BY MICHAEL HAMMOND | Minor League Knocks
Aug. 8, 2017 | Mahoning Valley Scrappers 8, Aberdeen IronBirds 7 | New York-Penn League (SS)
ABERDEEN, Md. – After scoring three in the ninth, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers held on in the bottom half for an 8-7 victory over the Aberdeen IronBirds at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium on Tuesday in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Mahoning Valley’s first five runs came in the unearned variety, but they earned them when it counted. The Scrappers went up 3-0 in the second on a Tyler Friis three-run homer, his first of the year. None of the runs counted against IronBird starter Michael Baumann after an errant Ben Breazeale throw on a dropped third strike.
Aberdeen broke into the scoring column in the third after Josh Hart led off with a double and scored on a T.J. Nichting single with two outs. In the top of the fourth, MV tacked on a pair of unearned runs after Tristan Graham dropped a fly ball in right field.
The IronBirds started their comeback in the fifth. Nichting drove in Mason McCoy with a single. Then things got rough for MV pitcher Domingo Jimenez. His pickoff attempt bounced into right field to let Trevor Craport score and move Nichting to third, who scored a wild pitch in the same at-bat.
A McCoy triple in the sixth highlighted another three-run inning that gave the IronBirds a 7-5 lead. McCoy, a sixth round draft pick from Iowa, has gone from leading the Big Ten in hits (83) this year to slashing .323/.429/.510 and being named Tuesday to the New York-Penn League All Star Game.
It seemed like the Iron Birds would fly through and come out on top. However, when William Reed Hayes came in for the save, he gave up three-straight hits to start the ninth. All three then scored to give the Scrappers their final 8-7 lead.
Aberdeen loaded the bases in the ninth, but a suspect call from the first base umpire ended the game. With a two-two count, Graham checked his swing (did not look like he went around) and was called out to end the game.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers (28-19) 030 200 003 – 8 11 1
Aberdeen IronBirds (27-21) 001 033 000 – 7 8 3
8/8 Mahoning Valley 8, Aberdeen 7
8/9 Mahoning Valley at Aberdeen
8/10 Mahoning Valley at Aberdeen
Mahoning Valley Scrappers (CLE)
#7 Will Benson 2/5, R, RBI, 2B, 2 K
#8 Nolan Jones 1/5, R, 3 K
#27 Oscar Gonzalez 3/5, R, RBI, 2 2B
4th Ernie Clement 2/4, R, HBP, K
5th Austen Wade 0/5, R, 2 K
21st Tyler Friis 3/4, R, 4 RBI HR
Aberdeen IronBirds (BAL)
6th Mason McCoy 1/3, 2 R, RBI, 3B, 2 BB
7th Ben Breazeale 0/4, BB, 2 K
9th T.J. Nichting 2/3, R, 2 RBI, BB, HBP
11th Trevor Craport 0/0, 4 BB, SF
22nd Luke Ringhofer 0/2, 2 BB, K
28th Zach Jarrett Pinch Run in 9th
Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium was designed by Cal Ripken Jr. and his family when the Utica Blue Sox moved to Ripken’s home town and became the Aberdeen IronBirds. It is part of a larger baseball complex used for little league across the street. One of its best features is that all seats are in the shade by the start of night games.
Portland Sea Dogs at Richmond Flying Squirrels on Aug. 9.