Norwich, CT - The Connecticut Tigers (33-29) defeated the Aberdeen IronBirds (21-40) by the final score of 7-5 Saturday night at Dodd Stadium. With the Tigers leading 7-5 in the top of the ninth inning, RHP Gabe Hemmer (S, 3) pitched a perfect ninth inning in which he struck out the side to seal the win for Connecticut.
There was back and forth action between the two clubs until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Tigers scored two runs in the inning on RBI singles from CF Derek Hill (1-4) and 3B Joey Pankake (2-4) to put Connecticut up three runs at 6-3. Eight of the nine batters reached base at least once for the Tigers as they grabbed two hit performances from four of their batters in the lineup. 2B Will Maddox (2-4) put together a two double and two RBI performance. Maddox provided the Tigers with an insurance RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning that gave Connecticut a two run lead at 7-5. LF Kasey Coffman (2-4) chipped in with an RBI in the win.
RHP Spencer Turnbull was roughed up a little bit in a no decision. Turnbull gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits and struck out four batters over three innings of work. RHP Gage Smith (1-1) picked up his first professional victory after pitching four shutout innings in relief of Turnbull. Smith gave up two hits and struck out three batters. RHP Joe Jimenez (H, 1) pitched .2 innings and allowed two runs on three hits. With the tying and go ahead runs on second and third base in the top of the eighth inning, Hemmer relieved Jimenez and was able to get LF Oswill Lartiguez (0-5) to strike out swinging. In the save, Hemmer pitched 1.1 innings and struck out all four batters he faced.
In the series finale, Tigers RHP Josh Heddinger (0-2, 4.26) is slated to face IronBirds RHP Matthew Grimes (1-2, 4.80). Tomorrow is Dodd Stadium 20 Seasons Card Series Giveaway #4. This four-part series that honors some of the greatest players to have played at Dodd Stadium over the first 20 seasons of its existence comes to a conclusion. Be sure to arrive early as the first 750 fans will receive the fourth part to the 16 card set which is presented by Backus Hospital. It is also Sunday Funday: Kids Run the Bases & Have a Catch! Fun in the sun at Dodd Stadium. All kids are invited to Run the Bases and receive a coupon for a free ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. And don't forget to bring your glove for Have a Catch in the outfield after the game presented by ROXY FM 100.9 and Falvey's! The pre-game begins at 3:50 p.m. on AM 1310 WICH and cttigers.com.
The Connecticut Tigers are the Class-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play in the New York-Penn League. The Tigers are in their 5th season at Dodd Stadium. Tickets are now on sale! The Box Office is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, tickets can be purchased over the phone at (860) 887-7962. For more information go online to cttigers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.