FREDERICK, MD-Jake Ring hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the Frederick Keys (1-0) to a 10-9 come-from-behind victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats (0-1) in game one of the Northern Division Championship Series on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. With the win, the Keys go ahead 1-0 in the best-of-three NDCS.
Down by three runs entering the ninth, the Keys managed to rally against Hillcats pitchers Argenis Angulo and Adam Plutko. Chris Clare opened the inning with a base hit, while a base hit by Ademar Rifaela and an RBI single by Glynn Davis made it a 9-7 affair. Armando Araiza then walked to load up the bases. At this point, the Keys brought on Jay Gonzalez to pinch run and Lynchburg went back to the bullpen.
Turning to Plutko, the Hillcats right-hander went nine pitches against Jomar Reyes , before the 20-year-old lifted a sac-fly to center to score Rifaela. Now within a run, Randolph Gassaway hit an infield single to plate Davis and move the winning run into scoring position. That sent up Ring, who roped a single to right to score Gonzalez and give Frederick the victory.
Lynchburg appeared to put the game out of reach, scoring five times in the eighth thanks in part to two Keys errors to make it a 9-5 contest. With one out in the eighth, Connor Marabell doubled and back-to-back errors loaded the bases. Sam Haggerty cashed in with a two-run single before back-to-back walks forced in a run. Mitch Longo closed out the inning with a two-run base knock. Frederick got one run back in the eighth on an RBI groundout from Ring.
The orange and black took their first lead in the seventh, sending all nine men to bat. Loading the bases against Aaron Civale, Ring delivered a two-run double to trim Lynchburg's lead to 4-3. From there, Shane Hoelscher tied the game with an RBI groundout and Brallan Perez put Frederick on top with a run-scoring single to center.
Prior to the seventh, Civale allowed only one unearned run on two hits through six innings. That lone Keys marker came on a Hoelscher double which plated Reyes from second base. Lynchburg built a 4-1 advantage over that time, thanks to a two-run homer by Longo, a solo shot from Willi Castro and an RBI single from Sicnarf Loopstok.
Mike Burke (1-0) picked up the victory tossing a scoreless ninth inning. Angulo (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in 1.2 innings. Of the 19 total earned runs Angulo has allowed the season, nine have come against the Keys.
The NDCS shifts to Lynchburg for games two and three (if necessary). In game two on Friday, the Keys send left-hander Brian Gonzalez (5-7, 4.91) to the mound against Hillcats right-hander Triston McKenzie (12-6, 3.46). First pitch is at 6:30 p.m from City Stadium and the broadcast can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.