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The Aegis Sports

IronBirds use two big hits to post 5-4 win over BlueClaws

The Aberdeen IronBirds were in the win column Thursday, but only after dropping Wednesday’s game that was concluded on Thursday.

Aberdeen won Thursday’s High-A South Atlantic League game, 5-4, after losing the resumed game, 6-3, at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.

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In the win, Aberdeen (53-30 overall, 10-7 second half) had just four hits and scored all five runs on two big swings. Darell Hernaiz roped a two-run home run in the first inning, while Billy Cook added a bases loaded and bases clearing double in the fourth.

Aberdeen was shut out over the final five innings, but IronBirds pitcher Ignacio Feliz (5-2) pitched six scoreless innings to keep the ‘Birds ahead. Feliz allowed just one hit, while waking two and striking out seven.

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The BlueClaws (28-54) scored four runs (three earned) in the seventh inning off Aberdeen reliever Nick Roth (five hits, two strikeouts).

Tow more relievers, though, shut the BlueClaws out over the final two innings. Carson Carter (1H, 1K) worked the eighth and Xavier Moore (1H, 1BB, 2K) pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

The series continues Friday at 7:05 p.m., while Saturday features a doubleheader. Game one is set for 4:05 p.m. and game two will follow. The series will finish with Sunday’s 2:05 p.m. game.

The resumed game

In Wednesday’s game, one issue from Tuesday’s storm lingered, causing the game to be halted in the sixth inning. Aberdeen General Manager Jack Graham confirmed that Tuesday’s strong winds may have altered the direction of some of the stadium lights.

The result left a difficult dark spot around home plate, forcing stoppage in the sixth inning with Aberdeen batting.

The game, the debut for Heston Kjerstad, was a 6-3 Jersey Shore lead at the time of stoppage and the there was no further scoring when play resumed on Thursday.

Kjerstad, the Orioles first round pick in 2020, finished 1-for-4 with a walk. “Ready for a new challenge, another level of play and just continue what I’ve been doing and keep enjoying playing baseball,” Kjerstad said Tuesday morning.

Through 22 games at Delmarva, Kjerstad was 37-for-98 for .463 batting average with nine doubles, two home runs and 17 RBIs.

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“I’m still refining my approach, it’s baseball, no matter how good you’re doing, I’m still missing pitches here-and-there. You’re trying to be perfect and you never will be,” he said.

Collin Burns went 3-for-5 with a double and Ramon Rodriguez was were both 2-for-4 with a double. Ryan Higgins (RBI) and John Rhodes also hit doubles and TT Bowens had an RBI.

Aberdeen pitcher Peter Van Loon, who came in 8-0, had an unusual tough start. Van Loon gave up five hits, one walk and five runs (four earned), while striking out three.

Houston Roth (1H, 2BB, 1R, 7K) and Gregori Vasquez (1H, 1BB, 1K) each threw three innings of strong relief.


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