Frederick scored nine runs in the final three innings Thursday to come from behind and shock Lynchburg at Nymeo Field, 10-9. The Keys took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Northern Division Championship Series as a result.
Lynchburg used a pair of home runs to build a 3-0 lead in the first three frames. Mitch Longo hit a two-run homer in the second inning after Gavin Collins drew a walk in front of him. Willi Castro's solo home run in the third made it 3-0. Frederick tallied an unearned run in the fifth to cut it to 3-1.
Martin Cervenka walked with one out in the sixth, and Sicnarf Loopstok singled two batters later to drive him in. The Keys claimed their first lead of the game with a four-run seventh inning to surge ahead, 5-4. Jake Ring had a two-run double to highlight the big frame. All of the runs were charged to Aaron Civale, who had only allowed one unearned run on two hits in the first six innings.
Trailing 5-4 in the eighth, Lynchburg capitalized on a couple errors to score five unearned runs and take a 9-5 advantage in the game. Connor Marabell doubled at the beginning of the rally. Sam Haggerty had a two-run single to give Lynchburg a 6-5 lead, and Andrew Calica notched an RBI on a bases-loaded walk. Longo capped off the scoring with a two-run single to push the margin to 9-5.
Frederick's Jomar Reyes doubled in the eighth and later scored on an RBI groundout by Jake Ring to trim the Hillcats lead to 9-6 entering the final frame. Chris Clare opened the ninth with a bloop single to left, and Ademar Rifaela singled with one out. Glynn Davis drove in a run with a base hit, and Jomar Reyes brought home Rifaela with a sacrifice fly to center field. Randolph Gassaway and Jake Ring followed with back-to-back RBI singles with two outs to win the game, 10-9.
Ring finished the contest 2-5 with four RBIs. Argenis Angulo suffered the loss after being charged with five runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. Mike Burke earned the win after he struck out two in a scoreless top of the ninth.
Lynchburg returns home for Game 2 of the NDCS Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Hillcats must win that game to force a Game 3 Saturday at 6 p.m. Triston McKenzie (12-6, 3.46) will start for Lynchburg. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.