Aberdeen Falters in Ninth; Renegades Defeat Birds, 4-3

Hudson Valley Scores Three in the Ninth to Steal Victory from IronBirds

The IronBirds continued their run of tough luck losses, surrendering a ninth-inning 3-1 lead. The Renegades scored three runs in the top of the ninth to hand Aberdeen their fourth straight one-run loss. For the IronBirds, the loss was their first defeat when leading after eight innings. Before the Renegades’ comeback, Aberdeen was a perfect 9-0 when leading going into the ninth.

The IronBirds started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Christian Walker led off the inning with a single. After a walk to Joel Hutter and a passed ball, Will Howard hit a sacrifice fly to the right field corner, scoring Walker from third.

The Renegades responded immediately in the top of the third. After Juan Guzman issued a walk to Marty Gantt, the Renegades evened the score at one apiece on a RBI triple by Tommy Coyle. The one run scored in the third was the only run allowed by the starter Guzman.

Aberdeen took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth, plating a pair of runs in the frame. Catcher Scott Kalush reached on a walk, and Anthony Vega followed with a double down the right field line. Roderick Bernadina hit a sacrifice fly to score Kalush, giving the ‘Birds a 2-1 lead. Ryan Adams, making the rehab start from the Norfolk Tides (AAA), added to the lead with a two-out RBI single to score Vega.

In the ninth inning, Bobby Wilkins came on in relief, looking to protect the 3-1 lead in a save opportunity. Joel Caminero led things off in the ninth with a leadoff single to right. Jake DePew hit a bloop single to right field. Joey Rickard replaced DePew as a pinch-runner representing the tying run. Deshun Dixon delivered with a one-out double, scoring Caminero and Rickard. After Ryan Dunn drew a pinch-hit walk, Marty Gantt came through with a RBI single scoring Dixon, putting the Renegades ahead 4-3.

Marcus Jensen came on and pitched a perfect 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the game for Hudson Valley. Jensen earned his fifth save for the Renegades while Kris Carlson picked up the win, improving to 1-1 on the season. Bobby Wilkins picked up the loss for Aberdeen, to bring his record to 1-1.

Juan Guzman made the start for the IronBirds, continuing his strong season with another fantastic outing. Guzman struck out the side in order in the first inning to begin the ballgame. After six innings of work, Guzman recorded eight strikeouts in total, a career-high.

Alex Schmarzo came on in relief of Guzman in the seventh inning. Schmarzo continued his run of impressive performances as he allowed two hits and a walk in two scoreless innings. Schmarzo extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 15 innings. He has not allowed a run since his first outing of the season back on June 30th.

The IronBirds and Renegades will wrap up the two-game set at Ripken Stadium on Sunday. LHP Cameron Coffey (1-4, 7.40) will get the start for Aberdeen, while RHP Jesse Hahn (0-2, 4.96) will take the hill for Hudson Valley.

First pitch at Ripken Stadium is scheduled for 5:35 pm on Sunday evening with coverage beginning at 5:20pm on the IronBirds Radio Network.

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Tucker began operating Orioles-Nation.com in October 2013. He has been writing and reporting on the Orioles for an extensive period of time, dedicating most of his energy to the minor league side. He is also a member of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Evaluation Team. Outside of baseball, Tucker also works as a Government Contractor for Contracting Resources Group, Inc. He has appeared as a radio guest on Fox 1370 and WNST 1570. Tucker writes and updates all player reports at Orioles-Nation.com and can be contacted at tuckerblair1989@gmail.com. Follow Tucker on Twitter @TuckerBlairON. Email Tucker at tblair@orioles-nation.com.