FREDERICK, MD. -After battling back to tie the game in the sixth, the Frederick Keys (29-35) saw their hopes dashed as the Carolina Mudcats (37-28) scored four runs in the eighth inning to take the series finale 6-2 on Wednesday night. After Matthias Dietz loaded the bases, Julio Garcia singled home the winning run and Devin Hairston added two more on a base hit to take a 5-2 lead. The Mudcats got one more run on a groundout to seal the win.
The game started off on a bad foot for the Keys as starter DL Hall failed to make it out of the first inning because of a pitch-count restriction. He allowed an RBI single to Tristen Lutz and struck out Mario Feliciano for the second out of the inning but then walked the next two hitters to load the bases. He then pitched a full count to Rob Henry and was pulled mid-at bat.
Cameron Ming came on in relief and retired Henry with one pitch. The Mudcats added another in the third on Henry's run-scoring single to make it 2-0, but Ming was outstanding on short notice in relief. He lasted 4.1 innings and gave up the lone run on five hits while striking out two.
Meanwhile, Mudcat's starter Braden Webb no-hit the Keys through five innings but Yeltsin Gudino ended that streak with a single to lead off the sixth. Cole Billingsley then reached on a throwing error from the third basemen which moved Gudino to third. Billingsley then stole second base and J.C. Escarra tied the game 2-2 by plating both runners on a single.
Matt Hardy then relieved Webb, who left after giving up the two runs. He struck out five and walked three in five innings of work. Hardy (7-0) allowed four hits but held the Keys scoreless over two innings to earn the win. J.T. Hintzen and Clayton Andrews closed out the eighth and ninth innings after the Mudcats took the lead.
Dietz (1-7) suffered the loss, giving up four runs in two innings. He faced the minimum through two innings and struck out five consecutive batters but walked a batter and hit a pair to load the bases before giving up the RBI hits to Garcia and Hairston.
The Keys head to Salem for a final five-game series against the Red Sox starting on Thursday, June 13. The Keys start RHP Blaine Knight (0-2, 3.76) with first pitch scheduled for 7:00pm. Fans can listen to the game at frederickkeys.com or on the TuneIn app with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.