A lone run in the eighth inning made all the difference as the Aberdeen Ironbirds shut down the State College Spikes 1-0 Tuesday night.
Ian McKinney had an outstanding night on the mound in the loss as the Ironbirds took the opener of the three-game series at Ripken Stadium. McKinney pitched a solid seven innings, striking out five, walking three, giving up two hits and hitting a batter.
McKinney, who retired the first nine batters he faced, left the game when it was still knotted 0-0.
The only run trotted home in the eighth inning on a Kirvin Moesquit sacrifice fly off reliever Jerry Then. Ricardo Andujar led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and Cedric Mullins walked, with both moving up on a passed ball before Moesquit run-scoring fly ball.
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Aberdeen’s pitching performance was just as impressive, limiting the Spikes to four hits. Christian Alvarado tossed the first five frames, allowing four hits and striking our seven in his New York-Penn League debut.
Tanner Scott and Jay Flaa took care of the final four hitless innings, with Scott (4-0) earning the win and Flaa posting his second save.
The Spikes did draw two walks off Scott in the top of the eighth, putting runners on the corners. State College, however, was unable to cash in on the scoring chance as the team began a six-game road trip.
The teams will meet again Wednesday, with Spikes right-hander Jorge Rodriguez (2-2) to face Aberdeen lefty Robert Strader at 7:05 p.m.
Also, earlier Tuesday, the Spikes’ Juan Perez was honored as the NY-PL Pitcher of the Week. Perez picked up the award after a team-record-tying 10-strikeout performance, giving up two hits over seven innings, in a 3-1 win against the Batavia Muckdogs on Saturday.