The Aegis Sports

IronBirds win 40th game, earn first half title and spot in playoffs

The Aberdeen IronBirds won their 40th game Wednesday night and with it, a first half championship.

The ‘Birds (40-19) edged Jersey Shore (23-36), 3-2, to clinch the High-A South Atlantic League North first-half title.


“First half title means guys are developing as players and performing on the field. In my opinion elite teams continue to develop, perform during the game and are great teammates,” Aberdeen manager Roberto Mercado said. “We have been able to do a pretty good job of that this first half of the year. We have an amazing staff that have done a tremendous job getting our guys ready to perform on a daily basis.”

The 40 wins are 11 more than any other team in the division, leading runner-up Wilmington (30-27) by nine games.


The title guarantees the ‘Birds a spot in the postseason playoffs. Since the 2002 season, the first in Aberdeen, the IronBirds had one other playoff appearance in 2013.

In Wednesday’s win the ‘Birds used a pair of home runs to provide all three runs and all came in the third inning with two outs.

Collin Burns reached with a two-out single and Colton Cowser blasted a two-run shot to get the scoring started. Coby Mayo (3-for-4) added a solo shot as the ‘Birds 3-4 hitters went back-to-back.

As has been the case for many of the 40 wins, Aberdeen pitching took care of the rest. Three pitchers combined to shut the BlueClaws down on five hits.

Starter Jean Pinto pitched the first four innings in a non-decision. Pinto allowed four hits and two runs (one earned), while striking out four.

Houston Roth (4-1) pitched the next four innings for the win, allowing just one hit and one walk, while striking out eight. Xavier Moore added his fifth save, striking out two in an inning of work.