Six Aberdeen IronBirds players were part of the New York Penn League’s annual All-Star Game Wednesday evening and all six saw action.
The players, pitchers Ryan Conroy and Leonardo Rodriguez, were joined by infielders Tony Welk and Andrew Fregia and outfielders Dalton Hoiles and Kyle Stowers.
The Aberdeen contingent were part of the Red team, that fell to the Blue team, 7-4. The game was played at the Richmond County bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees. The game took 2:52 to play and had a 1:07 weather delay before its start. The attendance was 2,651.
Fregia (1-3) and Stowers (1-2) had the most success among the Aberdeen players offensively. Both entered the game as pinch hitters in the fifth inning. Fregia’s first plate appearance resulted in a single. He batted twice more in the game, striking out in the seventh and grounding out to end the game in the ninth.
“It was awesome, just an all around great event,” Fregia said. Crazy to think how many guys in both dugouts will be in the big leagues. I had a blast."
Stowers, meanwhile, made the most of his two at bats. The lefty struck out in the fifth, but displayed his recent power drive in the eighth. On a one ball, two strike pitch from Batavia’s Brock Love, Stowers went deep. Stowers, who leads Aberdeen with five home runs, sent a drive over the wall in center field.
Hoiles and Welk both went 0-for-2. Hoiles flew out in the seventh and struck out in the ninth, while Welk popped out in the fifth and flew out in the eighth. Welk has been Aberdeen’s best hitter throughout the season. He has 62 hits in a 180 at bats for a .344 average. He has 12 doubles, two triples and four home runs. Scored 22 runs and drove in 28.
On the mound, both Conroy and Rodriguez threw an inning each. Conroy entered the game in the second inning with his team down 1-0.
Conroy gave up a lead off single, but the next batter grounded into a double play. Unfortunately, the next three batters produced three hits (two doubles, one single) and two runs. Conroy got the next batter out, but his line read one inning pitched, four hits, two runs.
Rodriguez had a little better result, coming in to pitch the fifth, with his team down just a run, 4-3. Rodriguez got the first batter to fly out to right field and he struck out the next two hitters on a combined seven pitches.
The final 12 games
Aberdeen, 7-3 over last 10, enters tonight’s game at 35-28, one game out of first place in McNamara Division play and half game back of the one wild card playoff spot.
There are 12 games remaining on the schedule with nine on the road. Among them are three at Staten Island, tonight, Friday and Saturday, and three at Hudson Valley (Aug. 31, Sept. 1, 2) to end the season. The 'Birds are also in Lowell (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday).
The 'Birds have just three home games left and those are against Brooklyn. The final home series at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium is set for Wednesday, Thursday and next Friday.
The nine games against division foes will determine the division champion and likely the wild card spot, too.