Sometimes the last out is the toughest to record.
A three-run fifth inning put Frederick ahead Tuesday night, but the Winston-Salem Dash mounted a two-out rally in the ninth inning to tie the Keys at 4-4 and would win the game 5-4, thanks to Kevan Smith's RBI single in the 10th.
The win was the first of the season four Winston-Salem (1-3) and the loss was the first for the Keys (3-1).
Keys reliever Eric Beaulac pitched a scoreless eighth inning and retired the first two batters in the ninth before a two-strike infield single and three straight walks tied the game. With a full count, Chris Curley fouled off one pitch and then took the game-tying ball four from Beaulac.
"We couldn't get that final strike," said Keys manager Ryan Minor. "It was tough. Eric (Beaulac) did a good job in the eighth and with the first two hitters in the ninth and then gave up that cheap single and wasn't able to get that final strike. But those things are going to happen. ...It was one of those nights where he just couldn't get that last guy. That's the hardest out of the game to get, that last guy."
Zach Fowler got out of the ninth inning when Doug Herbek popped up and was called for interference as he ran into Fowler as the Keys left-hander tried to make the catch on the first-base line. In the top of the 10th, three straight one-out singles gave the Dash the lead when Joe De Pinto narrowly beat catcher Michael Ohlman's tag after he received left fielder Mikey Planeta's throw to the plate.
Cody Winiarski recorded his first save of the season, retiring the Keys in order in the bottom of the tenth.
Winston-Salem took their first lead of the game on Joey DeMichele's two-run first inning homer off Keys starter Zach Davies, who would find his rhythm after giving up that shot. Davies allowed three runs in six innings, the other Dash run coming on Kevan Smith's groundout in the sixth.
In front of 2,088 at Harry Grove Stadium, the Keys scored their first run off Winston-Salem starter Terance Marin on Connor Narron's RBI single in the fourth and then took the lead in the fifth. Nicky Delmonico singled in two runs and Michael Ohlman scored on a fielding error by De Pinto in center field on Webb's single in the next at-bat. The Keys, however, were unable to score again in the inning, despite having runners on second and third with one out.
"Tonight it was something where it's always good to add on and not stop with just a one-run lead," said Delmonico, who added it was good for the team to "bounce back" from an early deficit and take the lead for the third consecutive game.
Winston-Salem made four errors Tuesday night, bringing their four-game season total to nine, but Frederick scored just one run off the Dash's blunders.
Marin pitched 4.1 innings and allowed four runs, three earned, his first professional start. Kevan Smith and Ryan Haddow each had two hits and two RBIs for Winston-Salem, while Travis Adair went 3-for-5 with a stolen base for Frederick. Delmonico finished 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs and Planeta went 2-for-5. The Keys tallied 11 hits and left 22 runners on base.
Fowler took the loss out of Frederick's previously unblemished bullpen and Jarrett Casey, who threw a scoreless bottom of the ninth, picked up the win for the Dash.
Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound for the Keys tomorrow against Winston-Salem's right-hander Justin Collop in game two of the three game series. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.