TROY, NY - The IronBirds fell to the ValleyCats in the series finale on Monday night, 5-2. Aberdeen tied the game in the top of the seventh but Tri-City regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh and plated two more runs in the bottom of the eighth en route to the victory. In the losing effort, 1B Christian Walker went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored.
Trailing by a run entering the fourth inning, Christian Walker led off the frame with a double to right field. After Doug Bream single to center advanced Walker to third, LF Will Howard grounded into a 4-6-3 double play but Walker came home to score on the groundout.
The ValleyCats took the lead in the sixth inning as 1B Jesse Wierzbicki led off with a solo home run down the left field line Wierzbicki's second home run of the season put Tri-City ahead, 2-1.
Down but not out, the IronBirds tied the game up in the top of the seventh. DH Doug Bream started the seventh with a single to right. After a Will Howard ground out moved Bream to second, 2B Creede Simpson singled to left field. Bream came in to score from second and tied the game at two.
3B Ryan Dineen led off the home half of the seventh for the ValleyCats. Facing RHP Sander Beck, Dineen hit a pitch deep to right field. At the warning track, RF Roderick Bernadina could not make the catch. Dineen hustled all the way to third on the error by Bernadina. The next man up, SS Joe Sclafani singled home Dineen and put Tri-City in front for good.
Tri-City plated two more runs in bottom of the eighth before RHP Blake Ford tossed a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game.
Out of the bullpen, RHP Travis Ballew (3-0) picked up the win for the ValleyCats while Sander Beck (1-2) got the loss despite not surrendering an earned run.
In his fourth start of the season, RHP Mark Blackmar got a no-decision. Over 5.1 innings pitched, Blackmar allowed two runs on five hits while walking four and striking out four.
The IronBirds will have Tuesday off before returning to Ripken Stadium for the start of a three-game series against the Auburn Doubledays. RHP Juan Guzman (0-0, 1.17) will take the hill for the Birds in the series opener while the Doubledays will turn to RHP Pedro Encarnacion (2-0, 0.55).
First pitch from Ripken Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. with coverage on the IronBirds Radio Network set to begin at 6:50 p.m.