IronBirds hold off ninth-inning comeback to beat Tri-City, 7-6

With series win, Aberdeen jumps to 5-20 on the season

(Courtesy Aberdeen IronBirds )
July 12, 2011

In the final matchup of their three-game road set with Tri-City, the Aberdeen IronBirds held off a ninth-inning blitz from the host-team Valleycats to take a 7-6 victory.

The victory pushed Aberdeen to 5-20 on the season, which puts the IronBirds 7.5 behind Hudson Valley at the bottom of the New York-Penn League's McNamara Division.

Aberdeen, which had held Tri-City scoreless since the third, surrendered four tallies in the final frame, which allowed the Valleycats to get within one, but with the tying run sitting on third, reliever Angel Cespedes was able to retire the final two hitters to end the game.

The IronBirds struck during their first turn at the plate, with Chris Clinton leading off the game by taking a pitch off his body, moving to third on Mychal Givens' one-out single, then scoring when the Valleycat starter sent a pitch to the backstop.

Tri-City answered in the bottom of the second, belting back-to-back solo homers off Aberdeen starter Mike Wright to start the inning. Wright calmed down enough to get out of the frame with two strikeouts and a grounder to third.

Glynn Davis led off the IronBirds' half of the third with a walk, and quickly moved over two bases, stealing second then moving to third when the Tri-City catcher's throw went into centerfield. After Givens knocked Davis home with the tying run when he grounded out to first, Wynston Sawyer got on with a base hit to center, took second on a wild pitch and moved another 90 feet on Connor Narron's groundout. With Austin Goolsby at the plate, Sawyer gave Aberdeen a one-run cushion, scoring on a passed ball.

In the fifth, Givens walked, swiped second base and put his team up 4-2 when Narron singled him home.

Aberdeen's half of the sixth started with Austin Knight lining a single to right. Riley Hornback followed with a sacrifice bunt, but he made it to first and Knight moved to second on a throwing error. Dudley Leonora hit another sacrifice bunt, pushing Hornback and Knight over a base, and then Davis came through with a two-RBI single, making the score 6-2.

Goolsby had what would be the game-winning hit in the top of the seventh, cracking a two-out solo homer over the left field wall.

Wright went four innings in the start, striking out four without allowing a walk and surrendering two runs on two hits. Reliever Matt Taylor got the pitching win, going three innings in which he held Tri-City to one hit, struck out three and walked one. Devin Jones tossed one inning of relief, surrendering three earned runs on three hits and two walks, before he was replaced by Cespedes with no outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Aberdeen's only extra-base hit was Goolsby's homer. Sawyer went 2-for-4, while Hornback was 2-for-2 and Leonora finished 2-for-3. Narron was 2-for-5 in the victory.

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