(WAPPINGER FALLS, NY) In the season opener against the Hudson Valley Renegades, the 'Birds faltered early and fell by a final of 4-2.
Colin Allen toed the rubber for Aberdeen to open the season and he struggled early. After a quick top half of the first, the 'Gades touched the righty up for four runs in the home half of the frame. Back to back run scoring singles by Burt Reynolds and Eli Sonoqui made it 2-0. A passed ball lost between catcher Brian Ward's legs allowed Reynolds to score from third, then a bizarre event transpired. With Sonoqui leading off third, Dustin Biell hit a line drive at Jason Rook, but Rook couldn't handle it . A bad carom off the heel of his glove, and Biell was off to the races. The ball squirted all the way to the warning track and Biell tried to extend a lineout into an inside-the-park home run. The 'Birds executed the relay to the plate to perfection and Biell was tagged out to reduce the damage to four runs.
After a scoreless second and third, the top of the fourth provided fireworks for the IronBirds. Making his professional debut, Steven Bumbry launched a 2-1 fastball well over the right field wall. The solo blast tightened the game up to 4-1.
The 'Birds continued to chip away in the fifth when T.J. Baxter sent Blake Davis to the plate on a dribbler to shortstop. In the middle of five, the score was 4-2, Renegades.
Over the next four innings, relief pitching took over. Stephen Procner silenced Hudson Valley's bats as he chucked three scoreless frames, gave up one hit, walked none and struck out three. But, he was paced by the Renegades relievers. Kyle Ayers and Richard De Los Santos combined for four scoreless, hitless innings. The duo also walked none and fanned four to lock down the 4-2 final for the Renegades.
Allen was handed his first loss of the year as Hudson Valley's Albert Suarez earned the win. De Los Santos was credited with his first save of 2009.
Though Bumbry's work at the plate may have been the most memorable, Ty Kelly may have had the most productive night at the dish. Kelly finished 3-for-4 in his professional debut.
The 'Birds will square off against the Renegades on Saturday night at 7:05 from Dutchess Stadium. Catch every pitch on the IronBirds Radio Network as LHP Kyle Lobstein opposes Aberdeen's LHP Nick Haughian.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.