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IronBirds season is over after 1-2 trip in Hudson Valley

The Aberdeen IronBirds closed the 2019 season with a win Monday, but a game shy of a New York Penn League playoff spot.
The Aberdeen IronBirds closed the 2019 season with a win Monday, but a game shy of a New York Penn League playoff spot. (Ulysses Muoz / Baltimore Sun)

Despite winning the final game of the 2019 New York Penn League season on Monday, the Aberdeen IronBirds saw their season come to an end, one game shy of both the McNamara Division title and the lone playoff wild card spot.

The 'Birds (42-33) blanked host Hudson Valley (43-32), 1-0, in the afternoon to keep playoff hopes alive, but Brooklyn (43-32) also won Monday evening to eliminate Aberdeen.

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Brooklyn wins the division and Hudson Valley gets the wild card.

Despite missing the playoffs again, Aberdeen celebrated the most wins in team history and it’s a third straight winning season.

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The team also set records for team ERA, strikeouts and runners caught stealing.

“Great season. Disappointed not to make the playoffs with the pitching we had, but we raised the bar up with setting all the records,” Aberdeen manager Kevin Bradshaw said. “That’ll give us something to shoot for next year.”

Pitching was at the forefront of Monday’s win. Four Aberdeen pitchers combined for the shutout win. Jake Lyons made the start and despite allowing three hits and four walks over four innings, he kept the Renegades off the scoreboard. Lyons struck out three.

Jonathan Pendergast (1-0) pitched the next three innings to earn the win. he gave up a hit and walk, while striking out one.

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Shelton Perkins added one inning, striking out two and Kade Strowd pitched the final inning for his third save. He struck out one.

“Obviously we lost some offense but that happens. Gave some guys a great opportunity to play,” Bradshaw said. “Problem is I hate to waste the pitching we had. Anything could have happened in those short three-game series.”

Offense was at a minimum Monday with seven total hits among the two teams. Aberdeen had just three, but it was one of those that made the difference in the game.

Andrew Daschbach hit a two-out, solo home run in the fourth and that was the game-winner. Clay Fisher and Trevor Putzig added a single each.

Three of the Renegades four hits were doubles, but none were able to be cashed in.

One-run games were a big part of the Aberdeen season. 32 of the 75 games played were won and lost by a run. Aberdeen won 12 and lost 20.

Two crucial losses

Aberdeen dropped the first two games at Hudson Valley Saturday and Sunday.

It was one of those one-run games on Sunday and in 10 innings. Aberdeen was edged, 3-2.

The 'Birds trailed 2-0 into the eighth inning. Joey Ortiz and Harris Yett both singled with one out and both advanced a base on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Ian Evans grounded out to plate Ortiz and Fisher singled to score Yett.

The score remained tied to force the extra inning. In Aberdeen’s half of the 10th, with Kyle Stowers at second base, Daschbach, Ortiz and Yett all went down on strikes.

In the bottom of the inning, Marlon Constante came on to pitch. He struck out the first batter, but a wild pitch moved the base runner to third with one out. The next batter hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the winning run.

The IronBirds out-hit the Renegades, 10-8. Ortiz led with three hits, while Jaylen Ferguson, Mason Janvrin and Yett had two hits apiece.

In Saturday’s 9-1 loss, Aberdeen pitchers were banged around for 16 hits, while the 'Birds were shut down on three hits. Ferguson (3B), Stowers (2B) and Ortiz each had hits.

Ryan Conroy (5-5) made the start and took the loss. He allowed eight hits and three runs (two earned). Kyle Martin gave up seven hits and five earned runs.

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