts to two hits.

Aberdeen's Jerome Pena was 2-for-4 with a triple and one walk, while Joe Velleggia, whose double was Aberdeen's only other extra-base hit, was 1-for-3 with one walk. Leadoff man Will Howard was 2-for-5, while Roberto Ortiz and Torsten Boss were 1-for-4 and 1-for-3, respectively.

The Aberdeen lineup struck out eight times and left eight runners on base.

The IronBirds play another game at Hudson Valley on Tuesday night, then come back to Aberdeen and Ripken Stadium on Wednesday for their home opener, which will see them host the Renegades in a 7:35 p.m. contest.

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