An improbable walk-off win!
That’s what the Aberdeen IronBirds pulled off Wednesday night at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. Aberdeen (17-7) scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Hickory Crawdads (10-16), 4-3, in High-A East Minor League Baseball play.
It is Aberdeen’s sixth straight win.
Down 3-1, with two outs in the ninth, Shayne Fontana singled on the first pitch he saw from Hickory closer Grant Anderson.
Jordan Westburg then fell behind, 0-2, but he also singled and both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball with Kyle Stowers at the plate.
Stowers singled off the second pitch he saw, plating both Fontana and Westburg to tie the game 3-3. Toby Welk and JD Mundy both walked to load the bases and Zach Watson fought off a 1-2 count with a single, driving in Stowers with the winning run.
Aberdeen had been shut down on one hit and one run primarily by Hickory starting pitcher Cole Ragans.
Ragans, a Texas Rangers first round pick in 2016, pitched six strong innings. He allowed one hit, a Fontana home run in the fourth inning, while striking out 11.
Reliever Jean Casanova was effective, too, throwing two hitless and scoreless innings with one strikeout.
Hickory’s scoring came in the fifth and sixth innings. Jonathan Ornelas drove in two with a single and Kole Enright doubled in the third run.
Easton Lucas (1-0) earned the win with an inning of relief. Lucas struck out two. Jonathan Pendergast (1K) also threw an inning of scoreless relief.
Aberdeen starter Drew Rom pitched five innings (81 pitches), allowing four hits and two earned runs, while striking out nine.
Garrett Farmer pitched two relief innings, giving up two hits and one earned run. Farmer struck out one.
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Game three of the series is scheduled for Thursday night at the stadium. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.