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Pham and Fabian lead the way for red-hot IronBirds in series win over Tourists

12:09 PM EDT

By: Michael Marcantonini The Aberdeen IronBirds stayed hot with four wins in their six-game home series against the Asheville Tourists this past week to earn their second straight series victory. The Birds outscored the Tourists 43-19 and allowed one run or less in three of the six games. The IronBirds

By: Michael Marcantonini

The Aberdeen IronBirds stayed hot with four wins in their six-game home series against the Asheville Tourists this past week to earn their second straight series victory. The Birds outscored the Tourists 43-19 and allowed one run or less in three of the six games. The IronBirds are now 8-4 in their last 12 games and 15-10 over their last 25 games.

The IronBirds dominated Game 1 from start to finish. Cooper Chandler (five innings) and Kyle Virbitsky (four innings) combined to allow just three hits en route to the Birds’ fifth shutout win of the season. All nine starters reached base safely, seven of the nine scored at least one run, and three had multiple RBI. Jud Fabian led the way with a three-run home run and Silas Ardoin reached base safely three times. The Birds grabbed an early lead in Game 2 but the Tourists fought back with three runs in the seventh inning to take the lead, and they held on for an 8-6 win. Fabian stayed hot with two doubles and scored three of the Birds’ eight runs, while Jackson Holliday and Creed Willems each hit a solo home run.

The Birds jumped back in the win column in Game 3 with a 3-1 victory. Daniel Lloyd started for Aberdeen and three relievers combined to allow just one run over the final four innings. Graham Firoved preserved a late one-run lead with two shutout frames and racked up a career-high five strikeouts. Jacob Teter went 2-for-3 and paced the offense with his first homer of the season. Asheville continued the series’ back-and-forth pattern with a 6-4 extra-inning win in Game 4. Luis Valdez cut a 3-1 deficit in half with an RBI single in the seventh and Douglas Hodo tied the game with an RBI single in the eighth. Neither team scored in the ninth, but the Tourists rallied for three runs in the top of the 10th and stranded the tying run on base in the bottom of the inning. Trace Bright logged four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and Holliday reached safely four times in the loss.

After the two teams split the first four games, the IronBirds took control of the series over the final two days. Alex Pham tied a career high with 11 strikeouts over five hitless, scoreless innings, before Jake Lyons and Ryan Hennen finished off the 11-1 win in Game 5. The bats did their part, too, piling up 11 runs on 15 hits. Six of the nine starters had multiple hits, including three each from Ardoin and Teter. Fabian and Willems each hit solo homers as the Birds collected six extra-base hits. Aberdeen dominated Game 6 as well with an 8-3 win to close out the series. Fabian blasted a go-ahead two-run homer in the second and the Birds led the rest of the way. Fabian added three singles to finish the day 4-for-5, Valdez went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two stolen bases, and three runs, and Maxwell Costes and Hodo each hit an RBI triple.

Fabian was named South Atlantic League Player of the Week on Monday for his offensive tear against the Tourists. The 22-year-old totaled 11 hits (five extra-base hits) and 11 RBI, and he hit safely with at least one RBI in all five of his starts in the series.

The Birds continue their 12-game homestand with a six-game series against the Brooklyn Cyclones starting tonight at 7:05pm through Sunday, June 18th. The series is packed with promotions and theme nights throughout the week. The IronBirds will play as the Chesapeake Bay Decoys on Friday, June 16, Teacher Appreciation Night is on Saturday, June 17, and the series concludes with Stache (Father’s) Day presented by Corona Hard Seltzer on Sunday, June 18. Slide on over to ironbirdsbaseball.com for single-game tickets, flex packs, and more information on our schedule and upcoming promotions.