FREDERICK, MD-T.J. Nichting hit a walk off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Frederick Keys an 8-4 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Sunday night at Nymeo Field. The Pelicans won the continuation of Saturday's suspended game, which sets up a rubber match for the final game of the 2018 season.
Tied 4-4 going to the bottom of the 10th inning of the regularly scheduled game, Wilson Garcia began the frame at second base. Following a Randolph Gassaway infield single, Jomar Reyes was intentionally walked load the bases and set up Nichting. He then launched the first pitch he saw over the left field fence to give the Keys (64-72, 29-38) a walk-off grand slam for the second straight year. Shane Hoelscher completed the feat against the Lynchburg Hillcats on July 1, 2017.
Myrtle Beach (61-77, 27-41) got the scoring started in the second inning. Galindo collected a double with one out and would later score on a Zach Davis single.
Frederick tied the game in the bottom half of the third. Cole Billingsley hit a double to right field. Chris Clare and Garcia followed with back-to-back walks. With Gassaway batting, Billingsley scored on a wild pitch which made it 1-1.
Clare would give the Keys their first lead of the game in the fifth. Woody and Stuart Levy each walked to start the frame. Billingsley then grounded out, but Clare hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Woody.
The Pelicans responded with a run in the top of the sixth. After Cody Sedlock retired the first two batters, Jared Young hit a solo home run to tie the game at two. In his final start of the year, Sedlock produced a quality start, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings while throwing just 63 pitches.
The score remained 2-2 until the ninth After Matthias Dietz recorded the first two outs, Michael Cruz singled and Zach Davis walked. It knocked Dietz out of the game, as he gave way to Matt Trowbridge . With Aramis Ademan batting, Alejandro Juvier made an error that allowed Cruz to score. Myrtle Beach got another run when Ademan and Davis completed a double steal. Ademan broke to second and Levy threw the ball on one hop toward second, which allowed Davis to break for home and make it 4-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, Nichting led off with a walk. After Juvier struck out, Woody singled to move Nichting to scoring position. Levy was then hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for Billingsley. He tied up the game with a single that scored Nichting and Woody.
In the top of the 10th, Nichting made a diving catch and Billingsley threw out a man at home to keep it a 4-4 game and set up the Nichting walk-off.
Trowbridge (5-2) earned the victory. He pitched the final 1.1 innings and did not allow a run. Yapson Gomez (1-2) took the loss. He allowed five runs (four earned) and the walk-off grand slam in his one inning of work.
In the continuation of Saturday's game, the Keys and Pelicans began in the sixth inning. In a 0-0 game, the Keys scored the first run in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Collin Woody walked. Following a fly out, Chris Clare doubled and Woody scored on a Gassaway single.
The Pelicans struck twice in the top of the seventh off of Tyler Erwin . Wladimir Galindo worked a one-out walk, and Christian Donahue doubled. Yeiler Peguero then drove in Galindo with a single to tie the game at one. One batter later, they took the lead on a Luis Ayala groundout which made it 2-1. That is how the game would end, as Manny Rondon struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth.
Rondon (2-3) earned the win, allowing a run on two hits over two innings. Erwin (4-4) took the loss, surrendering two runs on two hits over an inning.
The final game of the season will take place on Monday afternoon. It is fan appreciation day at the ballpark, and fans in attendance have a chance to win a number of different prizes. Cristian Alvarado (11-11, 4.26) makes the final start for the orange and black. The Pelicans will send right-hander Tyson Miller (9-8, 3.54) to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and the game can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio app. 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.