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WILD NIGHT ENDS WITH A WALKOFF09/08/2010 11:42 PM ET
Wednesday night was the first postseason game played at Harry Grove Stadium since 2007 and it is one that will not soon be forgotten. The Potomac Nationals scored eight runs in the first inning but Frederick countered with seven in the bottom of the first. The Keys tied up the game in the second and then took the lead in the fifth. The P-Nats tied the ballgame up in the top of the ninth but the Keys walked off winners after LJ Hoes slid past C Derek Norris as the game's winning run. The improbable victory gave Frederick a 1-0 lead in the Northern Division Championship Series.
RHP Oliver Drake got the nod for game one and he struggled to find the strike zone. Drake walked three of the first four batters he faced as the bases were loaded for DH Sean Rooney. Rooney hit a RBI single to bring home 2B Dan Lyons. With the bases still loaded LF Jamar Walton stepped to the plate. Walton, who was released by the Kansas City Royals organization this season, hit a grand slam to leftfield to make the score 5-0. The Nationals scored three more runs in the inning to give Potomac an eight run advantage before Frederick ever came to the plate. Oliver Drake was relieved after he tossed 2/3 of an inning. He allowed eight runs, six earned, three hits, and walked eight on the night.
The deficit did not seem to faze the Keys. Facing LHP Danny Rosenbaum, CF Xavier Avery and LF Kyle Hudson each got on base to start off the inning. 3B Billy Rowell singled home the first Frederick run to ignite the rally. After the Keys scored two more runs against Rosenbaum, C Brian Ward came to the plate with bases loaded and two down. Ward, homerless since May 6th, crushed the Rosenbaum offering to dead center for a grand slam. The Ward slam was the first for a Key since Ronnie Welty accomplished the feat on April 25th against Salem.
Frederick tied up the game the following inning on a RBI groundout by LJ Hoes. SS Pedro Florimon singled home DH Miguel Abreu in the fifth to give the Keys a 9-8 lead.
The Keys bullpen was spectacular on Wednesday night. LHP Cole McCurry tossed 4.1 scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out six on the evening. RHP Brett Jacobson notched a hold after his 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Down by a run, C Derek Norris went the opposite away against LHP Will Startup to tie the game. The third National home run of the game made the score 9-9. Startup retired the next three P-Nats in order to finish up his night. Startup threw 1.2 innings allowing one run on one hit while striking out two.
LJ Hoes led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to rightfield off LHP Joe Testa. DH Miguel Abreu put a bunt down the first baseline to try to move Hoes into scoring position. The throw from 1B Tyler Moore got by the covering 2B Dan Lyons and into right. LJ Hoes hustled all the way from first and was sent home by Orlando Gomez. The throw by RF Bill Rhinehart was a bit late as Hoes slid by Derek Norris to give Frederick the 10-9 win.
The walk-off victory for Frederick gave them a 1-0 lead in the Northern Division Championship series. Game two is set for Thursday night as the Keys will send RHP Ryan O'Shea to the hill while the Nationals will counter RHP Trevor Holder. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. from Harry Grove Stadium.
Prior to Thursday's game, Orioles 2010 first round pick Manny Machado and five other prospects; Adam Gaylord, Mycal Givens, Connor Narron, Jonathan Schoop and Kipp Schutz, will sign autographs for fans from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. inside Harry Grove Stadium.
For tickets call 1-877-8-GO-KEYS or purchase online at www.frederickkeys.com.