Aberdeen IronBirds' third baseman Torsten Boss, who was grabbed by the Orioles in the eighth round of this year's June draft and is the highest 2012 pick currently on the Aberdeen roster, helped lead his team to a 6-1 rain delayed victory over the visiting Brooklyn Cyclones at Ripken Stadium Friday night.
Boss sparked his team's offense in the sixth, muscling a two-out single into right that drove home leadoff man Will Howard from third, tying the contest 1-1. Boss, who played college ball at Michigan State, said the transition to the professional game is tricky, and requires diligence.
"It's a lot different than playing in college," Boss said. "Here, every day you're going to get challenged. The level of competition is so much higher. The pitching is a lot better, so, as a hitter, you have to bring your A game. The coaches here are great; they've helped me a lot. And the guys on the team who've been here before have helped too."
The victory, the IronBirds' first at Ripken Stadium this season, put Aberdeen at 2-3 on the year.
With dark clouds looming over Ripken Stadium before the 7:05 p.m. scheduled start time, the Aberdeen executives called for the tarp to be pulled over the field and the game to be delayed for two hours, rather than start the contest and risk soaking the field when the rains started. The move worked out, as the rain started around 7:30 and tailed off shortly thereafter.
The IronBirds did the rest, rallying for six runs over the final four innings for their first home victory of the season in two tries. Aberdeen's record stands at 2-3.
Aberdeen's big inning turned out to be the seventh, when the IronBirds plated four runs, all after the first two batters were retired. Sam Kimmel doubled to start the rally, then scored what would be the game-winning run on Anthony Vega's triple. The IronBirds would plate three more on a pair of singles and a walk before the Cyclones could escape the inning.
"It was a big team win," Vega said following the game. "I was looking for a pitch to drive in the seventh [inning], and luckily I got one. Our defense was great tonight, and obviously our pitching was great too."
Notes: Monkton native and Calvert Hall graduate Joe Velleggia led off Aberdeen half of the eighth with a triple, then scored the game's final run when Joel Hutter ripped an RBI base hit. Getting the victory was Aberdeen's Jose Nivar (1-0), who tossed three innings of perfect relief, striking out one issuing no walks and holding Brooklyn hitless. Juan Guzman started the game for Aberdeen and went five innings, striking out three, walking two, and allowing one earned run on two hits. Gene Escat closed out the contest, surrendering one walk before retiring the final Brooklyn hitter in the top of the ninth. The IronBirds homestand continues Saturday night with a 7:05 start against Brooklyn, with fireworks following the game. Sunday's getaway game starts at 5:45 p.m., after which the Birds head north to take on the Staten Island Yankees Monday evening.