Needing a win each time they take the field, the Aberdeen IronBirds settled for a double-header split Wednesday with Connecticut at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.
The 'Birds won game one, 2-0, and were within six outs of a sweep in game two, but Connecticut scored two runs late and won, 3-2. The Tigers won the series 2-1.
Aberdeen (37-31) is down to its final eight games and trails Staten Island by 4.5 games in the McNamara Division entering Thursday's game. The 'Birds are 3 games behind Hudson Valley in the Wild Card race.
Aberdeen will be in Tri-City tonight (Thursday) night with additional games Friday and Saturday against the ValleyCats. The 'Birds final home games of the season are set for Sunday (5:35 p.m.), Monday (1:05 p.m.) and Tuesday (7:05 p.m.).
The final two games of the season find the 'Birds at Hudson Valley. Aberdeen will have to be within two games of the Renegades for those games to matter in the playoff chase.
In Wednesday's game one win, Kirvin Moesquit's two-run single provided all the scoring. Moesquit's hit came in the second, plating Mason McCoy (single) and Luke Ringhofer (walk).
Starting and winning pitcher Michael Baumann did almost all the rest. Baumann (4-1) pitched 6.2 innings, allowing three hits and a pair of walks, while striking out five.
William Reed Hayes came on to strike out the last batter for his sixth save.
T.J. Nichting and Ryan Ripken both had two hits, including a double each, to lead the Aberdeen offense.
In the game two loss, Aberdeen pitcher Nick Vespi was having a pretty good outing, but the long ball spelled his doom.
Vespi (3-3) gave up just three hits and two walks over 5.2 innings, but two home runs provided all three Connecticut runs. The final two coming in the sixth inning of the seven-inning contest.
Max Knutson pitched an inning and a third of relief, allowing a hit and a walk, while striking out three.
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Aberdeen scored a run in the first and another in the third for the 2-1 lead. Ben Brezeale, who had two hits, hit his fifth home run of the season in the loss.