The Aberdeen IronBirds closed out the month of July on a winning note Wednesday, blanking host Mahoning Valley, 2-0, in New York Penn League action in Ohio.
The win finished the 'Birds at 20-9 in July and they begin August atop the McNamara Division standings. Aberdeen (27-18) leads Hudson Valley (25-18) by a game and Brooklyn (25-19) by a game and a half. Staten Island (22-21) is three and a half games back
Aberdeen was to close out the series at Mahoning Valley Thursday and return home to Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium on Friday to begin a short, three-game series against Vermont.Games are set for Friday (7:05 p.m.); Saturday (6:05 p.m.); and Sunday (4:05 p.m.)
In Wednesday night’s win, it was a string combined pitching effort that keyed the win.
Ryan Conroy made the start and pitched five innings for the win, improving to a team-best 4-2. Conroy allowed two hits, walked three and struck out two. “I didn’t have my best stuff today, but I battled through five and then the guys after me came in and pitched fantastic,” Conroy said. “Team effort on the mound to get it done today.”
The others, Malachi Emond, Shelton Perkins and Kade Strowd were near perfect over the final four innings.
Emond allowed one hit and struck out two in the sixth and Perkins retired three straight batters in the seventh.
Strowd pitched the eighth and ninth innings for his first save. He struck out one.
“Outstanding pitching and outstanding defense that kept the ball in the ballpark,” manager Kevin Bradshaw said. “We threw a lot of strikes, three walks total is really nice.”
Offensively, Aberdeen didn’t exactly knock the cover off the ball, but the 'Birds were able to make the most out of four hits.
The 'Birds scored single runs in the second and third innings. In the second, Andrew Daschbach reached base on the game’s lone error. He scored later on Jean Carmona’s two-out, RBI single.
In the third, Dalton Hoiles singled, Adley Rutschman walked and Tony Welk (2-4) singled to load the bases. Kyle Stowers then grounded out sharply to the pitcher, but Hoiles was able to score the second run.
Stowers and Joey Ortiz both hit first professional home runs and Leonardo Rodriguez pitched six solid innings to lead the Aberdeen IronBirds past Mahoning Valley, 5-3, in Niles, OH. Tuesday night.
The Scrappers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Aberdeen did all its damage over the next four innings. Stowers (1-4, 2 RBIs) home run tied the game in the second and his sacrifice fly scoring Rutschman (2-4) with the go-ahead run came in the team’s two-run third inning.
Daschbach (2-4) also delivered a sacrifice fly in the inning, plating Welk (1-5) with the third run.
Aberdeen added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings as well. Carmona (2-4) single in Ortiz in the fourth and Ortiz (2-3, 2 runs) closed the scoring with his home run in the fifth.
Hoiles and Ian Evans also had a hit each in the win.
Rodriguez (2-2) gave up one hit, two walks and one run, while striking out nine. Marcos Molina, making a rehab start for Aberdeen, pitched the first two innings. He allowed two hits, a walk and a run, while striking out two.
Marlon Constante worked the final inning, giving up one hit and one run and he also struck out one for his fourth save.
Johnathan Rodriguez belted two solo home runs to lead the Scrappers.