Despite an impressive debut by Christian Walker and Nicky Delmonico's return to the Keys lineup, Frederick fell 8-2 to Wilmington Sunday afternoon at Harry Grove Stadium.
Walker, a fourth-round draft pick in 2012, was promoted from Delmarva Sunday morning and went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, batting third and playing first base in front of a Mother's Day crowd of 4,911 in his Frederick debut. Third baseman Delmonico returned to lineup Sunday after spending the last three weeks on the disabled list with a concussion and announced his presence with a solo home run to center field to lead off the fourth inning.
Delmonico's blast, his third of the year, cut Wilmington's lead to 5-1, an advantage they built in the first two innings. The Blue Rocks (17-19) scored three runs in the first frame, scoring the first two on a Delmonico error that plated Daniel Mateo and Jorge Bonifacio. Jared Schlehuber followed with an infield single that drove home the final run of the frame.
Keys starter Zach Petersime would allow two more runs to score in the second inning, Cheslor Cuthbert's two-run double completing a two-out rally comprised of three straight hits and putting the Blue Rocks up 5-0. Petersime would then retire the next 11 batters in order, but allowed a pair of one-out singles in the sixth inning that were followed by Justin Trapp's two-out, two-run triple that gave Wilmington a 7-1 lead.
Petersime (1-3) took the loss, pitching six innings and allowing seven runs, five earned, on nine hits while walking one and striking out three.
Other than Delmonico's homer and Walker's first-inning single and sixth-inning double, Blue Rocks starter Kyle Smith held the Keys (18-17) at bay over six innings. Smith picked up the win and improved to 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA, allowing just a run on five hits and a walk while striking out four.
Jerome Pena tripled in the bottom of the seventh and scored on Glynn Davis' RBI groundout to cut Wilmington's lead to 7-2 and Trapp's RBI single in the eighth set the final score. Zach Fowler allowed one run over three innings in relief for the Keys while Kellen Moen and Scott Alexander closed out the game for Wilmington, Moen allowing a run in two innings and Alexander pitching a scoreless ninth.
Wilmington racked up 15 hits less than 15 hours after posting 18 hits and 18 runs in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. Trapp finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Cuthbert went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Walker, who hit .353 with Class-A Delmarva before his promotion, and Pena, who went 2-for-4, were the only Keys to record multi-hit games. Frederick totaled seven hits in Sunday's game.
The Keys conclude their four-game series with Wilmington and their brief homestand Monday at 7 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium. Zach Davies (2-2, 4.86) is scheduled to start for the Keys against Sam Selman (1-2, 5.21). For tickets to Monday's game, purchase online at FrederickKeys.com, by phone at 301-815-9939 or in person at the Keys' box office at Harry Grove Stadium.