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IronBirds close homestand with win and league best 19-9 record

A day after getting swept in Saturday’s doubleheader, the Aberdeen IronBirds (19-9) closed out its series with Hickory (12-18) on Sunday with a win at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.

Aberdeen broke up a 2-2 tie with a three-run fifth inning that led to a 6-2 High-A East win. Aberdeen won the series, 4-2.

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The ‘Birds have Monday off before heading to Bowling Green (19-11) to begin a six-game series on Tuesday. Game time is 7:35 p.m.

In Sunday’s win, the IronBirds got off to a fast start. Shayne Fontana, who had a 4-4, two-RBI day, led off the first inning with a triple and scored a short time later on Toby Welk’s sacrifice fly.

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Aberdeen added a second run on a Zach Watson RBI double.

Hickory, though, drew even in the third inning on Jose Acosta’s two-run home run. That’s all Aberdeen starting pitcher Kyle Brnovich allowed, en route to his third win. Brnovich allowed two hits and two runs, while striking out 13.

The ‘Birds made Brnovich a winner with the three-run fifth. A.J. Graffanino and Fontana hit back-to-back doubles to produce the first run and Jahmai Jones (rehabbing from Norfolk) blasted a two-run homer to cap the scoring.

Aberdeen added a final run in the sixth. Maverick Handley (2-4) singled and later scored on a Fontana single.

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Aberdeen reliever Garrett Farmer pitched the final three innings for his third save. Farmer gave up two hits and he struck out four.

Saturday sweep

Aberdeen saw its seven-game win streak snapped on Saturday as Hickory swept a doubleheader, winning, 6-1, and 4-2.

In game one, Aberdeen was down 2-1 in the sixth, but the Crawdads strung together five hits and a sacrifice fly to plate four runs.

Welk doubled and scored the lone IronBirds run in the fourth. Aberdeen had seven hits from seven different batters.

Garrett Stallings (3-2) took the loss. Stallings worked 5.1 innings, allowing six hits (two home runs) and four earned runs. He did strike out eight.

Morgan McSweeney threw 1.2 innings of relief, allowing four hits and two earned runs, He struck out one.

Blaine Crim went 3-3 to lead the Crawdads.

In game two, Aberdeen had a 2-0 lead through three innings, but Hickory scored twice in the fourth and twice in the seventh to win.

The ‘Birds scored once in the first. Welk singled and Andrew Daschbach tripled him in.

Aberdeen added another run in the second with Zach Watson hitting a double and Christopher Burgess driving him in with a single.

Welk and Watson both had two hits to lead the Aberdeen offense.

Ryan Wilson made the start for the ‘Birds, tossing three scoreless innings. Wilson walked three and struck out two.

Ryan Conroy threw an inning, but he gave up two hits, two walks and two earned runs, while striking out three.

Clayton McGinness pitched two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and a walk, while striking out three.

Felix Bautista (0-2) took the loss, pitching the final inning. He allowed three hits (home run), a walk and two earned runs, while striking out two.

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