ABERDEEN, MD -- The IronBirds clinched their first trip to the New York-Penn League Playoffs in franchise history after they defeated the Lowell Spinners 7-3. The Brooklyn Cyclones game went final during the top of the first inning of the game in Aberdeen, as they fell 3-1 to Tri-City, paving the way for the IronBirds to clinch with their win tonight.
Aberdeen (38-32) jumped on top early in the ballgame and never looked back. Mike Yastrzemski's double down the first baseline was followed by a Trey Mancini double down the third baseline. Yastrzemski scored on that knock, Mancini's 82nd hit of the season. Mancini would come around to score on a throwing error.
The IronBirds would score two more runs in the bottom of the second inning after the first four batters reached on walks by Spinners starter, Daniel McGrath who was chased from the game after the fourth walk to Josh Hart. With the bases loaded, Spinners first baseman Nick Moore fielded Yastrzemski's grounder and threw high to home plate attempting to get a force out. The errant throw allowed two runs to score as catcher Jake Romanski was taken out on the slide by Federico Castagnini and was unable to retrieve the ball in time to get Justin Viele out at home.
Aberdeen scored two runs in the sixth, stringing together three consecutive singles to lead off the inning by Conor Bierfeldt, Jeff Kemp and Jared Breen. Breen looped an RBI single to right field scoring Bierfeldt from second. Castagnini picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly after a passed ball moved Kemp to third base.
Steve Brault had a solid start for Aberdeen, tossing three scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits and a walk while striking out two. Jon Keller was credited with the win in his first appearance for Aberdeen. He pitched three innings, giving up a run on one hit, one walk and two strikeouts. Jimmy Yacabonis picked up the save. He came into the game to start the eighth and pitched two scoreless innings. It was his fourth save of the season.
With the win, the IronBirds will be able to set up their pitching for the playoffs. The most likely scenario will have them hosting game one of the first series against the two seed on Friday.
The IronBirds will play game two of this final series of the regular season tomorrow at 7:05. A starter has yet to be officially announced for the IronBirds. Right-hander Teddy Stankiewicz will get the start for Lowell.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.