Aberdeen's Andrew Fregia belted a late-inning, three-run home run Wednesday night to lift the IronBirds to a fifth straight win.
Aberdeen's Andrew Fregia belted a late-inning, three-run home run Wednesday night to lift the IronBirds to a fifth straight win. (Matt Button / The Aegis / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Andrew Fregia hit a three-run home run Wednesday night to lift the Aberdeen IronBirds to a fifth straight New York Penn League win.

The blast, which came on a 2-1 count, brought the IronBIrds from behind for a 5-4 win over the host Tri-City ValleyCats.

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The win put the 'Birds at 33-26, 3.5 games back of Hudson Valley (35-22) in McNamara Division play. The 'Birds currently sit in a wild card playoff spot.

Aberdeen and Tri-City are scheduled to play again tonight at 7 p.m.

In Wednesday’s win, Aberdeen fell behind 4-0 as the ValleyCats scored a run in the first and three more in the third off Aberdeen starting pitcher Leonardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez went five innings and two of the runs were unearned.

The Aberdeen comeback started in the fifth. Lenin Rodriguez reached on a catching error with one out and with two gone in the inning, Adley Rutschman doubled to right field to plate Lenin Rodriguez.

Rutschman was caught between second and third and tagged out to end the inning.

The IronBirds also added a run in the sixth. Irving Ortega was aboard with a fielder’s choice and on a Dalton Hoiles single. Ortega moved to third. Moments later, Ortega stole home.

Aberdeen reliever Malachi Emond came on to pitch two scoreless and hitless innings innings, setting up Fregia’s heroic shot.

In the eighth, Ian Evans and Ortega hit back-to-back, one-out singles. Hoiles struck out for the second out, but Fregia just plain struck, driving the ball over the left field wall.

“That felt amazing. I was getting bullied by fastballs all night and it felt good to run into one,” Fregia said. “Down 4-0, we were calm and it was awesome to see everyone going crazy when I rounded third.”

Rutschman, Evans and Ortega had two hits apiece to lead the offense.

Emond (3-2) was the winner. Marlon Constante pitched a scoreless eighth and Kade Strowd gave up a single, but struck out two in the ninth for his second save.

“Great team win tonight. [Leonardo] Rodriguez battled through five, the rest of the pitchers did their job,” Aberdeen manager Kevin Bradshaw said. “We had confidence that Fregia was going to get a big hit for us and he did.”

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