Andrew Fregia then lifted a fly ball to medium depth center field. Adon made the catch and Handley took off from third with the tie run. Adon’s throw was perfect, shooting down Handley by three steps.
Aberdeen manager Kevin Bradshaw addressed the situation after the game. “Sure, I was thinking of that, but he just got here a few days ago and I don’t really know how he runs,” Bradshaw said on deciding to let Handley run for himself. “By asking some other people that have played with him, he’s a good base runner and you know, if I had to do it over, I might change putting a runner in for him, but also I need him in the game. The way he caught tonight, his energy, I’d liked to have him in the game if we tied this up. A lot of if’s, but I’d probably do it the same way tomorrow night.”
The game was a pitchers battle. Both teams used four pitchers with the Cyclones out-hitting the IronBirds, 6-3.
Kevin Magee made the start for Aberdeen and though he gave up five hits, it was one pitch that did him in. Joe Genord took that pitch off the top of the wall in left and over for a solo home run leading off the fourth.
Magee worked four innings, walking one and striking out four.
Three relievers went two innings each and all pitched well. Moises Nolasco walked one and struck out two.
Connor Gillespie (9th round, VCU) made his professional debut, retiring all six batters, four by strikeout.
“Really it was just about being locked in, really. I was real fired up, you know, it was my first outing in the pros, that definitely had a factor, too,” Gillespie said. “I was just locating, doing what I’ve been doing pretty muck since college. I really only threw fastball and slider, I didn’t mix in my curve ball or change-up. It was working, so I was like, I’m going to roll with what I’m working with.”
Offensively, Aberdeen’s lone run, unearned, crossed the plate in the fifth.
Fregia doubled with one out and came around to score with two outs when Jaylen Ferguson’s grounder wide of first was bobbled and then thrown away.