The Aberdeen IronBirds, playing as the Star-Spangled Banners, failed to score Thursday night and were shut out by the Vermont Lake Monsters, 4-0, at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.
Cody Sedlock, the Baltimore Orioles first round pick in 2016, made a rehab start and took the loss, while three other Aberdeen (21-30) pitchers also saw mound action.
Sedlock was on a 60-pitch limit and he did not reach the limit in three innings of work. Sedlock talked about the outing Friday.
“It’s great, it’s always great to wait all day for a 7 p.m. game and down in the GCL (Gulf Coast League) it’s all in the morning and to finally get under some lights and pitch in front of these fans, it was great experience again,” Sedlock said.
Sedlock, who has been sidelined since April with a shoulder injury while in Frederick, allowed two hits, a walk and two earned runs. He struck out two and was also charged with two balks.
“The first couple batters I was a little anxious, you know, this was like my first spring training game, a little rust on that,” Sedlock said. “Once I settled in, I was executing my pitches and I think everything went well, so I’m pretty happy with it overall.”
Aberdeen pitching coach Mark Hendrickson is keeping a close watch. “Well, the first thing was, I kind of expected a little, but in the first inning. You know, get out of Florida, get back into an environment, we had a big crowd, so probably a little bit of nervous energy,” Aberdeen pitching coach Mark Hendrickson said in reference to Sedlock’s outing. “A little bit out of sync, which is common. I thought he made a good adjustment. The second and third innings were sharp.”
Sedlock walked the leadoff batter and then gave up a single in the first inning. He got the next three batters out, but the first balk produced the first run.
Sedlock set the side down in order in the second and in the third, a leadoff single, followed by the second balk and two fly balls, plated the second run charged against him.
Sedlock said he feels good. “Every outing my arm’s recoveringm, better and better. Hopefully that keep’s going and I keep progressing throughout the season,” Sedlock said.
Sedlock believes he will pitch again for Aberdeen on Wednesday as the IronBirds take on the Lowell Spinners.
“You got to take the positives from each outing and I think there were some good ones here. Progression, that’s what you want to see” Hendrickson said. “He’ll get a chance to come back and pitch at least at this level one more time. I don’t know what happens after that, but hopefully we can build off of it.”
Lefty Ryan O’Rourke, also in Aberdeen on rehab, pitched the next inning, surrendering a solo home run.
Juan Echevarria pitched the next three innings, scoreless, and used some good defense in the effort. In his first inning, the fifth, Echevarria gave up a one-out double to Alfonso Rivas. Echevarria picked Rivas off second.
He walked Marcos Brito, but catcher Cody Roberts picked Brito off first.
In the sixth, Echevarria hit the leadoff batter, but got the next hitter to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. Third baseman Willy Yahn ended the inning with a nifty catch and strong throw go first for the third out.
Echevarria’s final inning saw a two-out single, but that was erased by Roberts, who tossed out the base runner.
J.J. Montgomery pitched the final two innings and allowed the fourth and final run.
Aberdeen, meanwhile, could not find any offense. Milton Ramos had three singles to lead the six-hit attack. J.C Escarra, Robert Neustrom and Jean Carmona also had a hit each.
Despite the rough season, Aberdeen had five players selected to participate in the league’s annual All-Star Game, set for Tuesday in State College, Pa.
Pitcher Matt Hammonds; infielders Escarra and Yahn; catcher Cody Roberts; and outfielder Robbie Thorburn.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it the past couple weeks, just trying to focus on keeping our team in the game as a starting pitcher. That’s all I can ask to do,” Hammonds said. “K-Mo called me in the office a few days ago and told me, I was pretty excited. It’s a privilege and an honor. I can’t wait to go out there and help our team and hopefully, if I pitch, I do well. We’ll see how it goes.”
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To this point, Hammonds is 2-2 with a 2.47 ERA over 43.2 innings pitched. He has allowed 29 hits and 12 earned runs. He has 33 strikeouts and 15 walks.
“I think it’s awesome. The standings show we’re not having a dynamite season so far, but I think definitely the guys that are chosen and there’s other guys in my opinion that should be going to, we have some quality baseball players on this team and I think it’s great that there’s five of us that get to go represent this team what we’re about and what we’re capable of,” Hammonds said.
Escarra, the team’s leading hitter, has become a fan favorite. “I was just excited, all the hard work that I did in the offseason and what made it even sweeter is I was out, I was out a month without playing and I knew I was doing well, but I didn’t know if was enough to make the all-star game,” Escarra said. “I’m blessed, I made the All-Star game and I’m happy about it.”
Escarra missed 30 or so games with an oblique strain. “I recovered somewhat quick and just got back there and just continued what I was doing before I got hurt.”
Escarra is batting .327 with 33 hits. He has five doubles, two triples and five home runs. He has 18 RBIs and 12 runs scored.
“To come here and fight against these top rounders, guys that they gave a lot of money to, it just feels good, feels good to see where I came from,” Escarra said.
Stats for the other Aberdeen All-Stars are: Thorburn, 44 hits, .293, 10 doubles, nine RBIs, 23 runs; Yahn, 46 hits, .266, five doubles, one triple, 20 RBIs, 23 runs; and Roberts, 28 hits, .275, seven doubles, one home run, seven RBIs and seven runs.