Following Friday night’s exciting pitcher’s duel, Aberdeen went down to the wire with State College again on Saturday night, this time losing 1-0 at Ripken Stadium. Aberdeen received strong pitching from All-Star Tim Adleman, while State College received the same from Tyler Waldron.
The State College pitching staff took a no-hitter and 1-0 lead into the ninth inning before pinch-hitter David Anderson led off the inning with a double down the right field line off reliever Brooks Pounders. But with the tying run in scoring position, centerfielder Trent Mummey failed to get a bunt down and shortstop Sammie Starr flied out to left field. Leftfielder Kipp Schutz lined what appeared to be the game-tying hit past second base, but second baseman Kelson Brown laid out to make the game-ending play and keep the game as a one-hit shutout.
With Anderson breaking up State College’s no-hitter, manager Gary kendall said, “Could I envision a seeing-eye hit down the right field line? No.”
Of sitting and watching eight innings of no-hit baseball before batting, Anderson said, “You’re probably more prepared because you’re up there wanting to get that first hit for the team. Luckily, tonight I was able to come through.”
“You think in game like that you’re not going to be in it, but you have a chance to win it in the ninth with a pretty good group of guys to do it, and it just didn’t happen,” Kendall said. “I take my hat off to them.”
Waldron was nearly perfect through five innings, retiring the next 14 batters he faced after allowing the first batter of the game, Mummey, reach on a dropped third strike and throwing error on catcher Matt Skirving. He recorded two strikeouts over those five no-hit innings.
“Mainly, [Waldron] was moving his sinker in and out with guys,” Anderson said. “When a pitcher is able to do that, it’s tough to hit.”
“We just couldn’t do much with him,” Kendall said.
Reliever Ryan Beckman pitched a perfect sixth inning to extend the retired batters streak to 17. In the seventh, Pounders struck out Mummey to push it to 18, but then the reliever issued back-to-back walks to Starr and Schutz to put runners on first and second with one out. But third baseman Adam Gaylord popped out and first baseman Tyler Stampone flied out to the warning track in left field to end the inning.
“I thought we’d get to their bullpen eventually,” Kendall said.
“Their pitching staff a great job, mixing things up, going in and out, using offspeed, getting offspeed over for strikes,” Anderson said. “It kept our hitters off balance.”
Adleman was able to match Waldron through five innings, pitching five scoreless innings of three-hit baseball, allowing two walks. But Adleman faltered in the sixth, allowing a run to put State College up 1-0. Centerfielder Mel Rojas, Jr. drew a one-out walk. Adleman got shortstop Gift Ngoepe to strikeout, but the next batter, designated hitter Gerlis Rodriguez, stepped up and drilled a triple to left-center field over a diving Mummey’s outstretched glove. Rojas easily scored from first.
This spelled the end for Adleman. His final line read six innings, one run, four hits, three walks, and six strikeouts.
“You’d like to think that if you go six innings, one-run and the bullpen shuts the door the rest of the way, you’re going to win, but it’s just one of those things and didn’t happen tonight,” Adleman said.
“You try not to look at the scoreboard as much as possible and just try to keep your team in the game,” Adleman said. “Fortunately I was able to hang zeroes for the first five and gave us a chance to win. It unfortunately didn’t happen tonight.”
Ashur Tolliver came in and pitched two scoreless innings, striking out two batters.
Steven Mazur came on to pitch the ninth and State College had a great opportunity to add insurance runs to the 1-0 lead. First baseman Matt Curry drew a two-out walk and then advanced to third on a single by rightfielder Cole White. But Mazur buckled down and struck out leftfielder Pat Irvine to end the threat.
Aberdeen closes out this three-game series with State College Sunday afternoon with Justin Moore (3-1, 3.31) pitching against Zack Von Rosenburg (1-6, 3.53). Moore is coming off his first loss of the year August 9 at Mahoning Valley. In that game, Moore pitched 5.1 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out one. Von Rosenburg lost in his last start against Lowell where he pitched five innings and gave up two runs on eight hits. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. at Ripken Stadium.