After a heavy rain storm washed out Wednesday night’s ending and scattered showers peppered the Aberdeen area during the day on Thursday, the floodgates finally opened Thursday night as the Jamestown Jammers broke down the dam and throttled the Aberdeen IronBirds 11-1.
“We got beat up pretty good. The starting pitching and the bullpen really didn’t do a good job,” manager Gary Kendall said. “We didn’t hit. We didn’t do a whole lot of things out there.”
IronBirds starter Justin Anderson struggled mightily in the first three innings, allowing six hits and four runs over that span. In the second, Jamestown put three runs on the board. Leftfielder Ryan Fisher led off with a double to left field before first baseman Aaron Dudley was hit by a pitch. Aberdeen could not complete a double play off the bat of designated hitter James Wooster, putting runners on first and third with one out. Then consecutive RBI singles by third baseman Aury Diaz and centerfielder Brent Keys put the Jammers ahead 2-0. Anderson got second baseman Danny Black out, but he could not get catcher Dallas Hord who singled to center for a 3-0 lead. In the top of the third, Jamestown added another when Diaz doubled in Dudley who had been hit by a pitch for the second time.
Aberdeen had its best chance to get back into the game in the bottom of the fourth after singles by third baseman Adam Gaylord, rightfielder Blair Dunlap, and catcher Joe Oliveira loaded the bases with two outs. However, designated hitter Zach Moore grounded out to second.
Jamestown came out swinging in the top of the fifth, putting six runs on the board to put the game out of reach and chase Anderson. Rightfielder Marcell Ozuna led off the inning with a walk and scored on Fisher’s subsequent triple for a 5-0 lead. Fisher scored Dudley’s sacrifice fly to right field. Wooster lined the second triple of the inning to left field. This spelled the end for Anderson who was replaced for lefthander Blake Mechaw.
Anderson’s final line was seven runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
“I just wasn’t executing. I was getting ahead alright, I just couldn’t put them away,” Anderson said. “I was trying to make the perfect pitch and just leaving it out over the plate and they weren’t missing it.”
Anderson (3-3, 5.48) has not pitched into the fifth inning of a start since July 6 against Lowell and has not pitched past the sixth since June 24 at Staten Island.
“I don’t think he’s making good pitches. He’s leaving too many pitches out and over the plate,” Kendall said. “Earlier in the year he was getting a lot of swings off breaking balls down, but they’re not strikes. You gotta throw strikes. He made some good pitches tonight, but he just couldn’t finish hitters. You gotta have more bullets. “
“I just need to be more relaxed and stay aggressive and just try to hit the mitt,” Anderson said. “I guess I’m thinking too much out there. I just gotta keep things simple.”
“We gotta finish hitters. We don’t have to strike guys out,” Kendall said.
Mechaw did not fare much better than his predecessor Anderson. Mechaw immediately walked Diaz. Wooster was erased from the basepaths when he was called out at home trying to score on a grounder to Gaylord. Wooster attempted to run through Oliveira who held fast and applied the tag for the out. Then Mechaw walked Black to load the bases and then Hord tripled to center field to clear the bases and put Jamestown up 9-0. Shortstop Noah Perio made the score 10-0 by singling in Hord. Mechaw escaped by striking out Ozuna, who had led off the inning.
Jamestown added one more in the top of the eighth off of Jose Barajas when Dudley hit an offering high and deep down the right field line to the IronBirds clubhouse area to make the score 11-0.
The Jammers loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth against Barajas, but the righthander got Ozuna to strike out for the fourth time and Fisher to strike out for the third time to end the inning.
The Jamestown pitching staff was effective at shutting down the IronBirds bats all night long. Starter Rett Varner (2-1, 1.29) five shutout innings allowing only five hits and two walks while striking out one batter. Zachary Robertson pitched two hitless innings before Andy Kainer pitched a scoreless eighth.
Hord paced the Jammers offense Thursday night. Coming into the game, Hord was batting just .257 with five RBIs in 24 games for Jamestown. But the 22-year-old catcher came through in a big way, going 3-for-6 with a triple, four RBIs, and a run scored.
“They just outplayed us,” Kendall said. “We didn’t get good pitching. It happens. Games get out of hand.”
Aberdeen’s lone run came in the top of the ninth off Luis Chirinos when Dunlap and centerfielder Trent Mummey both doubled.
“It’s just one of those nights,” Kendall said. Hopefully we come out tomorrow and play a little better.”
Friday night the IronBirds wrap up the current five-game homestand and look to avoid a series sweep with the series finale against the Jammers. Scott Copeland (1-4, 3.15) is scheduled to pitch for the IronBirds, and the Jammers starter has not been announced yet. In his last start on July 31 at Hudson Valley, Copeland pitched five innings and gave up only two runs on five hits, but the Aberdeen offense could only muster one run and Copeland took the loss. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. at Ripken Stadium.