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Following tribute to fallen deputies, IronBirds roll over Auburn in home opener, 7-0

After starting the 2016 New York-Penn League schedule 1-4 on the road, the Aberdeen IronBirds played Wednesday night like they were happy to be home.

The IronBirds (2-4) pounded the Auburn Doubledays, 7-0, behind a season-best, 13-hit attack at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. The pitching was pretty good, too.


Austin Hays, a fourth-round pick in the MLB draft earlier this month, led Aberdeen in his professional debut. Hays had three hits, a run scored and a stolen base.

"I was just trying to come out and just have fun, not trying to do too much, just play the way I did this past season and the way I've played my whole life," Hays said. "These are the kind of wins that you look for. You hit, you play defense and you pitch all at the same time. That's the hardest thing to do in baseball."


A touching and emotional tribute preceded the first pitch of the game. All season, the IronBirds are honoring the life and service of Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, who were both killed in the line of duty in February.

Both deputies' badge numbers will be displayed throughout the season on the grass at Ripken Stadium.

Logsdon's badge 578 is in front of the first base dugout, while Dailey's badge number, 186, is in front the third base dugout.

Both families were part of the first pitch ceremonies. Jennifer Logsdon, wife of DFC Logsdon, and Amy Grebe, fiance of Senior Deputy Dailey, met at the mound and after embracing each other, both threw a pitch.

"We work with the Harford County Sheriff anyway, during our season for our stadium security, so as soon as the events happened, we kind of reached out to say let us know what you need from us," IronBirds Assistant General Manager Brad Cox said. "We did an event for them in the offseason, kept it private. We opened up the club level, let them have an event here, they had it catered, so just doing something subtle, give them a break from there day-to-day. It was fitting that we kick the season off with doing some tribute to them."

As for the game, Aberdeen jumped on top with the long ball in the second inning. Designated hitter Jaylen Ferguson blasted a long solo home run to left field.

The IronBirds struck for single runs in the third and fourth innings with two-out rallies. Alejandro Juvier singled and scored with two away in the third when Hays tripled to the wall in left-center field.

In the fourth, Jason Heinrich singled to open the inning and two outs later, Stuart Levy doubled him home.


Ferguson drove in his second run in the fifth, lifting a sacrifice fly to plate Hays, who was aboard with a single.

The IronBirds blew the game wide open in the sixth, pushing across three runs, also with two outs. Chris Clare's first professional hit got the inning started with one out.

Following the second out, Ryan McKenna also singled and both came home on Juvier's double.

Juvier added the seventh run when Hays beat out an infield single for his third hit of the game. Hays was safe and the errant and late throw got by Auburn first baseman Ryan Ripken, allowing Juvier to score.

Auburn (4-2) had its chances early against Aberdeen starter and winner Alex Wells. Ripken, son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., beat out an infield single to lead off the second inning.

Two more singles loaded the bases, but Wells got a strikeout and groundout to get of the jam.

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The Doubledays were at again in the third. Two singles to lead off the inning were followed by a fly ball out to center and Ripken's soft liner near the bag at second, where Juvier turned the unassisted double play.

Auburn put two runners on base two more times in an inning, but were unable to find the plate.

Wells pitched six innings, scattering six hits, to get his first win.

"It's a magic feeling and it hasn't quite sunk in yet, but probably about tonight, like 1 a.m. probably sink in," Wells said. "I pitched my butt off with good defense tonight and I handed it over to the bullpen. It was a good win."

Garrett Cortright threw two scoreless innings in relief and Daniel Ayers tossed a scoreless ninth.

Heinrich and Juvier added two hits each for the IronBirds and Daniel Johnson pace Auburn with three hits.


The teams will be back at Ripken Stadium Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.