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(Enlarge) IronBirds baserunner Zach Moore speeds toward home to score a run for the IronBirds during Wednesday evening's game against the visiting Staten Island Yankees. (Photo by Matt Button | Aegis staff)

After bouncing back from a three-game losing streak last week by winning three of five contests, the Aberdeen IronBirds found themselves on the losing end in the final two engagements of their five-game home stand.

The back-to-back defeats dropped Aberdeen’s 2010 record to 5-8, putting the IronBirds in last place in the New York-Penn League’s McNamara Division. Heading into its Thursday match-up, Aberdeen is four games behind the first-place Brooklyn Cyclones, 1.5 games behind the Staten Island Yankees, and trailing Hudson Valley by half a game.

In the Wednesday night finale to their home stand, the IronBirds fought back to cut the visiting Staten Island squad’s four-run lead in half, but they did not have enough gas in the tank to even up with their guests, eventually losing the contest, 4-2.

With Aberdeen trailing 4-0 in the home half of the sixth, the IronBirds’ Zach Moore earned a one-out walk, and then moved over to second on Adam Gaylord’s base hit up the middle. Jeremy Nowak gave Aberdeen its first run of the game with a two-out single to center that allowed Moore to motor home.

In the next frame, Aberdeen’s Michael Rooney earned a one-out walk, and Trent Mummey followed with a two-bagger to center that moved his teammate over the third. With one man down, Kipp Schutz knocked a fly ball out to right field, allowing Rooney to tag up and score.

Aberdeen starter Justin Anderson was able to get out of a two-on, one-out jam in the second inning with a 1-6-3 double-play, but Staten Island got to him in the third inning, scoring twice after drilling four straight one-out hits.

Anderson was pulled in the sixth after allowing the first two hitters to reach base, and reliever Ashur Tolliver then allowed back-to-back base hits which brought home the Yankees’ final two runs.

In five innings of work, Anderson struck out three, walked two and was charged with four earned runs on seven hits. Tolliver went two innings, allowing two hits, striking out one and walking one. Bruno Sanchez closed out the game for Aberdeen, surrendering two hits, striking out three and walking one in three innings.

Nowak went 3-for-3 with one RBI, while Omar Casamayor and Mike Flacco both hit a pair of singles in the loss. The IronBirds struck out nine times against the Staten Island pitching.

‘Birds lose slugfest

Aberdeen and Staten Island combined for 18 runs and 24 hits on Tuesday night, but unfortunately for the IronBirds, their hot bats did not add up to a victory, as the visiting Yankees came out on top of the contest with a 10-8 victory.

The hit and run totals were the highest seen in any of the IronBirds’ games through Wednesday.

The IronBirds were hitting the ball well right out of the gates, with Mummey, Rooney and Schutz leading off the bottom of the first with three consecutive singles, the last of which brought home Aberdeen’s first run. Later in the inning, Flacco put Aberdeen up by three with a line drive single to left that scored Rooney and Schutz.

Staten Island tied the game up by scoring once in the second, and twice in the third frame.

Flacco picked up his third RBI of the contest, and put Aberdeen up by a run, in the third by pushing Schutz home with a two-out single to center.

After Staten Island took the lead in the top of the fourth with two more runs, Aberdeen evened things up once again when Austin Goolsby, who led off with a walk and moved over to third on Austin Knight’s double, scored when Auburn Donaldson grounded out to second.

Following a quiet fifth, the Yankees went up once again with a two-run outburst in the sixth.

In the bottom part of the seventh, Mummey led off with a walk, moved to third on a groundout and Schutz’s single, and shuffled home on a wild pitch, making the score 7-6 in Staten Island’s favor.

Neither squad plated a run in the eighth, but Staten Island scored three times on three hits and a hit batsman in the ninth to go up 10-6.

The IronBirds still had some offense left for their final at bat, as Schutz hit a liner to center that scored Auburn Donaldson, who had led off by earning a base on balls. Rooney, who reached base via a single, later scored the IronBirds’ final run, coming home on a passed ball. With no men on and two down, David Anderson and Gaylord struck out to end the game.

Aberdeen’s Jason Gurka took the loss after tossing 2 1/3 innings of relief in which he allowed four earned runs on two hits and two walks. IronBirds’ starter Blake Mechaw lasted three innings, struck out two, walked one and surrendered three earned runs on five hits. Mike Gonzalez struck out two, walked zero and allowed three hits in 1 1/3 frames of scoreless relief, while Will Startup also held Staten Island scoreless in 1 1/3 of relief work. Brian Parker came to the mound for Aberdeen in the ninth, and allowed three earned runs on three hits.


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