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Blue Rocks Fall To IronBirds 5-4

May 27, 2022

The Wilmington Blue Rocks returned home on Friday, May 27, to kick off three straight games on their home turf in their home-and-home series with the Aberdeen IronBirds.

The Wilmington Blue Rocks returned home on Friday, May 27, to kick off three straight games on their home turf in their home-and-home series with the Aberdeen IronBirds.

After the first-place IronBirds took the first two games of the series, including game three on Thursday, May 26, that trend continued on Friday night, with the IronBirds taking game four by a final score of 5-4, taking the 3-1 series lead.

The win slipped away from the Blue Rocks in this one. Starting pitcher Mitchell Parker got into a jam in the top of the first inning, walking three straight batters after recording the first out of the inning. Parker ended up escaping the inning, getting Connor Pavalony to pop out and Donta’ Williams to strike out with the bases loaded.

Wilmington took advantage of the score still being tied in the bottom half of the inning. After Cole Daily singled to kick things off for the Blue Rocks, Ricardo Mendez singled to right field to send Daily to third. The Blue Rocks were then successful in using the oldest trick in the book, with Mendez attempting to steal second base allowing Daily to score easily from third.

This gave the Blue Rocks an early 1-0 lead that would stand until the bottom of the third, where Ricardo Mendez blasted a two run home run to right field, his second of the year, allowing Cole Daily to come around and score, making the score 3-0 in favor of Wilmington.

The score remained stagnant all the way until the top of the seventh inning, where the IronBirds began to hit their stride. It all started with a fielding mistake by the Blue Rocks, with Davis Tavarez scoring from third due to a throwing error by shortstop Jordy Barely. The mishaps did not end there, as a fielding error by center fielder Ricardo Mendez allowed Collin Burns to score from first and batter TT Bowens to make it all the way to third. Jacob Teter then roped an RBI single to left, scoring Bowens and tying up the game at three runs a piece.

Wilmington did a nice job of staying resilient and bouncing back, immediately responding in the bottom half of the seventh inning thanks to an RBI single by Jose Sanchez, allowing Omar Meregildo to score all the way from second following his leadoff double. This gave the lead right back to the Blue Rocks, 4-3.

Similar to Wilmington in the bottom of the seventh inning, Aberdeen remained resilient up until the very end. Down to their last out in the top of the ninth inning, Jacob Teter blasted a two run home run to deep right field, paving way for Aberdeen to retake the lead, 5-4, which would end up being the final score.

Mitchell Parker struggled in his seventh start of the season, only pitching 1 ⅔ innings, allowing five walks in the process. There were bright spots for Parker, however, as he did not allow a single hit and struck out two IronBirds’. The bullpen did its job in relief of Parker, totaling 7.2 innings, allowing six hits and only two earned runs, striking out eight IronBirds’.

On offense, Ricardo Mendez and Jose Sanchez led the way, with Mendez going 2-4 with a home run and two RBI, and Sanchez also going 2-4 with an RBI.

Aberdeen pitcher Alex Pham was rewarded with the win, his first of the season. Zach Brzykcy was handed his first loss of the season for Wilmington, as well as his first blown save.

The Blue Rocks still have a chance to come out of this series even, and they will look to keep those hopes alive in game five against the IronBirds on Saturday, May 28.