FREDERICK, MD-Despite scoring seven unanswered runs over the final five innings, the Frederick Keys (38-40, 3-6) could not complete the comeback against the Winston-Salem Dash (47-32, 6-3). The Dash jumped out to a 12-3 lead, and held on to win 12-10.
The Dash sent eight men to bat in the top of the first to take a 3-0 lead. Laz River walked and moved to second on a Blake Rutherford single. Yermin Mercedes followed with an RBI single, and was erased on the bases on a Gavin Sheets fielder's choice. Following a Yeyson Yrizarri walk, Ti'Quan Forbes brought in two with a single.
The Keys would get a run back in the bottom of the first. For the third straight game, Wilson Garcia hit a first inning home run. It was his first of two long balls, and made it a 3-1 game.
Both teams scored twice in the second inning. Zach Remillard led of the Dash half of the second with a single. Two batters later, Rivera singled and then Remillard scored on a Rutherford single. The second run came home on a Mercedes RBI single.
In the Keys half of the frame, Chris Clare hit a solo home run. Cole Billingsley walked two batters later, and would eventually score on a pair of errors by Dash starter Blake Hickman.
Winston-Salem would score in each of the next three frames. In the third, Forbes doubled and scored on a Nate Nolan two-bagger. Rutherford doubled and scored on a Sheets single in the fourth, which made it a 6-3 game.
The biggest inning for the Dash was the fifth, where they scored five runs and sent all nine men to bat. Forbes homered on the first pitch of the inning. He was followed by back-to-back doubles from Nolan and Remillard, and Remillard scored on a Luis Gonzalez single. After Travis Seabrooke retired the next two batters, Mercedes brought in two more to make it 12-3.
The Keys would then score six unanswered runs. In the bottom of the fifth, T.J. Nichting singled and Preston Palmeiro walked. Garcia then followed with a three-run home run. It was his third straight game with a three-run long ball, and marked the second straight two home run game and fourth on the year. Randolph Gassaway would later score on a sacrifice fly from Clare, which made it 12-6.
In the sixth, Billingsley led off with a single, and he would score two batters later on a Palmeiro two-run home run. It was Palmeiro's 10th home run of the year, and reduced the Dash lead to three.
Frederick would get the tying run the plate in the eighth, but Gassaway would fly out to left and end the threat. In the ninth, the Keys scored a run and put the tying run at second. Jake Ring doubled and scored on a Yojhan Quevedo RBI single. Billingsley followed with a double to score Ring and make it 12-10, but Nichting struck out to end the game.
Despite surrendering seven runs (six earned) on eight hits, Blake Hickman (1-2) earned the win for the Dash. Alex Wells (3-5) allowed a career-high 12 hits and surrendered seven runs in four innings in a losing effort. Mike Morrison earned his fifth save, allowing a run on three hits over the final two innings.
The Keys begin a four-game series against the Lynchburg Hillcats on Saturday night. Frederick sends right-hander Lucas Humpal (2-7, 4.56) to the mound. He will be opposed by Hillcats left-hander Sam Hentges (4-5, 3.63). First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., and the game can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.