The Aberdeen IronBirds drive toward a possible spot in the New York-Penn League's playoffs hit a snag Monday night in extra innngs.
The IronBirds (35-34) fell to Vermont, 5-2, in a game that needed 13 innings at Ripken Stadium. Both Hudson Valley and Staten Island improved to 36-32 atop the McNamara Division.
Aberdeen fell behind, 2-0, in Monday's loss, as Vermont scored single runs in the fourth and seventh innings. Aberdeen responded with its two runs in the bottom of the seventh.
A strikeout-passed ball allowed Steve Laurino to reach base with one out. Chris Shaw then reached on an error, but Alex Murphy struck out for the second out. Austin Pfeiffer drew a walk to load the bases and Drew Turbin followed with his team-high 15th double to score both Laurino and Shaw.
The game remained tied until the top of the 13th. Vermont tagged Aberdeen reliever Andrew Elliott (0-1) with three singles, a double and three runs in the inning.
Ricardo Andujar had two of Aberdeen's six hits.
Aberdeen was to play Vermont again Tuesday night, before inviting Lowell to town for the final three home games of the season. Wednesday's game, celebrating the 20-year anniversary of Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,131 consecutive games played streak, begins at 7:05 p.m. Thursday and Friday's game also begins at 7:05 p.m.
The IronBirds will conclude the regular season with three games at Hudson Valley, beginning Saturday.
Back home with a win
The IronBirds came back to Aberdeen Sunday to begin their final homestand and did so with a win, beating Vermont, 9-5.
Aberdeen scored first, but through three innings found itself behind, 3-1. The IronBirds, however, scored eight runs over a three-inning stretch to grab control of the game.
The IronBirds scored five in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth. Cedric Mullins led the way, going 3-for-5 with a double, a team-best fourth triple and two RBIs. Randy Gassaway also had three hits with an double and RBI. Steve Laurino, Ryan Mountcastle (two RBIs) and Austin Pfeiffer (RBI) each had two hits. Mullins, Laurino and Alex Murphy each scored two runs in the win.
Cristian Alvarado evened his record at 2-2 with five innings of work. He allowed five hits and three earned runs, while striking out two.
'Birds drop finale
Aberdeen's attempt to sweep the host Brooklyn Cyclones ended with a 10-2 loss Saturday. The IronBirds jumped ahead early with a first inning run, but Brooklyn erupted for 15 hits and scored 10 runs in three at bats. Brooklyn scored four runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, sandwiching a two-run fifth.
Aberdeen was held to seven hits and one more run scoring in the sixth. Ricardo Andujar was the lone IronBirds hittter with two hits. Mullins and D.J. Stewart scored runs, while Stewart and Chris Shaw each hit doubles.
Travis Seabrooke (3-7) was the losing pitcher, lasting three and two-third innings. He gave up six hits, a walk and four earned runs. Reliever Elias Pinales fared worse, giving up seven hits and six earned runs in juts an inning and two-thirds on the mound. Yi-Hsiang Lin, Garrett Cleavinger and Ryan Meisinger combined to pitch two and two-third scoreless innings.
Aberdeen opened the series in Brooklyn with consecutive wins Thursday and Friday. The IronBirds won Thursday, 5-0, behind strong pitching and 5-2 on Friday behind more good pitching.
In Thursday's win, Zach Albin (2-5) tossed six innings of three-hit and scoreless baseball, striking out one. Jake Bray (two strikeouts) pitched two innings, yielding a hit and Jay Flaa pitched a scoreless ninth.
Aberdeen scored all five runs in the fourth inning. Mullins (double, triple) and Stewart (double) both had two hits and an RBI. Drew Turbin also had two hits and Shaw had an RBI.
In Friday's win, Jean Cosme (3-5) pitched five solid innings for the win. Cosme allowed four hits, two walks and two earned runs, while striking out five. Andrew Elliott struck out four over two innings and Christian Turnipseed (one walk, two K's) worked the final two innings for his fourth save.