The Aberdeen IronBirds started the second half of their season, and after two series have garnered a victory and split to move to 5-4 (48-27 overall).
They recently welcomed the Winston-Salem Dash to town, where both teams took three games. The IronBirds are learning to live life without Coby Mayo, Colton Cowser and Connor Norby.
But a fairly recent addition, Darell Hernaiz, has started to find his footing in Aberdeen. After going 9-for-22 (.409 BA) during the series, Hernaiz is showing that he is ready to step up big for the IronBirds.
Sunday, a 6-0 IronBird victory, saw Hernaiz hit his first High-A home run, as he went 2-for-4 at the plate. He would drive in his 12th run for Aberdeen.
Overall, Hernaiz is batting .290 on the year with seven longballs, 37 RBIs and 19 stolen bases.
Since coming to Aberdeen, the Orioles No. 28 prospect is batting .301 with a .386 OBP. He has collected 22 hits across 22 games, including four doubles, two triples and a longball. He has 12 RBIs and eight walks to go with 10 stolen bases since his arrival.
Shortstop Collin Burns has been a consistent presence for Aberdeen, as he carries a 16-game on-base streak into the next series. Burns would hit .381 in this series, reaching base in the five games he played, which included eight hits and three walks.
Thursday, a 6-3 Aberdeen win, saw Burns collect three hits in five plate appearances and score one run. Burns also was involved in three double plays on defense, which was a staple in helping lead Aberdeen to victory.
For the season, Burns is now batting .278 with three home runs, 20 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
Of course, you can’t talk about Thursday’s victory without pointing to Aberdeen starting pitcher, Peter Van Loon.
Van Loon, who is quietly having a very strong season, would pitch six innings, allowing two runs and striking out four on the way to picking up the victory.
On the season, Van Loon now moves to 8-0 with a 2.50 ERA. He has pitched 54 innings across 15 games, collecting 63 strikeouts.
Another starter who stood out this week was Dan Hammer. Making his third appearance in Aberdeen, Hammer would toss five innings, striking out five and allowing two runs to earn his first victory in High-A, as the IronBirds won 7-2 in that game.
Hammer is now 3-4 overall with 63 strikeouts across 53 innings of work, as opponents are batting just .204 against him on the season.
Aberdeen opens their next series on the road against the Brooklyn Cyclones starting Monday. They will have off Tuesday before resuming Wednesday, as the battle for first place begins at 6:30 p.m. EST.
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