Brooklyn, NY - The Aberdeen IronBirds battled the Brooklyn Cyclones and, after falling behind 1-0, came back and held on to beat the Cyclones 5-4.
Hunter Harvey got the start for the IronBirds and he was brilliant. He went 4.1 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk, striking out five. He now has 15 strikeouts in 12 innings as an IronBird.
The lone hit he allowed was a leadoff single from Jared King and he was promptly erased on a groundball double play.
Dario Alvarez was equally as brilliant for the Cyclones. He held the IronBirds in check for 5.2 innings, allowing just four hits. He left with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. Aberdeen was unable to capitalize, however, and Federico Castagnini grounded out to end the threat.
The Cyclones would strike in the seventh. After a leadoff single and a one out walk, there were runners on first and second for James Roche.. He hit a groundball to third baseman Tanner Rust, who took the easy route to third and forced out the lead runner. It meant that there were runners on first and third for Alex Sanchez. He took a Janser Severino offering and ripped it into center field, scoring King and giving the Cyclones a 1-0 lead.
It looked as if that lead was going to stand in the top of the eighth. Jeff Kemp was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then, after Trey Mancini struck out looking, Kemp was caught stealing after a pitch to Conor Bierfeldt. So, on a 1-1 pitch, Bierfeldt drilled a home run to left center field, tying the game at one.
Aberdeen would seemingly take command in the top of the ninth. After Jared Breen led off with a single, Castagnini followed with a walk. Rust laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw went to third, and Breen was safe, loading the bases. After an infield fly from George Barber, Mike Yastrzemski cleared the bases with a double that went to left center field, almost on the exact same line as Bierfeldt's home run, making it 4-1 IronBirds.
Then, on a 3-2 pitch to Jeff Kemp that ended up being ball four, the pitch got away from the catcher Colton Plaia. Yastrzemski broke for third and the throw from Plaia went in to left field, allowing Yastrzemski to come in to score and it was 5-1 IronBirds heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Much like the night the IronBirds got their first win (when they had a 4-0 lead going to the bottom of the ninth and ended up winning 5-4 in ten innings), the Cyclones staged a rally off of IronBirds' pitcher Donnie Hart. L.J. Mazzilli and Jared King led off with back-to-back singles. James Roche then came up and hit a ground ball to third. Rust fielded it, but hesitated, then rushed the throw to first and it got by Trey Mancini, allowing Mazzilli to score and advancing King to third and Roche to second.
King came in to score when the next batter, Alex Sanchez, grounded out to short. It allowed Roche to get to third, as he would come in to score on a Tomas Nido RBI single, putting the tying run on first base and the winning run at the plate. However, Hart was able to induce tow pop ups, one to second and one to right field, to end the game.
Janser Severino gets the win, improving to 3-4 on the season. Paul Paez took the loss, falling to 2-2.
Aberdeen earns a two game sweep of the Cyclones, and comes home to Ripken Stadium to close out the regular season with three games against the Lowell Spinners. Aberdeen is up 1.5 games on the Cyclones, and, if the IronBirds win and the Cyclones lose tomorrow, would clinch the first playoff berth in franchise history.
LHP Steve Brault will get the start tomorrow for the IronBirds. LHP Daniel McGrath will go for the Spinners. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. at Ripken Stadium.
For ticket information, contact our box office at (410) 297-9292 or visit us online at www.IronBirdsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.