The Frederick Keys fell behind early Saturday night and were unable to recover in an 11-1 loss to Carolina at Harry Grove Stadium.
The Keys (9-13, 43-48) avoided a shutout with two outs in the ninth inning on Delvi Cid's RBI infield single. Glynn Davis scored Frederick's only run after walking and moving to third on Tucker Nathans' double, the Keys' only extra-base hit of the game.
Carolina starter Shawn Morimando pitched five scoreless innings and allowed four hits and two walks while striking out two in front of a Frederick crowd of 8,066. He improved to 5-9 on the season.
Making his first start as a knuckleballer with the Keys and his first start for the team since 2010, Zach Clark got in trouble in the first inning but escaped allowing just one run.
A leadoff single by Tyler Naquin was compounded by Clark's errant pickoff attempt at first that allowed Naquin to move to third base. Bo Greenwell singled him home and then another single and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out.
Clark then induced Jerrud Sabourin into a groundball double play to get out of the inning. He induced another double play to erase a leadoff single in the second, the first of five batters he would retire in a row. Clark's success, however, ended in the fourth inning.
A single, a hit batter and walk loaded the bases with no outs, setting the table for what would be a seven-run frame for the Mudcats (10-11, 32-59). Clark hit Bryson Myles to plate the second run of the game, a wild pitch allowed another run in and Alex Lavisky followed with a two-run double, making the score 5-0.
Justin Toole then doubled Lavisky home and Naquin became the seventh straight batter to reach with a bunt single. Back-to-back RBI groundouts brought Carolina's lead to 8-0. The Mudcats sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.
Clark was pulled from the game after recording the first out of the fourth and Jesse Beal relieved him. Clark (0-1) took the loss and was charged with all eight runs. He allowed eight hits, walked one and struck out one.
Lavisky hit a two-run homer off Beal in the fifth and Bo Greenwell followed four batters later with a two-out RBI double, bringing the score to 11-0.
Zach Petersime and Matt Price held Carolina to two baserunners over the final four innings Friday night. Petersime pitched three scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and Price pitched a perfect ninth, fanning two.
Cid went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks, an RBI and a stolen base. Nathans, Michael Ohlman and Glynn Davis also had two hits in the game. Six Carolina players accounted for their 13 hits, Lavisky going 2-for-5 with four RBIs and Myles getting three hits in the game.
The Keys and Mudcats resume their four-game series with game three Sunday at 6 p.m. Julio Rodriguez will start for the Keys against Mudcats starter Joseph Colon. For tickets, purchase online at FrederickKeys.com, by phone at 301-815-9939 or at the box office at Harry Grove Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.