The Aberdeen IronBirds had no trouble scoring runs Thursday night, plating nine of them on the way to a 9-1 High-A East win over Jersey Shore at Leidos Feld at Ripken Stadium.
The series continues Friday with a doubleheader. Game one is scheduled to begin at 4:35 p.m., while the nightcap will start approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Both games are scheduled for seven innings.
In Thursday’s win, the ’Birds (53-50) jumped ahead with a first inning run and then plated another run in the third. After tacking on four more in the fourth, the lead was up to 6-0.
Ryne Ogren hit his first home run as an IronBird, a three-run shot as part of the four-run fourth inning.
Aberdeen added its final three runs in the seventh courtesy of a TT Bowens three-run home run, also his first as an IronBird.
Jersey Shore (47-55) scored its lone run in the seventh as well.
Five Aberdeen hitters had two hits apiece: Gunnar Henderson (RBI, run); Doran Turchin (run); Ogren (two runs, 3 RBIs); Cristopher Cespedes (RBI); and Bowens (2 runs, 3 RBIs). Aberdeen had 13 hits.
Aberdeen pitching was as good as the hitting. Starting pitcher Griffin McLarty (1-0) threw five scoreless innings for the win. McLarty scattered four hits and he struck out four.
Reliever Ryan Watson threw three innings, giving up three hits, a walk and one run. He struck out three.
Nick Roth pitched the final inning, allowing one hit.
The win pushed Aberdeen one more game above .500 with 16 games left in its first season as a High-A club?
In 18 seasons as a short season, Low-A team, Aberdeen finished above .500 six times and played an even .500 season once.
“It’s super difficult and I think where we are now, it’s going to be a really tall challenge to finish with a winning record,” manager Kyle Moore said recently. “It’s something that I definitely look at and something that I definitely want to do. I mean, I think about that every time I look at our record. How are we going to win 15 of our next 30, 10 out of these next 20 and so I do think about it. I think it’s important and I think it’s important that a team finishes with a winning record.”
Making it more difficult is constant turnover on the roster, but that’s expected. “I’m really proud of the 23 guys we’ve promoted to Bowie and they’re doing well there,” Moore said. “A lot of the guys that are every day players on that team were every day players on this team, so we did our job, we got them where they are supposed to be.”