Hunter Harvey starts Aberdeen debut with two scoreless (Harvey exits in the fifth)

ABERDEEN, Md. - Wearing his bright white No. 23 Aberdeen IronBirds jersey, Orioles’ first round draft pick Hunter Harvey has pitched two scoreless innings tonight here at Ripken Stadium in his debut with short-season, Single-A Aberdeen.

Harvey pitched around a two-out jam in the second when he fanned Hudson Valley’s John Alexander after allowing back-to-back singles with two outs. Harvey threw a 94 mph fastball by Alexander for his fourth strikeout after a two-out infield single followed by a line drive single to center.

In the first inning, Harvey got a ground out followed by back-to-back swinging strikeouts. He threw just 13 pitches, nine for strikes and his fastball touched 95 mph on a few pitches, working between 93 and 95 mph. He got his first strikeout on an offspeed pitch and his second when he blew it by Hudson Valley’s No. 3 hitter Johnny Field with 94 mph heat.

The 22nd overall pick in June out of Bandys High School in Catawba, North Carolina, Harvey worked to a 1.35 ERA over 13 1/3 innings in the Gulf Coast League with two walks and 18 strikeouts. Over his last three outings there he pitched 10 1/3 scoreless innings allowing just six hits with 16 strikeouts.

With Harvey entering the rotation here, Aberdeen will go to a six-man rotation starting tonight which means Harvey’s next start is expected to be Monday at Lowell.

Updated: Harvey kept the Renegades off the board in the third and fourth as well. He allowed a one-out double in the third when leadoff batter Julian Ridings turned around a 94 mph fastball for a two-bagger down the right-field line. But he got out of that and then pitched a 1-2-3 top of the fourth.

Harvey through 4 innings: 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts on 66 pitches, 48 strikes.

Harvey exits in the fifth: Harvey left tonight’s game in the top of the fifth when he reached his pitch limit. He gave up an infield single and stolen base, followed by a groundout and walk leaving runners on first and third in a scoreless game as Dylan Rheault came on. Rheault’s errant pickoff throw to first allowed the runner from third to score as Hudson Valley took a 1-0 lead. The run was ruled as unearned off Harvey.

Harvey’s final line tonight: 4 1/3 innings, 4 hits, 1 run (0 earned), 1 walk, 5 strikeouts.

Harvey finished unofficially with 77 pitches and could take the loss with Aberdeen trailing 1-0 in the sixth.

Through six pro outings, Harvey has pitched 17 2/3 innings, allowing 14 hits and three runs (two earned) with three walks and 23 strikeouts, pitching to an ERA of 1.02. He made a strong debut tonight here in Aberdeen.

It’s a final: Hudson Valley blanked Aberdeen 1-0 tonight. Harvey took the loss, his first as a pro.

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