By: Michael Marcantonini
The Aberdeen IronBirds continued their hot start to the second half as they took four of six games from the Winston-Salem Dash this past week at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. The IronBirds are undefeated in their last five series, with four series victories and one tie,
By: Michael Marcantonini
The Aberdeen IronBirds continued their hot start to the second half as they took four of six games from the Winston-Salem Dash this past week at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. The IronBirds are undefeated in their last five series, with four series victories and one tie, dating back to May 30.
The IronBirds dominated Game 1 from start to finish en route to a 5-2 series-opening win. Daniel Lloyd started and tossed five shutout innings with five strikeouts and the bats backed him up. Frederick Bencosme went 3-for-3 with three singles, two RBI and a walk, and Isaac De Leon and Isaac Bellony each hit a sacrifice fly. Dan Hammer earned his first save of the season with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings.
The Birds and Dash went back-and-forth in the early innings of Game 2. The game was tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning when the Aberdeen offense broke out for five runs on six hits. Jackson Holliday brought home the go-ahead run with an RBI single to center, Creed Willems plated two with a double to right-center, Bencosme added an RBI double into the right-field corner, and Jacob Teter capped the inning off with an RBI single. Trace Bright started and struck out eight batters while Carson Carter pitched a season-high 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.
The series trend continued in Game 3 as the Birds scored early and never trailed in a 6-2 win. Ryan Higgins, who hit a solo home run in the first inning, went 2-for-3 and scored three of the six runs. The Birds’ pitching was excellent again as Cooper Chandler led the way with seven strikeouts in five innings, while Antonio Velez and Graham Firoved combined for four innings of one-run ball in relief.
Game 4 was the closest and most exciting game of the series. The IronBirds picked up their ninth straight win against the Dash with a 4-3 victory that featured ninth-inning fireworks before the actual post-game fireworks. The Birds trailed 3-1 after the third inning but rallied to tie it with a run in both the fourth and fifth innings. The game remained tied heading into the bottom of the ninth, when Dylan Beavers singled with one out. Holliday was up next and blasted a 3-0 curveball to right-center to deliver the IronBirds’ fifth walkoff win of the season, and country music star Luke Combs became an IronBirds fan. Cameron Weston logged a career-high four shutout innings with four strikeouts in relief and the Birds rolled three ground-ball double plays over the final three innings. At the plate, Silas Ardoin went 4-for-4 with four singles and an RBI, and Teter extended his hitting and RBI streaks to six games with a solo homer.
The Dash never trailed in Game 5 and took home a 7-3 win to snap the Birds’ season-high-tying five-game winning streak. Maxwell Costes crushed a game-tying, two-run home run to left in the bottom of the seventh, but Winston-Salem came right back with four runs over the final two innings. Kyle Virbitsky stayed hot on the mound with six strikeouts and no walks and allowed just two runs in five innings. The Dash closed out the series with another victory in Game 6, this time with a 5-3 win in 10 innings. In the loss, Beavers hit a solo homer and Max Wagner went 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Lloyd pitched four scoreless frames with six strikeouts in his second start of the series.
The IronBirds open a six-game road series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Tuesday night. Following the four-day, mid-season break from July 10-13, the Birds are back at home for a nine-game homestand beginning Friday, July 14. The homestand opens with three games against the Wilmington Blue Rocks from Friday-Sunday, then a six-game set against the Bowling Green Hot Rods from Tuesday-Sunday, July 18-23. To purchase tickets or for more information on upcoming games and promotions, visit www.ironbirdsbaseball.com.
Birds fans, don’t forget to watch IronBirds’ shortstop, Jackson Holliday, and former IronBirds’ outfielder, Heston Kjerstad, represent the Baltimore Orioles organization in the All-Star Futures Game this Saturday, July 8. The game starts at 7 pm ET at T-Mobile Park in Seattle as part of Major League Baseball’s 2023 All-Star festivities.