KINSTON, NC - Three home runs were not enough offensively as the Frederick Keys (23-38, 52-78) dropped a 7-3 contest to the Down East Wood Ducks (35-27, 85-47) on Tuesday night at Grainger Stadium. While the Keys worked the long ball, Down East's Bubba Thompson slugged a pair of home runs with four RBIs in the opening three innings. It was the first multi-home run game of Thompson's career. The Wood Ducks' victory ends their season-high five game losing streak.
The Wood Ducks jumped all over Blaine Knight in the first three innings. Curtis Terry picked up an RBI single in the opening frame and Thompson hit his first home run in the second inning. A fielding error allowed another run to score to make it 3-0 Wood Ducks headed into the third inning. That's when Thompson hit a three-run home run to center-field.
Knight (2-11) allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and did not strike out a batter in 2.1 frames.
Jhon Peluffo took over in the third inning and retired the first 10 of 11 batters he faced. He allowed a bases loaded single in the sixth inning to give the Wood Ducks their seventh run of the night. Overall, Peluffo struck out six batters in 3.2 innings. Scott Burke followed with two scoreless innings, continuing his recent dominance.
Offensively, the Keys were quite until the fifth inning when Robbie Thorburn hit his first Carolina League home run to put Frederick on the board.
Sam Hellinger (1-0) mowed through the lineup from the fifth until the eighth inning, when J.C. Escarra and Robert Neustrom hit back-to-back home runs to make it 7-3. The Keys were unable to muster a baserunner in the ninth.
Hellinger earned his first Carolina League win. He allowed all three home runs and stuck out three over four innings. Wood Duck's starter Scott Engler struck out seven over the first four innings.
The Keys and Wood Ducks play game three of four on Wednesday, August 28. RHP Ofelky Peralta (2-2, 5.59) takes the mound for Frederick against RHP Alex Eubanks (9-4, 3.20) for Down East. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm with pregame coverage starting at 6:45pm on the Tune In app and frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.