IronBirds edge the Spikes, 3-1

ABERDEEN, Md. – Steven Ramos had a three-hit night at the plate, but Johnstown, Pa., native Austin Urban held the State College Spikes at bay as the Aberdeen IronBirds edged out a 3-1 decision on Thursday night at Ripken Stadium.

Ramos posted a trio of hits for the second time in a week after replicating his 3-for-4 performance from July 4. The State College (14-10) center fielder occupied the leadoff spot and notched two singles, one via bunt, and an RBI double.

However, Urban (1-2) came on for Aberdeen (14-10) in relief after the Spikes had already tied the game, 1-1, in the third inning and immediately forced an inning-ending double play. The Richland High School graduate would then go 5 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out four to grab the win. The right-hander was originally scheduled to start Thursday’s game, but was lifted in favor of left-hander Jorge Rivera earlier in the day.

Matthew Young scored the lone Spikes run, while Cesar Valera’s 20-game on-base streak came to an end after an 0-for-4 evening.

State College starter Andrew Pierce (0-1) took his first professional loss after allowing all three Aberdeen runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batsman over 2 2/3 innings. Pierce struck out one in the effort.

Harry Marino (1) tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn the save for the IronBirds.

The Spikes have now dropped back-to-back road games for the first time since a three-game skid from June 27-29.

Friday, State College finishes its three-game series in Aberdeen with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the IronBirds. The Spikes will send right-hander Juan Bautista (0-2) to the hill for his team-leading fifth start of the season. Aberdeen is slated to go with Dylan Rheault (0-0), a 6’9″ right-hander selected by the Orioles in the 19th round of this year’s draft out of Central Michigan.