IronBirds baserunner Jeremy Nowak makes some contact with… (Matt Button | Aegis staff,…)
The Aberdeen IronBirds began their 2011 campaign on the right foot, beating the visiting Hudson Valley Renegades 7-2 in their season-opening matchup Friday night.
The hosts were helped by 19-year-old flame thrower Parker Bridwell, who made the start and worked through five full innings. During his opening-night stint, Bridwell (1-0) sent nine Renegades down on strikes without allowing any walks and held Hudson Valley to a paltry four hits in the win.
"I felt good on the mound, and I'm glad we got this first win under our belt," Bridwell said after the game. "I just did my job, pitched a good game, got the win and I'm happy about that. I feel like a weight [has] been lifted, [because] I was a little nervous coming into tonight."
Bridwell said he was feeding the Renegades a lot of sliders, since his changeup was not working particularly well Friday evening.
"I just went with my regular slider up there. It was a hard hit for them to pitch, so you just keep throwing the pitch that works," Bridwell said. "I wasn't really feeling my changeup that well. I threw a couple good ones, but every now and then I would choke one."
Playing in front of a packed house at Aberdeen's Ripken Stadium in their first game of the 2011 campaign, the Baltimore Orioles' Class A Short Season affiliate struck first in the second frame, when Monkton native Joe Velleggia belted a double to right that scored teammate Mychal Givens, who reached on a single. Later in the inning, Velleggia came home on Martin Serrata's two-bagger up the first base line.
Aberdeen added two more in the next inning, with Austin Knight scoring from third when the Renegade pitcher balked, and Narron knocking home Dudley Leonora with an RBI groundout.
Jeremy Nowak earned a one-out walk in the home half of the fourth, and came around to score when Serrata hit his second double of the game. Before Hudson Valley could escape the frame, Knight scorched a single up the middle that allowed Serrata to cross home plate.
After a two-inning silence, the IronBirds' offense came back to life in the seventh, when Riley Hornback reached base on a throwing error, stole third, then scored on Wynston Sawyer's grounder to third.
Taking over for Bridwell in the sixth, Eddie Gamboa pitched three innings in a relief effort, holding the Renegades to one and striking out five.
Hudson Valley scored its two runs in the top of the ninth, when closer James Brandhorst allowed one tally on a pair of hits and one walk.