FREDERICK, MD -The Carolina Mudcats scored nine runs between the fourth and fifth innings, while the Frederick Keys committed three errors, as the Muddies scored an 11-3 win on Wednesday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Carolina finished with 14 hits, while eight of the nine Mudcats hitters recorded at least one hit. On the mound, Ryan Merritt tossed six innings of two-run baseball to earn his league-best 11th win.
LeVon Washington opened the scoring in the second with a solo homer to right off Parker Bridwell, before the Keys added a longball in the third. With one out, Wynston Sawyer homered to left off Merritt, the Californian's third of the season.
Over the next two innings, the Mudcats sent 18 men to bat against Bridwell (5-8) and Miguel Chalas. In the fourth, Carolina loaded the bases to open the frame. Luigi Rodriguez singles and moved to third on a double by Todd Hankins, while Washington walked. Bridwell struck out James Roberts, but a close 3-2 pitch to Logan Vick was ruled outside to force in a run. One pitch later, Yhoxian Medina drove in Hankins and Washington to make it 4-1.
Luis Pujols elected to stick with Bridwell to open the fifth, but after singles by Jeremy Lucas and Todd Hankins and an error by Jerome Pena at second, a pitching change was made. Chalas proceeded to walk the next two batters, before an error by Chalas on a groundball to the mound enabled Hankins to score. Medina (fielder's choice), Yandy Diaz (RBI single) and Sabourin (RBI groundout) completed the scoring to cap-off the six-run inning.
For the second straight start, Bridwell lasted only four innings. He allowed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits, to go along with two walks and three strikeouts.
Following Sawyer's home run, Merritt (11-3) allowed only one additional run on an RBI double by Jason Esposito. Completing six innings, the lefty allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out five, while he became the first Carolina League pitcher to reach 11 wins.
The Keys and the Mudcats wrap up their series on Thursday night. Branden Kline (7-5, 3.82) makes the start for the Keys and will be countered by Mudcats righty Dylan Baker (1-2, 5.63). First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source. For tickets, fans can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.