After overcoming and beating the Aberdeen IronBirds in 13 innings the night prior, it only took two innings for the Wilmington Blue Rocks to lose control of their second matchup of the series.
Wilmington was defeated by Aberdeen 7-4 on Wednesday, August 3, but the score was a lot more generous than the IronBirds’ batters were to Blue Rocks’ starter Mitchell Parker.
“I was really just hitting barrels all day, it was kind of just one of those days,” Parker said. “Today I got got.”
Through only 1.1 innings of work, Parker gave up eight hits and allowed all seven of the IronBirds’ runs to score.
“The execution of the pitches, there were too many pitches over the middle of the plate,” Blue Rocks’ Manager Mario Lisson said. “And they didn’t miss them.”
The bleeding started right away for Wilmington’s lefty, as the first three batters for Aberdeen all hit their way on base and would be driven in to quickly put the Blue Rocks down by three.
Things only got worse in the second inning when the IronBirds continued to string together singles, doubles, and sacrifice outs to run up the score to 7-0. It was clear that nothing that Parker threw on Wednesday night was working for him.
“[They were hitting] everything I was throwing,” Parker said. “They were hitting the fastball, they were hitting the curveball, I just couldn’t miss the barrel today.”
Once the seventh run crossed home plate, that was the end of Parker’s day and he was taken out of the game recording as many outs as he had mound visits.
This was an unusual performance from one of Wilmington’s top pitching prospects, who had an 0.48 ERA in the month of July.
“Just too many pitches middle, it’s not like him, usually he works a little bit up,” Blue Rocks’ catcher Drew Millas said. “So he’ll make that adjustment and come back stronger.”
While the top of the second was the end of Parker’s night, the Blue Rocks still had seven and a half more innings of play to try to get back in the game. Relief pitchers Gilberto Chu, Carlos Romero, and Gerardo Carrillo were able to hold it down on the mound for Wilmington, but it was the offense that really needed to get going.
“It is tough. We always tell them to keep getting quality at-bats everytime,” Lisson said. “It was early in the game, their pitching was solid in the beginning but you know, it’s part of the game.”
The IronBirds’ pitching duo of Daniel Federman and Connor Gillispie kept Wilmington scoreless through the first five innings, but the Blue Rocks’ finally saw some offensive promise in the sixth when Drew Mendoza ripped a two-run homer to right field to put his team on the board.
It wasn’t until their very last out in the bottom of the ninth when the Blue Rocks’ bats got something going again as Jose Sánchez drove in two more runs with a triple to pad the final score 7-4.
Those final two runs might have been meaningless in the grand scheme of the game, but it did put a little momentum in the Blue Rocks’ favor going into their next matchup against the IronBirds.
“We’re all very confident so I mean either way we would be confident the next day you know what I mean. So it was good to have that inning,” Millas said. “It was also good to see a lot of life being down by that much.”
Wilmington is hoping they won’t be down that much again as they head in their final home game of this home-and-home series on Thursday, August 4.
For comments/questions about this story tweet @TheWhitSports.