WINSTON-SALEM, NC - Frederick mounted one of its most ferocious come-from-behind victories of the season and snapped a six-game losing skid in the process in a 9-7 win against Winston-Salem on Thursday evening at BB&T Ballpark. The Keys scored three runs on two hits in the ninth inning to split the season-series with the Dash.
The Keys (49-57/17-22), leading 6-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth, coughed up the lead on a play rarely seen at any level. With the Dash having Keon Barnum on second and one out, Nick Basto grounded a ball to second baseman Jerome Pena. Pena, trying to throw out the lead runner, threw to third, but the ball ricocheted off the helmet of Barnum and into the stands for the tying run. Two batters later, Keenyn Walker knocked home Basto with a single for a 7-6 Dash lead.
The Keys rallied in the ninth though, just the fourth time this season they won when trailing after eight innings. Pena coaxed a leadoff walk by Jose Bautista, and after a strikeout of Johnny Ruetigger, Bautista was taken out in favor of Brandon Hardin. Adrian Marin grounded out to push Pena to second, and Trey Mancini roped a double down the left field line to tie it up at 7-7. The next batter, Chih-Hsien Chiang, sent a slow roller halfway up the first base line that Hardin shuffled over the head of Barnum at first to score Mancini. Jason Esposito topped it off with an RBI double off the left-center field wall, and the Keys held on 9-7.
Parker Bridwell started it for the Keys and gave up four runs, three earned, in four innings. The Texan struck out five and walked three. Basto blasted a two-run homer in the second inning to stake the hosts to a 2-0 lead.
Frederick answered with three in the top of the third against Terance Marin. The righty retired the first six in order, but three hits and an error allowed the Keys to take a 3-2 lead. Pena and Mancini both knocked in runs. Pena ended up 3-for-3 with two doubles, a triple, a walk, two RBI's, and four runs scored. Mancini was 3-for-5 with three RBI's and the ninth inning double.
The Dash scored once in the bottom of the third to tie it at 3-3, and took at 4-3 lead in the fourth against Bridwell. Frederick tied it up in the fifth on Mancini's second RBI of the night, a single with two outs to score Pena. Frederick was 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position after a 1-for-33 combined effort the last five games.
Winston-Salem took the lead in the sixth on a wild pitch by Miguel Chalas, the Keys reliever who gave up just that one run in three innings. The Keys scored twice in the seventh, the go-ahead run on a balk by Euclides Leyer. Tucker Nathans walked, Pena tripled for an RBI, and then scored two pitches later on the mistake by Leyer for a 6-5 Keys lead.
Then came the eighth and ninth innings, with Frederick able to capture the win. Dennis Torres, who through the final two innings, took home his second win, while Hardin took the loss.
Frederick looks to carry the momentum to Wilmington to face the Blue Rocks tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. in the first game of three at Frawley Stadium.