The streak is over!
The Aberdeen IronBirds ended an eight-game losing streak in walk-off style Saturday night at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.
Adley Rutschman’s two-out, RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning, pushed the IronBirds past the Staten Island Yankees, 4-3, in New York Penn League play.
The win, the first in nine days, puts the 'Birds (29-26) three games over.500, but still four games behind Hudson Valley (32-21). The Renegades have won four straight.
Saturday night’s winning rally started with Dalton Hoiles drawing a leadoff walk. Clay Fisher’s sacrifice bunt moved Hoiles to second base and Shayne Fontana followed with a fly ball deep enough to right field, allowing Hoiles to tag up and move to third.
After a brief mound visit, Rutschman took a 0-1 pitch and lined a single into left field for the game-winner.
“I’ve always felt like the energy that stuff like walk-offs bring, it translates into more than one game,” Rutschman said. “Usually, it’s a big energy moment, it’s a big momentum shift and I think the type of energy everyone brought, the excitement it brings, I think it carries over and I’m hoping we can just keep enjoying the game.”
The 'Birds headed for headed for Vermont late Saturday night, the start of a six-game road trip. It was Vermont that started the 'Birds losing streak. The Lake Monsters scored 21 runs in a three-game sweep in Aberdeen.
Aberdeen and Vermont will play game one today. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.
Kade Strowd (1-0) pitched one inning for the win, striking out one. Starter Ryan Conroy was strong over seven innings and left with a 3-2 lead and chance to win. He gave up four hits, one walk and two earned runs, while striking out five.
Connor Gillispie was tagged with a blown save, allowing two hits and an earned run over an inning of work.
Offensively, Rutschman finished with two hits, a walk and two RBIs. Fontana added a hit, RBI and run scored and Fisher also had a single and RBI.
“Very pleasing, the last eight days have felt like month and we haven’t played as well as we wanted to, but maybe getting this big hit by Adley [Rutschman] will get us over what we need to get over and we can go on a little streak,” Aberdeen manager Kevin Bradshaw said. “I think more than anything, the workout we had today and I knew we were going on a long trip so we had to get some work in today. The boys responded and we got some good work and it carried over into this game and hopefully it will carry over into this trip."