ABERDEEN, MD- In his sophomore season of professional baseball, Troy Scribner has done an excellent job proving to the Houston Astros that they added a legitimate pitching prospect to their minor league system, when they signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2013.
On Monday night, the Connecticut native earned his league leading sixth victory, allowing only three hits while striking out seven batters over his seven innings, as Tri-City defeated the Aberdeen IronBirds, 1-0, at Ripken Stadium.
In the process, Scribner lowered his ERA to a miniscule 0.77, good for second best in the New York-Penn League behind Reynaldo Lopez of Auburn. Scribner leads the league with 57 strikeouts and a 0.79 WHIP.
The ValleyCats pitching staff didn't allow an IronBirds batter to reach second base all night. Aberdeen came close a few times, but were denied the opportunity thanks to a pick-off from Scribner to end the second inning, a 5-4-3 double play to end the fifth, and catcher Ricky Gingras throwing out Steve Wilkerson trying to steal in the sixth.
Out of the pen, Jay Gause and Jordan Mills threw one scoreless inning a piece, with Gause earning his second hold of the season, and Mills his first save.
Tri-City scored their only run of the ballgame on a two out, bases loaded walk to Bobby Boyd in the seventh inning, off of Aberdeen reliever Max Schuh, who then struck out Mott Hyde to end the inning and limit the damage.
The 'Cats lineup was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and the only extra base hit was a double off the bat of Mott Hyde to lead off the fourth inning.
With the victory, the ValleyCats improve to an impressive 31-13 record, and remain tied with the Hudson Valley Renegades for the best record in the league. The first place 'Cats own a comfortable nine game lead over the Connecticut Tigers in the Stedler Division.
On Tuesday night, the IronBirds and ValleyCats square off in the rubber match of the series. The 'Cats will send lefty Randall Fant to the mound, to face 2010 MLB All-Star, Ubaldo Jimenez, who is currently on a Major League rehab assignment for the Baltimore Orioles.
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