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IronBirds close season with win, Escarra is MVP

J.C. Escarra, right, shown high-fiving teammate Adam Hall in a recent game, was named MVP of the Aberdeen IronBirds last week for his play during the 2018 season
J.C. Escarra, right, shown high-fiving teammate Adam Hall in a recent game, was named MVP of the Aberdeen IronBirds last week for his play during the 2018 season (Steve Ruark / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The Aberdeen IronBirds closed out their season with a win Sunday, putting an end to a season that ended with a strong push.

The IronBirds close the year at 38-37, 2.5 games back of the New York-Penn League’s wild card playoff spot and seven games back of McNamara Division winner Hudson Valley.

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Aberdeen‘s season ended in Hudson Valley with a 8-7 win Monday. The ‘Birds had dropped the first two games of the series, 19-3, Sunday, and 2-0, Saturday.

The win gives Aberdeen back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in team history.

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In the win, two-thirds of the Aberdeen lineup had multiple hits. Alexis Torres had two hits (triple) and two RBIs, while, Jean Carmona added two hits, both doubles and two runs scored.

Robbie Thorburn also added two hits and two runs scored, while Adam Hall and Cody Roberts both had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Nick Horvath also had two hits.

Willy Yahn and J.C. Escarra both had hone hit, an RBI and run scored. Escarra finished with a team-best .331 batting average.

Five Aberdeen pitchers combined to allow nine hits, nine walks and seven earned runs. Josh Keaton (3-1) pitched an inning and a third scoreless to get the win.

Ugly Sunday

The ‘Birds suffered their worst loss of the season Sunday. Six Aberdeen pitchers were used, with five getting pounded for multiple hits and runs each.

Aberdeen IronBirds fans enjoy their time at the ballpark Friday for the team's final regular season home game of 2018, despite rainy and the game's eventual cancellation. There was the added bonus of being able to see the Baltimore Orioles 1983 World Series trophy and meet four former Orioles.

The Renegades jumped on starter Hector Guance (7-6) for six runs, four hits and three walks over an inning of work. It wasn’t any better for Willie Rios, (1IP, 4H, 2R, BB); Nick Vichio (1.1IP, 2H, 2R, 3BB); Jose Daiz (1.2IP, 6H, 6R, BB); and Juan Echevarria (0IP, 3H, 3R).

Ryan Conroy was the only reliever to have success. Tossed three scoreless innings , allowing two hits and striking out four.

Offensively, Aberdeen, which was down 19-0 before scoring, was held to five hits from different hitters. They were Carmona (2B, R); Ian Evans (2B, RBI); Dalton Hoiles (R); Escarra (2B, R); and Guiyuan Xu (2B, 2RBI).

Saturday struggle

Saturday’s loss was an even bigger struggle for Aberdeen hitters, who were shut out three hits.

Yahn, Roberts and Horvath each had singles, while Hoiles drew a walk.

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Blaine Knight (0-1) took the loss. Knight gave up three hits, two walks, and an earned run over four innings. He struck out two.

Jimmy Murphy pitched the other four innings, giving up two hits, two walks and an earned run. Murphy struck out four.

Home season finale rained out

For the second straight season the ‘Birds and their fans saw the final home game of the season rained out. That left the ‘Birds with one game shy of a complete season.

Escarra is MVP

First baseman Escarra was named IronBirds MVP last week. Escarra closed the season with a .331 averaqe, 59 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 34 RBIs, .417 on base percentage and .511 slugging percentage.

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