Aberdeen, MD – The Cyclones dropped Game Two of the SAL Division Series by the score of 6-1 on Thursday night setting up a winner-take-all Game Three on Friday evening at Ripken Stadium. Dominic Hamel was tagged with the loss for Brooklyn after allowing five runs, earned, on five hits while walking four and striking out five.
Aberdeen opened the scoring in the bottom of the first after Heston Kjerstad worked a two-out walk and TT Bowens followed with a home run on the first pitch he saw to give the IronBirds a 2-0 lead.
The lead would swell in the bottom of the third thanks to the same cast of characters. Kjerstad had an RBI double and Jud Fabian added an RBI groundout that extended the ‘Birds lead to 4-0.
In the fifth Donta’ Williams and Frederick Benscome worked a pair of walks to put two men aboard against Hamel in his last inning of work. The righthander struck out Dylan Beavers for out number two but Max Wagner had a seeing eye single that deflected off a diving Jose Peroza and allowed Williams to score from second to make it 5-0.
Brooklyn finally broke through in the top of the fifth courtesy of a long home run off the bat of William Lugo that trimmed the score to 5-1, but the Cyclones would get no closer as the ‘Clones managed just four hits on the night.
Aberdeen tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. After Dylan Hall tossed 2.0 scoreless frames for the Cyclones, Sammy Tavarez came in to pitch the seventh. The righthander retired the first two batters he faced, but walked TT Bowens – who was once again at the heart of an IronBirds rally. Jud Fabian singled to put runners on the corners and Billy Cook roped a single into right field to push home Bowens and extend the Aberdeen lead to 6-1. Tavarez departed with the bases loaded, but Nathan Lavender was able to strike out Connor Pavolony to end the threat.
The Cyclones will square off in a decisive Game Three against the IronBirds on Friday evening at 7:05 PM with the winner moving on to face the winner of the Southern Divisional Series between Rome (Atlanta) and Bowling Green (Tampa Bay) – which will also have a winner-take-all Game Three on Friday evening after Bowling Green’s win on Thursday evening.
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