FREDERICK, MD-The Wilmington Blue Rocks (8-8) used a five-run seventh inning to come from behind and defeat the Frederick Keys (6-11) by a 12-10 count on Saturday afternoon at Nymeo Field. The loss marked the Keys sixth in a row despite recording a season-high 17 hits.
Wilmington seized control of the game in the top of the seventh, scoring five times off James Teague . Trailing by as many as five runs at one stretch, Wilmington got a leadoff walk from Xavier Fernandez and a single from John Brontsema.
Kort Peterson then gave the Blue Rocks the lead with a three-run home run, his second home run and fifth RBI of the game. Nick Heath then walked, and D.J. Burt singled. Khalil Lee drove in a run with a double and the fifth run was scored on a sacrifice fly from Emmanuel Rivera to make it a 12-9 lead.
The Keys asserted themselves early, scoring eight times on 12 hits in the first three innings. Wilmington got the initial run in the first on Rivera RBI single, but the Keys countered with a solo home run by Ryan McKenna to tie the game. Preston Palmeiro then tripled before Randolph Gassaway added an RBI single to make it 2-1 Keys.
A Kort Peterson two-run homer swung the pendulum back in the Blue Rocks favor, but not for long. Sending 11 men to bat in the third, the Keys plated six runs on six hits. After Cole Billingsley walked, Palmeiro hit a two-run homer. Jomar Reyes followed with a single, before back-to-back doubles by Collin Woody and Jake Ring made it a 5-3 contest.
Chris Clare (groundout) and Daniel Fajardo (two-run homer) capped off the scoring. The six hits tied the most Frederick had recorded in an inning, while the six runs equaled the club's second-biggest inning of the year.
Wilmington chipped away, adding single markers in their next two trips. Angelo Castellano singled in Chase Vallot from second in the fourth and Fernandez followed suit in the fifth, plating Lee.
The Blue Rocks made it a two-run ballgame with a two-run sixth, helped out by two Keys errors. Steven Klimek recorded two quick outs before walking Heath and Burt. Heath would later score on an error by Palmeiro, and Burt scored one batter later on a Clare error which made the score 9-7 Keys.
The Keys plated a run in the eighth. McKenna drew a two-out walk, and Billingsley drove him in with a double to left field. That was as close as the Keys would get, as Matt Wynne stranded two Keys in the ninth to earn his first save of the year and preserve a 12-10 win.
Nolan Becker (1-0) earned the win for the Blue Rocks, tossing 2.2 innings and allowing one run on two hits. Teague (0-1) took the loss, surrendering five runs on four hits in one inning of work.
Frederick and Wilmington conclude their series on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Ofelky Peralta (0-1, 1.13) takes the mound for the Keys. He will be opposed by Blue Rocks right-hander Jace Vines (0-3, 15.19). For tickets, fans can call the club 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.