It took two hits, a good deal of patience at the plate and a little pain for Frederick to take a 6-0 lead in the first inning Monday night, but that advantage would be more than enough for the Keys, who beat Carolina 12-2 in front of 3,122 at Harry Grove Stadium.
With the win, the Keys (10-13, 44-48) split their four-game series with the Mudcats (11-12, 33-60).
While Carolina starter Nick Pasquale didn't make it out of the first inning, Keys starter Tim Berry threw five innings and allowed just one run on six hits and a walk to earn the win. Berry struck out four and improved to 8-5 this season.
The Keys' first inning featured four walks, three hit batters, a double and an infield single. Jerome Pena started their six-run rally with a one-out double down the left field line. After Nicky Delmonico grounded out, Michael Ohlman was hit by a pitch and Tucker Nathans walked to load the bases. Then Allan de San Miguel took a 1-2 pitch from Pasquale off the arm, driving in the first run of the game.
Jason Esposito's infield single, fielded deep in the hole on a dive by second baseman Joey Wendle, scored two more runs, putting Frederick ahead 3-0. Back-to-back walks then loaded the bases and plated the fourth run of the game, which provoked a pitching change.
Francisco Valera relieved Pasquale and hit Glynn Davis with his first pitch, scoring another run. Pena then walked to score the sixth run of the inning. The 12th batter of the inning, Delmonico, making his second out of the inning, then flew out to right to end the frame.
Pasquale (1-6) took the loss, allowing six runs on two hits and three walks, recording just two outs, one a three-pitch strikeout to start the game.
Carolina broke through with their only run against Berry in the second inning, Paddy Matera scoring on Jordan Smith's RBI groundout. Matera led off the inning with a double.
Frederick extended its lead to 8-1 in the fourth on an RBI single by Nathans and de San Miguel's RBI double that scored Nathans from first. Brenden Webb's RBI double in the seventh scored Frederick's ninth run and Pena singled home run number 10 later in the inning
Carolina cut their deficit to 10-2 in the eighth on Bryson Myles' two-out RBI single but the Mudcats' rally ended on Tyler Naquin's strikeout with the bases loaded. The Keys responded with de San Miguel's two-run homer in the bottom of the inning, setting the final score.
Miguel Chalas relieved Berry and pitched two scoreless innings, Matt Price pitched the eighth and allowed a run and Gene Escat threw a perfect ninth. Pena went 3-for-4 with his 18th double of the year, two RBIs and two runs scored while de San Miguel went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBIs. Esposito had two hits and drove in two and Nathans posted his fourth-straight two-hit game, driving in one.
The Keys had 11 hits on the night to Carolina's 10, despite beating the Mudcats, who used five pitchers in the game, by 10 runs.
Frederick is off tomorrow but resumes play Wednesday at 7 p.m., the start of a four-game series against Salem at Harry Grove Stadium. For tickets, purchase online at FrederickKeys.com, by phone at 301-815-9939 or at the box office at Harry Grove Stadium.