FREDERICK, MD-Bowden Francis fired eight innings of one-run baseball in the Carolina Mudcats 5-1 victory over the Frederick Keys on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. With the loss, the Keys were officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Francis (1-2) earned his first Carolina League win, while tying a career-high for innings pitched. The right-hander allowed only two hits, while he struck out three and walked one and threw just 90 pitches (61 strikes). The effort by Francis equaled the longest start by an opponent against Frederick (61-68, 26-34) this season.
Randolph Gassaway opened the scoring for the second straight day, cranking a solo home run to left field. It was his fifth of the year and the team's 10th in the last eight games.
The Mudcats (57-69, 26-33) responded in the second with a Cooper Hummel solo home run off Michael Baumann before the visitors went ahead for good in the fourth. Following a pair of walks, Trevor Morrison smacked a two-run double to right field to give Carolina a 3-1 lead.
In the ninth, Carolina added two insurance runs. With one out, Alex Katz loaded the bases on a single and two walks. Dillon Thomas then cashed in with an RBI single to center before a fielder's choice put the Mudcats ahead by four.
Baumann (7-5) suffered his third straight loss. Pitching five innings, he surrendered three runs on five hits while walking three and striking out four. Travis Seabrooke fired three innings of scoreless relief for the Keys.
The Keys and Mudcats conclude their season series on Sunday. Cody Sedlock (0-2, 12.19) makes the start for Frederick against Carolina right-hander Jorge Ortega (0-3, 7.78). First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and the game can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio app.
Sunday is Prince and Princess Day with a Royal Tea Party and a special groups package is available by calling the Keys at 301-815-9900 or by visiting frederickkeys.com. It is also a Sunday Funday and Summer Reading Day, while the first 500 fans receive a Baseball Bat Keychain presented by Tri County Pump. For tickets, fans can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.