WINSTON-SALEM, NC -Zach Thompson fired off five scoreless innings, while the Winston-Salem Dash (4-8) used a pair of early runs to top the Frederick Keys (4-7) 2-1 on Monday night. Held hitless with runners in scoring position, the orange and black were also hurt by several strong Dash plays in the field throughout the night.
Winston-Salem was aided by a first inning error to grab a 1-0 lead. Ryan Mountcastle spiked a throw on a groundball to short to put Jake Fincher on base. He stole second and moved to third on a bunt single, before Zack Collins drove him home via sacrifice fly.
In the third, Danny Mendick tripled to right-center and scored on a wild pitch by Keegan Akin. The left-hander stranded a runner at third, but the two runs proved to be enough for Thompson (1-1). Limiting the Keys to three hits over five innings, the Dash starter walked one and struck out five to earn his first win of 2017.
Akin (0-2) saw a variety of long at-bats push his pitch count past 80 through four innings. He retired the first batter in the fifth, before being lifted for Jay Flaa. Tagged with the loss, Akin allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in 4.1 frames. He struck out five and walked three.
The Keys lone run came in the seventh, on a solo homer by Yermin Mercedes down the leftfield line. Later in the inning, Ricardo Andujar doubled to left, but Stevie Wilkerson was robbed of a single on a diving play by Brady Conlan. Wilkerson also had a single taken away in the fifth on a tremendous diving play by second baseman Danny Mendick.
Frederick challenged Ian Hamilton in the ninth, as an Alex Murphy double and a Stuart Levy walk put the tying and go-ahead runners on base. However Andujar lined out to end the game. Hamilton recorded his first save, working two scoreless innings.
The Keys and Dash play the middle game of their series on Tuesday night. Right-hander Cody Sedlock (1-0, 2.45) starts for Frederick against Winston-Salem righty Brannon Easterling (1-1, 4.50). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App.
The team returns to Nymeo Field on Thursday, April 20 when the Salem Red Sox come to town. For tickets, fans can call the box office 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.