FREDERICK, MD-A late home run provided a brief scare, but the Frederick Keys (55-61/24-23) held on to defeat the Potomac Nationals (53-64/20-27) 3-2 on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. With the win, the orange and black earned a series win over their Beltway rival and can go for a sweep on Sunday.
Ahead 3-0, the Nationals pulled within one in the ninth on one swing. Tanner Chleborad walked Jakson Reetz to send up David Masters. Down in the count 1-2, the P-Nats six-hole batter slugged a two-run homer to left which stayed just inside the foul pole. From there, Chleborad punched out Rhett Wiseman and Edwin Lora to end the contest.
An eighth inning run for the Keys proved to be the difference-maker. Chris Clare singled off RC Orlan, before the left-hander balked to move Clare up a base. Taking advantage, Jay Gonzalez hit an opposite field double to bring his teammate home. It was one of only two hits for Frederick all game with men in scoring position.
The Keys got on the board against Kyle McGowin in the first inning. With one out, Ademar Rifaela slugged his league-high 22nd home run. He also racked up his CL-best 68th RBI.
Frederick added one more in the second. Ricardo Andujar singled, stole second and got to third after Reetz's throw got into centerfield. Armando Araiza then clubbed an RBI double.
Jay Flaa (3-2) earned the win, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball, to go with three strikeouts. McGowin (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on five hits in four innings. Chleborad allowed two runs in the ninth but picked up his 17th save.
The Keys and Nationals conclude their series on Sunday. Right-hander Cody Sedlock (4-4, 6.09) goes for the orange and black and will be opposed by PNats lefty Taylor Guilbeau (3-3, 4.59). First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., and can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App.
Sunday is the final Meet the Team Event of the Year as well as a Sunday Funday presented by Chili's. Fans can get autographs and enjoy a catch in the outfield from 1-1:30 p.m. Additionally, the first 1,000 fans receive a Top Birds cardset presented by Keeney and Basford Funeral Home. For tickets, fans can call the Keys 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.