Back in town for a quick two-game stint with Lowell, the Aberdeen IronBirds took game one Wednesday night with good pitching and some spectacular defense.
Aberdeen (24-31) scored early and won the New York-Penn League game, 5-2. Game two of the series is set for 7:05 p.m. tonight (Thursday).
Cody Sedlock, the Baltimore Orioles first round pick in 2016, made his second and final rehab start for the ‘Birds and it went pretty well. The lanky right hander scattered four hits and walk and struck out three in four scoreless innings of work.
“It felt pretty good, first time going four innings in a long time and the arm felt good throughout the whole thing,” Sedlock said.
Sedlock will now head back to Frederick, where he was when his injury problems started back in April. He will remember his time in Aberdeen, though, both the last week and in 2016. “There’s nothing that beats this stadium and the fans, you guys get loud every time. I was really excited when I came back here because those are some the best memories of pro ball, playing here,” Sedlock said. “To put on that uniform again, was bittersweet, so its was great to be able to pitch in front of these fans and on that mound again.”
Although Sedlock did not factor in the decision, his teammates gave him run support early. The ‘Birds scored three in the first and two in the second with the Lowell defense contributing.
Jean Carmona opened with a single and Anthony Santander, in Aberdeen on rehab from Bowie, walked. J.C Escarra then singled into left field.
Carmona raced around third, but for unknown reasons, stopped and went back to third, where Santander was sliding in. Fortunately, the throw from Lowell left fielder Lane Milligan was errant and Carmona then scored easily.
Robert Neustrom followed with a slow roller up the first base line. Lowell first baseman Devlin Granberg bobbled the ball slightly, allowing Neustrom to reach safely, while Santander scored.
Escarra scored the third run when Cody Roberts grounded into an 6-4-3 double play.
Aberdeen was back at it in the second. Adam Hall drilled a solo home run, his first, to lead off the inning. Robbie Thorburn then reached on an error and eventually scored on Escarra’s second single.
The IronBirds left the bases loaded and stranded 12 base runners for the game.
In the third inning, it was time for the defense, primarily Nick Horvath in center field, to shine.
The inning opened with a single. Xavier Legrant then hit a drive toward left-center field. Horvath raced over and laid out to make a superb catch.
Lowell added another single to put runners at first and second. Tyler Esplin followed with another sinking drive toward center. Horvath played it perfectly, charging in and diving to make another great catch. Even better, Horvath tossed the ball to shortstop Hall to complete the inning-ending double play.
There was more sharp defense in the fourth. Lowell was bidding for its first run, but Aberdeen left fielder Robbie Thorburn threw out Tyler Dearden at the plate to end the inning.
Josh Keaton (1-1) came on pitch the next three innings to get the win. Keaton kept the Spinners scoreless for two of his three innings, but three base hits led to a pair of Lowell runs in the seventh inning.
Ryan O’Rourke and Jose Diaz (first save) added an inning each of scoreless relief to close out the win.
Escarra and Willy Yahn led the Aberdeen attack with two hits apiece.
Five Aberdeen IronBirds helped lead the South All-Stars to a win Tuesday night in the New York-Penn League’s annual All-Star Game played in State College, Pa.
The South beat the North, 7-1, and all five Aberdeen players saw action, including two as starters.
Yahn opened the game at third base, batting ninth, while pitcher Matt Hammonds threw the first inning for the South club.
Yahn had a great game, going 2-for-2, with a double, triple and run scored. “Just the experience itself, being able to go to the All-Star Game and mingle with those great players in the New York-Penn League was awesome by itself,” Yahn said. “I was just hoping to get, maybe, at least one hit so after getting a double, I was playing with house money on the second one. I ran into one, I almost, I hit it into that deep left-center corner over over there in State College, so it was just an amazing experience. My parents were there to see it, so it was just a great night and I’ll remember it for a long time.”
Hammonds pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one. He did hit the leadoff batter, but retired the next three batters in order.
“That was pretty cool, we showed up to the field yesterday and me and Willy walked up to the lineup card together and I saw his name and i was like, oh Willy, you’re starting,” Hammonds said. “He’s like, dude, so are you and at the very bottom is pitcher Hammonds and I was like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe it, I was shocked.”
Hammonds wasn’t quite sure he’d even pitch, so to get the start was a real surprise. “I was really excited, it was a huge honor. I was definitely a little bit nervous, but it was all about having fun, especially with that event,” he said.
The other three Aberdeen All-Stars, first baseman J.C. Escarra, catcher Cody Roberts and outfielder Robbie Thorburn, all came in to the game as defensive substitutions in the top of the fifth inning, the same time Yahn was subbed for.