WAPPINGERS FALLS – Despite several opportunities to win Monday night’s ballgame with the winning run at third in two separate innings, it was the Aberdeen Ironbirds who prevailed 1-0. For the fifth time in fifteen games, the Renegades went into extra innings, but this time around they were bested by a familiar foe that had lost 16 of the previous 17 meetings between the pair.
Austin Pruitt took the hill sporting no record through his first two starts, with no runs allowed across nine innings of work. The scoreless innings streak continued for the fast-working righty, who allowed two hits and a walk while fanning two in five more impressive innings. Throughout all this, the offense just could not score despite putting a runner on in each of the first seven innings, and getting a man in scoring position in five of them. The IronBirds best chance came against newly acquired lefty Rick Teasley, who made his Renegades debut out of the pen in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Conor Bierfeldt grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play to keep the game scoreless.
The Hudson Valley offense went down in order in the final two innings of the game, while Harmen Sidhu rebounded nicely from a loss in his first outing last week. The Division II National Player of the Year struck out three batters and allowed just one hit in 2.1 innings of work with a good rising fastball. Kevin Brandt then came in for the start of extra innings after losing each of his last two appearances against Brooklyn. Brandt dominated the IronBirds again and started it off by striking out the side in the 10th.
With the ‘Gades facing Jorge Rivera, Darryl George walked with one out before moving to second on a wild pitch. Julian Morillo struck out swinging and a Julian Ridings infield single put the winning run at third for Patrick Blair. But Blair grounded out to short on a 3-2 pitch as Dylan Rheault came in and got the final out.
In the bottom of the 12th inning, a Granden Goetzman leadoff single came before George walked again with one out. The runners then advanced on a wild pitch from Williams Louico to Morillo, who grounded a 2-1 pitch back to the mound. Goetzman ran to the plate and was thrown out in plenty of time for the second out of the inning. Regardless, George had moved to third for the second time in three innings hut Ridings struck out looking on a 2-2 pitch to send it to the 13th.
Facing the talented Cory Jordan, Aberdeen got a two-out single from the number nine hitter Jeff Kemp. Jordan (0-1) then worked the count full on Sam Kimmel, and with the runner on the move, Kimmel lined a shot to the right field wall. James Harris’ relay to the second baseman Morillo was quick but his accurate throw to the plate was not in time to get Kemp, who scored the game’s only run. In the bottom of the inning, Louico retired the Renegades in order and struck out the final two to pick up his first win of the season.