BURLINGTON, VT- It was an all lefty pitching card in game two between Aberdeen and Vermont featuring Nick Haughian looking for his team leading seventh win of the season and Paul Applebee who was only making his second start of the season for Vermont.
The game began eerily similar to the way it began yesterday for the 'Birds, through the first three innings their offense produced just one hit. An infield single by Ty Kelly in the first inning was the only mark against Applebee. Nick Haughian was up to the task; through his first two innings on the mound he had only allowed one base runner. Sean Nichol reached on Garabez Rosa's 13th error of the season in the first inning and otherwise Haughian was perfect.
In the home half of the third Jack Walker led off the inning with a single. Haughian then hit J.J Sferra and with runners on first and second Haughian took it into his own hands sprinting for a catch in foul territory for the first out and making a catch in the infield for the second out. J.P Ramirez then grounded into a fielder's choice and the best chance to score for the Lake Monsters was over.
In the top of the fourth inning the 'Birds finally broke their seventeen inning scoreless streak. Mooney led off with a single and was able to move to second on a passed ball. Ty Kelly bunted him over to third and Justin Dalles singled through a drawn in infield for the first one of the game.
In the visiting half of the fifth inning with the score Aberdeen 1 Vermont 0 T.J Baxter hit a two out single. During Mooney's at bat Baxter stole second and when the throw went off the shortstop's glove Baxter moved to third. Mooney came up with the RBI infield single to plate Baxter and the 'Birds led 2-0.
In the top of the sixth inning Applebee was lifted for Gary Amato. Amato ran into trouble when Dalles hit his second single of the game. Townsend struck out and Garabez Rosa doubled to put runners on second and third with one away. After an Edwards strike out Richard D'Oleo doubled into right field to plate both runners and push the IronBird lead to 4-0.
Haughian only faced 27 batters through his seven innings of work, allowing just three hits, a hit batsman, walking two and striking out two; he did not allow a run. The big righty Kevin Landry replaced Haughian in the eighth.
Leadoff man Dani Arias hit a ball into the hole at short that he beat out for a single. Landry then walked Sean Nichol and with one away after a Ramirez strike out Destin Hood singled into right field to plate their first run. Right fielder Jason Rook was unable to field the ball cleanly and that allowed Nichol to go all the way to third. The batter was Justin Bloxom and he immediately hit an RBI double to push the score 4-2 Aberdeen. At this point manager Gary Kendall had seen enough, he pulled Landry for the lefty Jake Smith. With runners on first and second the first batter to face Smith was catcher Sandy Leon. On the first pitch Leon drilled a two run single into left field and all of a sudden the four run Aberdeen lead had evaporated. Smith was able to retire the next two hitters and preserve the 4-4 tie into the ninth inning.
The IronBirds in their half of the ninth inning got a one out single from T.J Baxter. Mike Mooney struck out for the second out of the inning but then with Kelly up to the plate Baxter stole second base. Ty Kelly found a hole with a ground ball right back up the middle and Baxter was able to score on the high throw from center fielder Sferra. The IronBirds had retaken the lead 5-4 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Josh Dowdy emerged from the bullpen carrying his four saves with him and the 'Birds clinging to a 5-4 lead. Dowdy got the first man to ground out to Edwards at first base, the second man popped out to Ty Kelly at third. Nichol then singled with two away to bring up J.P Ramirez who after a tough at bat flew out to D'Oleo in left field and the game was over. Aberdeen held on to the 5-4 victory.
Unfortunately Haughian had his seventh win pulled right out from under him, he will remain at 6-3 on the year. Jake Smith earned the win with his 2/3 of an inning in the eighth, he moves to 3-3 on the year. Steven Stewart was saddled with the loss, he fell to 3-3 on the year. Josh Dowdy, after taking the loss in last nights ball game, rebounds for his fifth save of the season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.