Keys plate two late runs to outlast Dash

Dash register just four hits on the evening, strand five men

Toby Thomas went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored (Jody Stewart/Winston-Salem Dash)

By Winston-Salem Dash | April 18, 2017 10:03 PM ET

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 18, 2017) - In what was another close game at BB&T Ballpark between Frederick and Winston-Salem, the Keys scored two late runs to pull out a 4-2 victory against the Dash on Tuesday night.

With the game tied at two in the top of the seventh, Frederick (5-7) put runners at the corners with one out against Dash reliever Louie Lechich (0-1). Austin Hays brought home the go-ahead run on an RBI groundout, ending an impressive stretch for Lechich. 

He had not given up an earned run as a professional pitcher in his first 18.2 innings of work. Prior to his conversion as a pitcher, the 25-year-old spent parts of three seasons as an outfielder.

BLOG: More on Lechich's transition to the mound

The Keys added an insurance run in the eighth on a Stevie Wilkerson RBI double against left-hander Ryan Riga. Offensively, Winston-Salem (4-9) struggled down the stretch as Frederick reliever Christian Turnipseed tossed three hitless frames to pick up his first save of the season.

Despite the loss, Dash second baseman Toby Thomas had another solid game at the plate. The 23-year-old posted his third two-hit effort of the homestand, upping his team-high average to .333. Thomas is now 7-for-19 at home this season.

Frederick took its first lead of the series in the opening frame against Dash starter Brannon Easterling. With one out, Hays roped a single to left. After Hays stole second, Ryan Mountcastle moved him to third on a single. Randolph Gassaway followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Keys ahead 1-0.

Winston-Salem knotted up the contest in the second against Keys starter Cody Sedlock (2-0) with a two-out rally. After Thomas singled and moved to second on a wild pitch, Johan Cruz delivered an RBI double to make it 1-1.

The Dash gained their first advantage of the night on an unearned run in the fourth. With one out, Louis Silverio reached on a throwing error by Frederick third baseman Jomar Reyes. Thomas then delivered an RBI double that put Winston-Salem in front 2-1.

The lead would be short-lived for the Dash, as Hays smacked a home run to left against Easterling on a 3-0 pitch. The Dash righty ultimately went five innings, allowing nine hits and two runs while striking out six batters. In 11 innings at BB&T Ballpark this season, Easterling holds a slim 1.64 ERA.

The Dash wrap up their opening homestand on Wednesday against the Keys. Winston-Salem sends right-hander Max Beatty (0-1, 3.27 ERA) to the bump against Frederick left-hander Brian Gonzalez (0-2, 7.56 ERA) in this series' rubber match. The contest begins at 7 p.m., with all the action available on wsdash.com/broadcast and via the TuneIn Radio App.

The homestand also wraps up with Pups in the Park on Wednesday. Fans can bring their dog to the ballpark with the purchase of a $5 pooch pass and participate in a pregame Puppy Parade on the field. All proceeds will go to an animal-related non-profit. For tickets and more information, contact the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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