Torsten Boss Put Birds in Front with a Pinch Hit Homer in the Eighth
NILES, OH – In a back and forth battle on Friday night, the IronBirds held on to defeat the Scrappers, 7-6, in Mahoning Valley and claimed their first road series victory of the season. Torsten Boss put the Birds in front when he belted a pinch hit two-run blast to right field in the eighth inning. RHP Jose Nivar closed out the game in the ninth for Aberdeen.
The IronBirds struck first on Friday night but their lead did not last long. LF Anthony Vega scored in the top of the first but Mahoning Valley took the lead in the bottom of the second when the Scrappers plated a pair of runs on RHP Sebastian Vader.
Trailing by a run in the top of the fourth, CF Roderick Bernadina put the IronBirds back in front with a two-run single to right field. But the theme of the night stayed true and the Scrappers would find themselves ahead once again in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs in the frame, RHP Sander Beck walked RF Mark Bradley. With 3B Erik Gonzalez at the plate, Bradley took off for second. C Scott Kalush’s throw went into centerfield. Bradley took off from the third. Roderick Bernadina tried to throw out Bradley at third but Bernadina’s throw sailed into the stands and Bradley scored on the pair of throwing errors.
Off the bench, Torsten Boss proved to be the hero on Friday. Following a Roberto Ortiz single in the top of the eighth, Boss stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter. Boss belted a Jack Wagoner breaking ball over the right field fence. Boss’ first home run since June 19th put Aberdeen ahead 6-5 in the eight.
Aberdeen added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a Joel Hutter RBI groundout.
Jose Nivar took the hill for Aberdeen in the bottom of the ninth. Nivar surrendered a run on two hits but got C Jeremy Lucas to fly out to centerfield to end the game.
RHP Bobby Wilkins (1-0) tossed a pair of scoreless innings out of the bullpen and notched the win on the night. Jack Wagoner (0-2) got the loss and Jose Nivar picked up his third save of the season.
In his fourth start of the year, Sebastian Vader surrendered three runs on five hits over three innings of work.
The IronBirds will begin a three-game series against the Tri-City ValleyCats on Saturday night in Troy, NY. RHP Jaime Esquivel (2-1, 5.25) will take the hill for the Birds while the ValleyCats will turn to RHP Aaron West (1-0, 1.42). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with coverage on the IronBirds Radio Network beginning at 6:45 p.m.