Aberdeen, MD- Mitch Horacek's dominant pitching and some late offense helped the IronBirds salvage game three of their series with Williamsport, winning 3-1 and closing their six-game home stand on a high note.
Horacek got the win and was outstanding on the mound for the IronBirds, locking down the Crosscutters for six innings out of the bullpen. He gave up no runs and just three hits. All three hits came in the eighth and ninth innings and were the only base runners he allowed during his outing.
After Horacek gave up a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth, IronBirds manager Matt Merullo visited the mound but did not go to the bullpen. Horacek retired the next three Crosscutters on a pop out to second and third base followed by an awkward unassisted putout at first by second baseman Federico Castagnini.
Hector Veloz' RBI single up the middle that in the seventh inning ended up being the difference for the IronBirds. Mike Yastrzemski doubled to right field with one out to get the rally started and scored on Veloz' single.
Jared Breen tied the IronBirds franchise record, picking up a hit in his 17th consecutive game. He picked up a single in his fourth and final at bat in the eighth inning. He later came in to score Aberdeen's third run of the game on Yastrzemski's bases loaded walk.
The Crosscutters got on the board early on Andrew Knapp's triple down the right field line in the first inning, scoring Jiandido Tromp all the way from first base. Williamsport did not get another batter past second base after that point.
Austin Wynns evened things up a 1-1 with a single to left center. Hector Veloz scored on the play after reaching base on an infield single in which Williamsport starting pitcher Julio Reyes failed to cover first base. Reyes compounded the mistake by throwing the ball away on a pickoff attempt allowing Veloz to get into scoring position.
Steve Brault got the start for the IronBirds and gave up just one run on five hits in his scheduled three innings of work.
Julio Reyes pitched six strong innings for the Crosscutters, giving up an unearned run on three hits. He pitched to a no decision. Chris Nichols took the loss for Williamsport. He gave up a run on two hits in an inning of work.
Aberdeen has their first scheduled day off tomorrow and will use it to travel 465 miles north to Vermont to start a six game, seven day road trip. The IronBirds begin a three-game series with the Vermont Lake Monsters on Wednesday.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.