Heartbreaker in Williamsport; Birds Fall, 7-6

IronBirds Overcome Five-Run Deficit but Falter in the Ninth

WILLIAMSPORT, PA – The IronBirds overcame a four-run deficit on the night as Aberdeen led by a run entering the ninth inning but the Crosscutters plated two runs in the bottom of ninth to take the series opener in walk off fashion. 3B Mitch Walding tied the game with a RBI single off RHP Tommy Winegardner and later in the frame, Walding came home to score on a throwing error by SS Anthony Caronia.

LHP Lex Rutledge made his IronBirds debut on Wednesday night in Williamsport. Rutledge ran into some trouble in the first inning. After walking the first two batters he faced, 1B Cameron Perkins gave the Crosscutters an early lead with a RBI single to left field. DH Chris Serritella followed up Perkins with a two-run double. Following Serritella’s double, Rutledge retired the next three Cutters in order.

Rutledge exited his New York-Penn League debut after 2+ innings of work. He allowed three runs on three hits while walking four and striking out three.

A Joel Hutter RBI single got the IronBirds on the board in the top of the third but Williamsport plated two runs off LHP Cameron Coffey in the bottom of the fourth to increase their lead the four.

Aberdeen began their comeback in the fifth inning. With SS Anthony Caronia on third and 2B Creede Simpson, RF Lucas Herbst hit a two-run triple to right field off RHP Manaure Martinez. DH Joel Hutter followed up Herbst with a RBI infield single. The Birds trailed by just a run after five innings.

In his New York-Penn League debut, Manaure Martinez allowed four runs on four hits over five innings of work.

Still down a run entering the eighth, the IronBirds would take their first lead of the game in emphatic fashion. With two outs and 3B Torsten Boss on first, 1B Cameron Edman blasted a two-run homer to left-center off RHP Ulises Joaquin. Edman was hitless in his previous 16 at-bats prior to the home run off Joaquin.

Tommy Winegardner entered out of the IronBirds bullpen to try to close out the game. SS Roman Quinn led off the last of the ninth with a triple to right field. 3B Mitch Walding followed with a RBI single through the right side of the infield to tie the game at six. After a Cameron Perkins bunt single, Chris Serritella flied out to left field. With one down, LF Larry Greene hit a sharp grounder to first. Cameron Edman fielded and fired to second for the force out. SS Anthony Caronia’s return throw to first went wild and Mitch Walding came into score the winning run on a the throwing error.

RHP Steven Inch (1-1) notched the win out of the bullpen while Tommy Winegardner (2-1) got the loss. RHP Bennett Parry, who did not factor in the decision, tossed a pair of scoreless innings out of the IronBirds’ bullpen.

The IronBirds and Crosscutters will play game two of the three-game series on Thursday night in Williamsport. RHP Sebastian Vader (1-5, 5.40) will take the hill for Aberdeen while the Cutters will turn to RHP Kevin Brady (0-1, 1.00). First pitch from Historic Bowman Field is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Coverage on the IronBirds Radio Network will begin at 6:50 p.m.

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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.