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IronBirds Fall To Renegades, 5-3, In Home Opener

The Aberdeen IronBirds opened the home half of 2012 Wednesday at Ripken Stadium.

The rallied to tie Wednesday's home opener before Hudson Valley pulled away in the ninth for a 5-3 win at .

See the IronBirds website for a complete play-by-play and a box score.

Renegades righty Taylor Guerrieri scattered two hits while striking out six in five innings.

"We faced a pretty good pitcher," manager Gary Allenson said. "He had four major league pitches: a live fastball, good breaking ball, and a really good change-up. He mixed it up."

Once he departed, though, the IronBirds came back to life. Allenson praised his ballplayers for tying the game up with a three-run, sixth-inning rally.

He noted a strong fan base in his first game with the IronBirds, but said he didn't think the players were overwhelmed by the experience of playng before 6,577 fans.

"We already had our opening day in Hudson Valley," he said. "They already experienced that, so they were a litlte more relaxed."

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Below is a series of live updates from the ballpark during the course of the game:

UPDATED (10:35)—The IronBirds drop the home opener, 5-3, after the Renegades score two in the top of the ninth.

Aberdeen fell to 1-2, while the Renegades improved to 2-1.

More to follow tomorrow.

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10 p.m.—
We are still tied in the top of the eighth, thanks to catcher Pedro Perez.

The IronBirds backstop was run over at the plate for the second time tonight—this time a vicious collision following a fielder's choice grounder to short.

The attendance for tonight was announced at 6,577.

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9:13 p.m.—
The IronBirds are rallying in the bottom of the sixth.

Six straight batters have reached as Aberdeen has erased the Renegades lead. The inning is still going, with nobody out, and the IronBirds have tied the game at three.

Roderick Bernadina singled through the middle, scoring Will Howard from second. Howard had doubled to lead off the inning.

Torsten Boss followed with a line drive to center, scoring Jerome Pena from first.

With the bases loaded, Doug Bream was hit by a pitch, scoring Bernadina.

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8:25 p.m.—
Check out some of the photos I shot before first pitch Wednesday. Cal Ripken, Brady Anderson, Gary Allenson, Torsten Boss, Ferous, Ripcord and some shots around the ballpark.

Add your photos from the home opener!

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8 p.m.—
The Renegades got on the board first on an RBI groundout by Leonardo Reginatto. The groundout to second base in the top of the second scored Justin O'Conner, who led off the inning with a double.

The IronBirds made a little noise in the bottom of the first, putting two runners on base, before Taylor Guerrieri flashed a mid-90s fastball and an 85-mph off-speed pitch that fooled IronBirds hitters. He struck out three straight to strand the runners.

Will Howard singled to short left to lead off the first for the IronBirds.

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7:45 p.m.—
Jorge Rivera allowed a pair of baserunners, but the IronBirds got out of the top of the first without allowing a run.

Vi Ripken threw out the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday, hitting her son, Cal Ripken Jr.'s glove with a strike. It was the same first pitch pairing from the 2002 opening day that opened the IronBirds franchise.

Patch will have video of the first pitch and opening ceremonies in a post Thursday.

First pitch from Jorge Rivera was at 7:34 p.m.

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6:47 p.m.
Vi Ripken will throw out the first pitch to Cal Ripken, Jr., according to the IronBirds' First Pitch gameday magazine.

Joe Velleggia, IronBirds MVP from 2011, graces the cover of the magazine tonight.

Also in the ballpark tonight: former Orioles all-star and current front office special assistant Brady Anderson.

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6:20 p.m.—
The Hudson Valley Renegades lineup, based upon the score sheets in the press box:

  1. LF Deshun Dixon
  2. 2B Tommy Coyle
  3. RF Charles Epperson
  4. 1B Michael Williams
  5. CF Joel Caminero
  6. DH Justin O'Conner
  7. C Jake DePew
  8. SS Leonardo Reginatto
  9. 3B Felix Gonzalez

As mentioned earlier, Tampa Bay Rays 2011 first-round Taylor Guerrieri makes his professional debut as the starting pitcher for Hudson Valley.

———
5:20 p.m.—
Here's tonight's starting lineup, courtesy of IronBirds broadcaster :

  1. LF Will Howard
  2. 2B Jerome Pena
  3. CF Roderick Bernadina
  4. 3B Torsten Boss
  5. DH Tom Winegardner
  6. 1B Doug Bream
  7. RF Roberto Ortiz
  8. SS Joel Hutter
  9. C Pedro Perez

LHP Jorge Rivera is on the mound to start for the IronBirds. He appeared as a reliever for the IronBirds last year, tossing three shutout innings in a 5-3 win on Sept. 1. He was signed by the Orioles out of Barahona, Dominican Republic on July 7, 2008.

Aside from his outing with the IronBirds last fall, he has appeared in 41 games between the Orioles' Dominican League and Gulf Coast League affiliates. Only one of those outings—last season with the Gulf Coast Orioles—was a start.

Hudson Valley will start RHP Taylor Guerrieri, the 24th overall pick in last year's draft.

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4:50 p.m.—Baseball is back at .

For the 11th year, the will turn Ripken Stadium into a community gathering place for 38 games.

We're hoping you find Aberdeen Patch to be a similar gathering place for 365 days a year.

Follow Patch coverage of the IronBirds

While we won't be doing this every game night, I'll be updating this post throughout tonight's game, giving you updates, some cool facts and joining in the conversation in the comments section below.

I hope you'll chime in here and on the Aberdeen Patch Facebook page.

No word on who is throwing out the first pitch tonight, as the look back on .

Here's hoping the 11th year will bring the first winning record in club history.

The IronBirds enter tonight 1-1, after an 8-3 win on Tuesday to split two at the Hudson Valley Renegades. The Renegades—a Tampa Bay Rays affiliate—visit Ripken Stadium tonight.

The home opener is set for 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Due West, a country music trio, will perform the National Anthem, and, during the seventh-inning, God Bless America. The Black River Entertainment artists will perform outside the ballpark gates leading up to first pitch.

While you're there tonight, be on the look-out for some . Check out my take on the that will join the ballpark options, too.

If you can't make it tonight, no worries. Tune into the broadcast with .

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IronBirds »  Roster  |  Schedule  |  Broadcast  |  Twitter  |  Facebook 
New York-Penn League »  Website  |  Standings  |  Scores
Aberdeen Patch »  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Newsletter  |  Blog For Us

Follow Patch coverage of the IronBirds here.

Have photos from the game? Add them to our community gallery.

Maurice Howard June 20, 2012 at 10:01 PM
Why are flags at half staff?
Sean Welsh June 20, 2012 at 10:16 PM
The flag inside the ballpark (right of center, next to the scoreboard) is at the top of the pole from where I'm sitting. -Sean
jbo June 21, 2012 at 02:55 AM
A new law was passed allowing Governors to order the US flag flown at half staff for service members from their state killed while on active duty. USMC Sgt. Julian Chase died in Afghanistan on May 28. http://www.sos.state.md.us/Services/FlagStatus.aspx

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