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09/09/2006 10:42 PM ET
Kinston wins with unlikely rally
Strange sequence of events enables Indians to top Keys in Mills Cup opener
Kinston's Rodney Choy Foo connects on his first-inning homer in Saturday night's 10-4 win. (Carl Kline)

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KINSTON, N.C. -- Kinston Indians official scorer Keith Spence should have received hazard pay on Saturday night.

A quick glance at the linescore will tell you that the Indians beat the Frederick Keys, 10-4, in the first game of the best-of-5 Carolina League Mills Cup Championship Series.

But there was more to the story.

Kinston trailed by two runs entering the sixth inning before scoring five runs on four hits, two errors and a pair of fielder's choice grounders. The Indians sent 11 men to the plate during the frame and took a 6-3 lead that they would not surrender.

"No, not even in Little League," said Kinston outfielder Jordan Brown when asked if he could remember an inning quite as bizarre.

Frederick starter Matt Bruback faced one batter over the minimum over the first five innings before failing to record an out in the sixth.

John Drennen got things started for the Indians on a double to right field before moving to third on Argenis Reyes' single. Drennen scored on an infield single by Jose Constanza and Reyes came home when Bruback made a pair of errors on a sacrifice bunt by Nathan Panther, first dropping the ball and then throwing it past first baseman Vito Chiaravalloti.

Rodney Choy Foo, who homered in the first, delivered an RBI double to left field, chasing Bruback.

Reliever Carlos Jan, walked Brown, the Carolina League MVP, to load the bases before striking out Javi Herrera.

Stephen Head hit a grounder to first that Chiaravalloti fielded and fired to second for the force. But Brown dove into the base safely, leaving the bases loaded.

Chris de la Cruz hit a check-swing dribbler back to the mound that Jan tossed to catcher Brian Bock. Choy Foo beat the throw as the Indians opened up a 6-3 lead.

"We had a lot of cheapies, bang-bang plays that could have gone either way," Brown said. "But you'll also have games where you hit line drives all over the place and not score any runs."

Kinston manager Mike Sarbaugh concurred.

"We didn't hit the ball that hard," he said, "but it got put into play."

Depite the big inning, the Keys got a run back in the seventh as Travis Brown singled and scored on Delgado's sacrifice fly.

Brown responded with a two-run homer in the bottom of the frame as the Indians opened up an 8-4 cushion.

"They've been pitching me middle-in all season so that's what I was looking for against Jan," said Brown, who lead the league with 87 RBIs. "Luckily it's what I was looking for because it wasn't a bad pitch."

Panther's two-run single in the eighth gave Kinston a 10-4 lead.

To Brown, Panther's single was the game's biggest hit. "I think that hit in the hole is what iced it," said Brown. Sarbaugh agreed. "Jordan's home run helped separate the game, and Panther's two-run single was huge."

Fredrick jumped out to an early lead against Kinston starter Joe Ness. Paco Figeroa singled with one out, moved to second on Delgado's groundout and scored on Nolan Redmond's single to right.

Kinston wasted no time knotting the score in the bottom of the frame as Choy Foo blasted a two-out solo home run to right.

Frederick regained the lead in the fourth when Chiaravalloti doubled to left and scored on Arturo Rivas' double to center. Rivas overran second and was tagged out by Head, ending what could have been a big inning.

Reimold greeted reliever Scott Roehl with a leadoff homer in the sixth, making it 3-1.

Roehl picked up the win, despite allowing two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. Ness, who was 9-3 with a 3.62 ERA this season, surrendered two runs on five hits while striking out five over five innings.

Kinston's Randy Newsom yielded one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless frames to close the game out.

Game 2 will begin at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday at Grainger Stadium. Indians left-hander Mariano Gomez (2-3, 3.86) will oppose Keys right-hander Manny Basillo (4-2, 2.56).

Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.