Lucas Herbst Scores Go-Ahead Run in Bottom of the Eighth; IronBirds Take Opener, 3-2
The IronBirds completed another late-inning comeback, scoring the last three runs of Friday night’s ballgame to win by the final score of 3-2. The IronBirds fell behind 2-0, but scored one run in the 6th and two runs in the 8th to take the lead.
The Tigers struck first in the top of the first inning, plating one run to start the scoring. Jake Stewart hit a one-out double to get in scoring position. Patrick Smith hit a grounder to shortstop Joel Hutter, and the throw was wide of first base. 1B Cameron Edman caught the ball off the bag and tried to apply the tag to the runner, but Smith reached safely. On the throwing error, Stewart went from second to home, scoring the first run of the game.
Connecticut extended their lead in the fifth inning, with a single run in the top of the frame. Leadoff hitter Jared Reaves reached on a single. Jake Stewart hit into a fielder’s choice, retiring Reaves at second. With Stewart on first, LF Danry Vasquez hit an RBI double into left field. Stewart scored all the way from first to give the Tigers a 2-0 advantage.
The IronBirds began chipping away at the Tigers’ lead in the sixth. Lucas Herbst reached on a bunt single down the third base line. Herbst scored when Joel Hutter hit a double down the right field line. Hutter’s two-bagger was his 13th double of the season, a team-high on the IronBirds.
Aberdeen completed the rally in the eighth inning, scoring two more runs to take the lead 3-2. 2B Creede Simpson led off the inning with a triple into right field. Lucas Herbst followed up with an RBI single to tie the ballgame at two runs apiece. Later in the inning, with Herbst on third base, Torsten Boss stepped to the plate. A passed ball off the glove of Tigers’ C Tim Remes allowed Herbst to score, giving the IronBirds a 3-2 lead.
Tom Winegardner entered the game in the ninth inning to close it out for the ‘Birds. A perfect inning of relief for the converted closer gave the IronBirds the victory as Winegardner retired Stewart, Vasquez and Smith in order to end the game.
Lucas Herbst finished with three hits, and he drove in the game-tying run and scored the go-ahead run. It was Herbst’s 11th multi-hit game of the season, the second-most on the team behind only Joel Hutter. Hutter contributed with a multi-hit game as well, his 16th of the season, as well as extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Aberdeen IronBirds NYPL All-Star catcher Sam Kimmel had two hits as well.
Angel Nesbitt took the loss, falling to 1-3 on the season. The IronBirds comeback spoiled a solid start for Connecticut Tigers’ pitcher Endrys Briceno, who went five scoreless innings, allowing just six hits and no walks.
Mark Blackmar got the win, improving to 4-3 on the season. Blackmar pitched five innings of relief in a piggyback start following Jorge Rivera’s three innings. Blackmar and Rivera allowed just one run apiece, with the run off Rivera being unearned. Tom Winegardner got his fifth save in 2012.
The IronBirds continue the three-game series with the Connecticut Tigers on Saturday night, August 11th. RHP Charlie Gillies (0-3, 3.47) will take the mound for the visiting Tigers. Aberdeen will send Brady Wager (0-1, 8.22) in the second game of the series. Wager was the 9th round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. First pitch at Ripken Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m. Coverage on the IronBirds Radio Network will begin at 6:50 p.m.
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