WOODBRIDGE, VA-The Frederick Keys scored four unanswered runs in the final two innings to top the Potomac Nationals 5-4 on Friday night at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium. Trailing 4-1 after seven innings, the Keys equaled their largest come-from-behind win of the year. On April 15 at Nymeo Field, the orange and black also battled from three runs down to defeat the Nationals.
Trailing by one run going to the ninth, the visitors scored twice off Carlos Acevedo. Daniel Fajardo singled to open the inning, advanced to second on a hit-by-pitch, while a sac-bunt by Cole Billingsley put men at second and third. The Nationals then intentionally walked Wilson Garcia to send up Randolph Gassaway . The Keys cleanup man hit a sac-fly to right to tie the game, while Rhett Wiseman's throw from right got past the third baseman allowing Chris Clare to score.
Elvis Araujo then closed things out for Frederick (41-51, 6-17) in the bottom of the ninth. Not without drama, Aldrem Corredor singled to send up Wiseman who lifted a flyball onto the warning track in right-center but T.J. Nichting , who took a home run away from Wiseman earlier, made the catch against the fence to end the game.
Potomac (44-45, 7-15) saw its lead shrink to one in the eighth. The Keys connected on four straight singles off Taylor Guilbeau to plate one run, while a Jomar Reyes double play ball netted a second to move the Keys within striking distance in the ninth. The P-Nats had a chance in the bottom of the eighth as the visitors walked the bases loaded, but the duo of Araujo and Steven Klimek also struck out the side to keep it a one-run game.
Frederick opened the scoring in the first with a solo homer by Garcia off Wil Crowe. It was Garcia's 18th of the year, while he tied his career-high for RBIs (60). From there, the Nationals scored the next four. Luis Garcia and Ian Sagdal connected on RBI singles in the third off Michael Baumann , before plating single markers in the sixth and seventh. In the sixth, Jakson Reetz doubled home Nick Banks from first and one inning later Bryan Mejia hit a solo homer.
Araujo (3-0) picked up the win for the Keys tossing 1.2 scoreless innings to go with three strikeouts. Acevedo (0-1) suffered the loss and a blown save giving up two runs (one earned) on one hit in two innings.
The Keys and P-Nats play game two of the series on Saturday night. Right-hander Lucas Humpal (2-8, 4.62) starts for Frederick and will be opposed by Potomac left-hander Ben Braymer (3-3, 3.40) First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m from Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium and the broadcast can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn radio app.
Frederick returns home for six games starting next Wednesday, July 18 when the Down East Wood Ducks and Blue Rocks come to town. Highlights include Geekend and a pair of fireworks shows. For tickets, fans can call the Keys at 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.