After a play at the plate nearly won the game for the Frederick Keys in the ninth, they would fall to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 7-5, in the eleventh.
The loss moved the Keys to 4-7 in the second half and 38-42 overall. The Blue Rocks, who are competing with the Keys and Lynchburg for the second-half playoff berth in the Carolina League North, improved to 6-4 in the second half and 39-41 overall.
Despite the loss, Keys catcher Michael Ohlman went 4-for-4 with a walk and a two-run homer, coming up a triple shy of the cycle. The Carolina League's hottest hitter has 14 hits in his last 33 at-bats.
A pair of wild pitches and two-out singles led to a two-run 11th for the Blue Rocks, Gene Escat's balls in the dirt advancing two runners into scoring position. Tyler Chism singled home pinch-runner Ethan Chapman from third to give the Blue Rocks a 6-5 lead. Chapman, who went to third on a groundout, entered the game after Escat's first wild pitch allowed Parker Morin, who walked, to advance to second.
Chism moved to second on a wild pitch and set the final score, coming home on Justin Trapp's single to center.
Andrew Triggs (3-2) earned the win, pitching scoreless 10th and 11th innings. Escat (3-5) suffered the loss, pitching two innings and striking out four.
After having trailed nearly the entire game, Jason Esposito's eighth-inning two-out bouncer into the hole on the left side of the infield would bring the Keys even at 5-5, thanks to a throwing error by shortstop Jack Lopez. After making a backhand stop near the outfield grass, Lopez fired to second in an attempt to force out Brenden Webb, but missed wide and the ball went all the way into the Keys dugout down the right-field line. Michael Ohlman scored from third and Webb came around from first to tie the game.
Esposito, who was credited with an infield single, was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Frederick nearly won the game in the ninth on a wild pitch with two outs and Ohlman in the batter's box. Upon seeing the ball bounce in the dirt, Jerome Pena took off from second toward third. Catcher Parker Morin's throw went into left field and Pena headed home, but was gunned down by left fielder Tyler Chism in a very close play, ending the inning.
Wilmington committed three errors but managed to overcome them, the Blue Rocks' three-run first aiding that cause.
Keys starter Trent Howard got off to a rocky start despite retiring the first two batters of the game. Lane Adams hit a double and then Dennis Raben singled him home, Adams sliding in ahead of catcher Michael Ohlman's tag.
Wilmington's third consecutive hit was their loudest of the inning, a two-run homer down the left field line from Jared Schlehuber, putting Wilmington ahead 3-0.
Adams extended the Blue Rocks' lead to 4-0 in the third, slugging a long homer to left field.
Blue Rocks starter Kyle Smith cruised through the first three innings, but Nicky Delmonico reached on a pair of errors that allowed him to go to second base. Ohlman then singled to right, moving Delmonico to third. But with Frederick threatening to put together a big inning, Smith got Christian Walker to ground into a double play, scoring Delmonico, but ending the potential rally.
Entering the fifth, the Keys trailed 4-1 and Miguel Chalas relieved Howard. Chalas allowed a run in the inning on Schlehuber's RBI double, which followed a walk, putting Wilmington up by four again.
Howard pitched four innings in his sixth spot start of the season, allowing four runs on six hits.
Ohlman, who was named Carolina League Player of the Week for the second week in a row earlier in the day, got the Keys back in Monday's contest in the fifth, driving a two-run homer over the left field wall. The home run was his seventh of the season, his third hit of the night and brought the Keys' within 5-3.
Smith left the game after Ohlman's blast and was replaced by Cory Hall, who worked out of a one-out bases loaded Jam in the seventh, striking out Jerome Pena and getting Delmonico to fly out to center. Smith threw 5.2 innings, allowed five hits and three runs, two earned, while fanning five.
Ohlman and Esposito, who went 3-for-5 with an RBI, accounted for seven of Frederick's 10 hits. Wilmington had 12, led by 3-for-5 nights by Schlehuber and Adams. Schlehuber drove in three runs and also missed hitting for the cycle by a triple.
The Keys and Blue Rocks meet again Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Frederick has yet to announce a starter and Wilmington will start Kellen Moen. For tickets, purchase online at FrederickKeys.com, by phone at 301-815-9939 or at the box office at Harry Grove Stadium.