STATE COLLEGE - Jesus Vasquez made plays all over the field on Monday night, contributing two outfield assists and a diving catch while scoring the State College Spikes' only run. However, a three-run first inning proved to be enough for the Aberdeen IronBirds to take a 4-1 victory over the Spikes at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
State College (25-23) had its problems on offense early thanks to Aberdeen (20-28) starter Kevin Gausman. Gausman, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, made his mark during his professional debut for the IronBirds. The LSU product retired all nine batters he faced over the first three innings, with a pair of strikeouts. Gausman also became the highest-drafted player to ever start a game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Reliever Cameron Coffey (2-5) followed by recording four more outs before Chris Diaz walked with one out in the fifth to break up the combined perfect game.
Clario Perez (0-3) also had early difficulties on the mound for the Spikes, allowing four straight hits and three runs to start the game. However, Perez settled down to retire nine straight batters at one point and hold the IronBirds scoreless for the rest of his mound tenure. The right-hander added four strikeouts as well, but suffered the defeat.
Vasquez also helped Perez to calm the Aberdeen attack with a pair of laser throws from right field. In the second inning, Vasquez completed a double play by rifling a throw home to get Dudley Leonora and end the frame. The native Dominican then brought a close to another inning in the fifth inning when he erased Creede Simpson on Simpson's attempt to advance to third. Vasquez then completed a trifecta of brilliant defensive plays with a diving catch to rob Lucas Herbst of a sure base hit in the seventh inning.
Aberdeen scored again, though, on an RBI single by Scott Kalush in the same frame to take a 4-0 lead before State College put together its only offensive burst of the game. Vasquez started it with a leadoff double to right field, then stole third base. Samuel Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice fly to plate the Spikes' lone run.
Jimmy Rider also produced his first extra-base hit as a Spike, doubling in the sixth inning for the Spikes' first hit.
Coffey got the win for the IronBirds with five innings of one-run relief. The left-hander gave up a total of two hits and two walks while striking out three. Tom Winegardner (4) picked up the save for the second straight night with a perfect ninth inning in which he struck out one.
Herbst, who earned New York-Penn League Player of the Week honors for July 30-August 5 prior to the game, went 2-for-4 at the plate with a two-run, first-inning double.