The Aberdeen IronBirds had a long, but good day Friday.
The ‘Birds finished Thursday’s continuation with a win, 7-6, over the Wilmington Blue Rocks and then after a 1 hour, 22 minute weather delay, won again, 6-3, in a seven-inning, High-A South Atlantic League game at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.
In the second game, the ‘Birds (61-38 overall, 18-15 second half) went ahead in the first inning.
TT Bowens doubled to the left-center field wall, plating Heston Kjerstad.
Aberdeen starter Chayce McDermott, who was acquired in the Orioles trade of Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros, was sharp in an inning of work. Blue Rocks leadoff batter Ricardo Mendez reached base on catcher’s interference, but McDermott struck out the side in his Aberdeen debut.
McDermott did not return to the mound after the delay.
“Game 2, we only got to see McDermott for one inning due to weather and he was electric in his one inning of work. Struck out 3 of 4 batters he faced. Look forward to seeing him back on the mound,” Aberdeen manager Roberto Mercado said. “After the hour-and-a-half delay, Ricky Ramirez came in and pitched four solid innings for us. [Darell] Hernaiz had a great day at the plate going 3-for-4.”
Ramirez (W, 3-0) took over and the Blue Rocks (51-48) scored twice off him in the third. Jordan Barley’s bunt single opened the inning and he stole second base. A Mendez (2-for-3) single scored Barley. The Blue Rocks added a second run with two outs as Onix Vega and Yasel Antuna hit consecutive singles.
Aberdeen, though, also scored twice to retake the lead. Kjerstad, who went 0-for-3 to snap a 10-game hit streak, reached on a fielder’s choice to plate Isaac Bellony. Kjerstad later scored on a wild pitch.
Ramirez (7H, 2R, 2K) tossed two scoreless innings to end his four-inning effort.
The ‘Birds gave him more support in the fifth. Bellony hit a leadoff double and Kjerstad drove him in with a sacrifice fly to center.
“I have really been working with some new drills this week and as always, ready for that fastball and if I recognize the breaking ball, I make an adjustment,” Bellony said.
Aberdeen was not done scoring. Donta’ Williams reached on an error to open the sixth and Trendon Craig added a single. With two away, Hernaiz scored both with a double.
Nick Richmond pitched a scoreless sixth and Xavier Moore gave up a solo home run to Mendez in the seventh.
Thursday’s game, which started in Wilmington and was postponed by rain, had the Blue Rocks ahead, 5-3, in the top of the fifth.
Aberdeen had runners on second and first before play was suspended.
When play resumed, Williams was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
A wild pitch by Richard Guasch allowed Collin Burns to score. Craig then drove in two runs with a single, putting Aberdeen ahead, 6-5.
The ‘Birds added a big insurance run in the seventh as Bowens delivered an RBI single to plate Hernaiz.
The run proved large as Wilmington scored a run in the eighth, but that was it.
Houston Roth (7-3) pitched 3 2/3 innings of solid baseball to get the win. Roth gave up five hits, three walks and one run, while striking out two.
Thomas Girard pitched the final inning and a third for his first save.
“Great job tonight by Houston Roth and Thomas Girard in game one,” Mercado said. “With the bases loaded Girard came in and induced a weak ground ball to get out of a jam. In the 9th, he started a 1-6-3 double play which ended any threat from Wilmington. Great team wins. Guys were locked in even though it was a long day.”
The ‘Birds and Blue Rocks will meet for game five of the series Saturday at 6:05 p.m. at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium. The series finale is set for 2:05 p.m. Sunday at the stadium.