It was another walk-off win for the Aberdeen IronBirds on Sunday at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.
The 'Birds (22-17) got an RBI single from Ben Breazeale in the bottom of the ninth to lift them past the Brooklyn Cyclones, 7-6, in an back-and-forth and sometimes ugly New York-Penn League game.
It was Aberdeen's first nine inning game in five days, having played double headers (two seven inning games) on Thursday and Saturday against the Hudson Valley Renegades. The 'Birds split both.
"I was just looking for something I could get in the outfield because I knew that Moe's [Kirvin Moesquit] speed, he could score on almost anything that I hit out there," Breazeale said. "It's a good feeling, hitting the walk-off's always fun, you know you get soaked with water and seeds. It's a good time and hear the crowd so that's always a fun moment."
Breazeale earned the shining moment opportunity after both Moesquit and Mason McCoy walked to open the inning. Moesquit stole his 20th straight base as well.
Despite the big finish, the game was not looking good at the start for Aberdeen. Two errors allowed Brooklyn to score twice in the second inning.
Another error leading off the third provided the Cyclones with another run and the IronBirds were in a 3-0 hole.
Aberdeen quickly changed that in the bottom of the third with three runs of its own.
Markel Jones fueled the rally with a leadoff triple to the gap in right-center field. A Trevor Craport single put Aberdeen on the scoreboard.
Moesquit added a single as well, scoring Craport and Moesquit scored the third run later on a Breazeale sacrifice fly.
Aberdeen took its first lead in the fourth. T.J. Nichting led off with a double and moved to third on a Jaylen Ferguson groundout.
Jones then drew a walk and with one out and runners on the corners, Nichting stole home.
Brooklyn pitcher Jose Carlos Medina sent a pick-off throw to first and Nichting raced for home. "KB [Aberdeen manager Kevin Bradshaw], our coach at third, he was just kind of mentioning, hey, he might peek over here, so go ahead and get down there," Nichting said. "You know with a lefty, he can't see behind him and typically no one ever picks off to third base as a lefty, so I was able to extend my lead a little bit further down the line. Pretty much, as soon as I saw him lift his knee, I kind of had an idea from earlier, when he picked off to first, what it looked like. So i just took off and thankfully I beat the throw."
Brooklyn erased the 4-3 deficit with three runs in the fifth. A fourth Aberdeen error aided the runs.
Aberdeen, however, came back and on Brooklyn's lone error, was able to tie the game at six in the seventh inning.
Craport was hit by pitch and Moesquit (2-4) doubled with two out. McCoy (3-4) followed with a slow tapper towards the mound and Cyclones reliever Tony Dibrell.
As Craport streaked toward home, Dibrell tried to cut home down for the final out. The errant throw slid past catcher Carlos Sanchez and the speedy Moesquit scored easily from second base.
Aberdeen reliever Nick Jobst (1-2) pitched to one batter in the ninth to get the win.
"We've seen it all year, it's just another chapter in the story seems like when we are at home," IronBirds manager Bradshaw said. "We might go down, but we come right back. We get that big hit when we need it and the we get in the ninth inning. It just seems like we're always getting this walk in the ninth inning, a couple walks, and then we get the big hit to win it, so my hat goes off to them again."
The 'Birds and Cyclones will meet again tonight (Monday) at 7:05 p.m. and close out the series on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.