FREDERICK, MD-The Frederick Keys (68-71/37-33) fell 5-3 to the Potomac Nationals (63-77/30-40) in the regular season finale on Monday afternoon at Nymeo Field. With the loss, the Keys finished with 68 wins for the second straight year.
Frederick started the scoring with two runs in the first inning. Ademar Rifaela singled, and Jomar Reyes followed with a two-run home run to center field to make it 2-0.
The score would remain 2-0 until the fourth inning. Alex Katz walked the leadoff man, and the Nationals loaded the bases thanks to a single and a walk. Bryan Mejia then dunked a single into center field to score a run and keep the bases loaded. Then, Daniel Johnson hit a ground ball to short that scored a run, making it a 2-2 game. However, the Keys were able to turn a 6-4-3-2-5-1 double play on the play after Dale Carey was caught between third and home.
In the fifth, the Nationals added three more runs on just two hits. Jack Sundberg walked, and Ian Sagdal brought him in with a double. Rhett Wiseman then walked, and Jakson Reetz walked two batters later to load the bases. Jake Noll then hit a single to score a run, and Carey earned his third walk of the game to plate another run, making it a 5-2 game.
The Keys got one run back in the sixth. Brallan Perez singled, and Rifaela walked. Perez moved up to third on a Reyes groundout, and scored on a Randolph Gassaway sacrifice fly. That is how the scoring would end, however.
The ninth inning brought a first for the Keys in the 2017 season. After Masters and Reetz reached, Noll attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Stuart Levy hopped out in front of the plate and threw to third to get a force out, and Perez fired to first to get out number two. Reetz then attempted to get to third base, and Drew Turbin threw over to Perez who applied the tag to record the triple play.
In the game, Keys pitchers walked 11 batters which was one short of a season-high. Katz (3-2) took the loss, tossing 1.0 innings, allowing two hits and three runs while walking three. Jefry Rodriguez (4-3) picked up the win, firing six innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Tommy Peterson earned his first save, pitching the final 0.2 innings and allowing one hit while striking out a batter.
The north division playoffs begin on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. The Keys will take on the Lynchburg Hillcats in a best-of-five series. Right-hander Cristian Alvarado (7-9, 5.00) makes the game one start against Hillcats right-hander Aaron Civale (11-2, 2.59).First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App. For tickets, fans can call 301-815-9939, visit the box office at Nymeo Field, or buy online at frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.