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Aberdeen walk-off homer ends Drive comeback bid, 6-5

September 7, 2023

Aberdeen walk-off homer ends Drive comeback bid, 6-5 Drive score four in the ninth; give up walk-off with two outs in the bottom of the ninth The Greenville Drive (27-36, 63-66) plated four in the ninth to comeback from a 5-1 deficit and force the bottom of the ninth on

Aberdeen walk-off homer ends Drive comeback bid, 6-5

Drive score four in the ninth; give up walk-off with two outs in the bottom of the ninth

The Greenville Drive (27-36, 63-66) plated four in the ninth to comeback from a 5-1 deficit and force the bottom of the ninth on Thursday night, but with two away in the bottom of the inning Samuel Basallo knocked a line drive walk-off homer over the right field wall to give the Aberdeen IronBirds (31-31, 63-63) a 6-5 victory.

Staring down the 5-1 hole, Ronald Rosario and Gilberto Jimenez walked to put two men on before Karson Simas ripped a single to load the bases for Nick Decker. Decker singled and advanced to second on the throw home as Rosario and Jimenez scored to make it 5-3. Two batters later Kristian Campbell slapped a single through the right side of infield scoring Simas and Decker to knot the game.

Aaron Perry, pitching his second inning in relief, picked up two quick outs and the game seemed destined for extras. But, Basallo, who was a thorn in the side of the Drive all night, knocked his homer on the third pitch of the at-bat. Basallo finished the night 3-for-5 with 3 RBI.

Though the final inning saw some fireworks, the outset of the game was a repeat of the night prior. For yet another night the Drive would struggle at the plate against an IronBirds’ starter. Zack Peek held the Drive hitless through four innings of work that included six strikeouts and a lone walk. Miller broke up any thoughts of a no-hitter to lead off the fifth as he doubled off reliever Reese Sharp.

By then the IronBirds opened up a 2-0 lead via a Basallo RBI-double in the first and an Isaac De Leon RBI-single in the fourth inning off starter Dalton Rogers. Rogers ultimately surrendered six hits on the day while picking up three strikeouts in four innings of work.

Aberdeen upped the lead to 4-0 following the sixth inning, snagging a run in the fifth on a Creed Willems RBI-single to right field and a Trendon Craig RBI-single in the sixth, both coming off reliever Gabriel Jackson. Jackson would finish the night after the seventh, going three innings allowing three runs on three hits while picking up three strikeouts. The IronBird’s fifth run would cross in the seventh on Basallo’s RBI-single.

Greenville would pick up a run in the seventh, though it wouldn’t come via a hit. Miller reached third in the seventh thanks to a steal and a ground out that moved him 90 feet. He’ come around to score on a Karson Simas dropped third pitch strikeout on which Simas took off fo first. An error on the throw down to first allowed Miller to take off from third, score, and put the Drive on the board.

And yet, down 5-1 in the ninth, the Drive found a way to knot the game on their patience and the clutch bats of Decker and Campbell before Basallo tormented Greenville one last time on his seventh homer of the year.

The Greenville Drive (Boston Red Sox) return to action Friday, September 8th for game four of the six-game series with the Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore Orioles) to close out the regular season. The IronBirds hold a 3-0 lead in the series. The Drive return to Fluor Field on September 14th for the SAL Playoffs.