The Aberdeen IronBirds missed a chance to gain some ground Sunday in the series finale at Vermont.
Aberdeen (36-29) fell 3-2 in New York-Penn League play to the Lake Monsters, dropping the series 2-1. Staten Island and Hudson Valley also lost, keeping the 'Birds 4.5 games back of the Yankees and 1.5 games back of the Renegades in division and wild card races, respectively.
Aberdeen is back at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium tonight (Monday) to begin a three game-set with Connecticut. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
In Sunday's loss, Aberdeen starter Zac Lowther lost for the first time. Lowther (2-1) wasn't at his best. He gave up just three hits, but walked four, which led to all three runs and all earned over five innings. He struck out six.
Lowther had walked just five in his previous 39 innings pitched.
Vermont got to Lowther for a run in the third and two in the fourth.
Aberdeen came back with two in the sixth, but could not find anymore.
Trevor Craport (single) and Garrett Copeland (walk) scored the Aberdeen runs with Ryan Ripken (2-4) and Luke Ringhofer (1-4) collecting the RBIs with a single each.
T.J. Nichting (2-5) was the only other IronBird to have multiple hits. Aberdeen did have a 9-4 advantage in hits.
Nick Gruener pitched three innings of scoreless baseball, allowing one hit and walking one. He struck out two.
A Saturday win
Aberdeen did beat Vermont on Saturday, winning 2-1.
Starter and winner Brenan Hanifee (7-3) was joined by three relievers to shut the Lake Monsters down on five hits.
Hanifee allowed three hits, a walk and an earned run over six innings. He struck out three.
Nick Jobst (1H, 2K); Zach Muckenhirn (3K); and William Reed Hayes (1H, 2K) each pitched an inning each. Hayes earned his fifth save.
Offensively, no Aberdeen hitter had more than one hit, but Nichting had the biggest. His third inning home run proved to be the difference as it gave the 'Birds a 2-0 lead.
The other Aberdeen run scored in the second with Copeland and Ripken hitting back-to-back doubles.
Craport and Zach Jarrett were the other Aberdeen batters with hits.