Kipp Schutz, who began tonight as the second leading hitter in the New York-Penn League, batting .379, hit a walk-off Grand Slam in the last of the 11th this evening as the Aberdeen IronBirds beat Tri-City 9-5 at Ripken Stadium.
Schutz’s bomb to right field was his third homer of the season and gave Aberdeen its fifth win in a row. Schutz went 3 for 6 with 5 RBI on the night.
It was Aberdeen’s third walk-off win in its last four home games and the Birds are now 17-15, two games over .500 for the first time all year. Aberdeen also in its most recent series at Lowell, won two games when trailing entering the ninth. This was also Aberdeen’s sixth straight home win.
The IronBirds played without manager Gary Kendall. He left Ripken Stadium about 15 minutes before game time to deal with a family situation.
“He had a family emergency, but everything is okay. I just talked to him. He was a little shook up, but everything is okay,” Aberdeen pitching coach Scott McGregor said in the IronBirds clubhouse.
Kendall is expected to miss a few days and the O’s coordinater of minor league instruction, Brian Graham, will join the Aberdeen staff while Kendall is away.
Catcher Joe Oliveira led off the 11th and was hit by a pitch. After a Micheal Rooney sac bunt, Trent Mummey was walked intentionally and then Austin Knight drew a walk to load the bases. Schutz then drilled one out off Valley Cats right-hander Joan Belliard.
Brandon Snyder, in his first rehab game with Aberdeen, went 2 for 5 with a double, solo homer and 2 RBI. He played nine innings. His homer to left leading off the 8th tied the game, 5-5.
“I felt good, it feels awesome to finally get to play,” Snyder, who has been out with a back injury since June 17th, said. “These guys here have a lot of energy and it’s nice to contribute.
“My back felt great, but after not playing for a month you feel it in the legs.”
Schutz’s outstanding season got even better with his game-winner tonight. He said he had never hit a walk-off homer in his life. Now he has and Aberdeen has its second walk-off Grand Slam of the season. Trent Mummey hit one July 11th vs. Auburn.
The spunky IronBirds, who won last night with a ninth-inning comeback at Lowell, tonight sent the fans home happy with another thrilling win.