DH Buck Britton paced Frederick with four hits and starter Oliver Drake worked 6 and 2/3rds stellar innings as the Keys registered their first win in the brand new BB&T Ballpark, avoiding a sweep with a 6-3 win on Thursday Night. Winston-Salem needed a win and a Salem loss to clinch the South but neither happened so the Dash head to Wilmington with the bubbly on ice.
Britton was critical to the Keys offense attack getting a basehit in every inning in which the Keys scored. His 4-for-5 night was the fifth time a Key has registered four hits in a game this year. His big hit came in a 2-all tie in the top of the sixth inning after the Dash had tied the ballgame the inning prior. Batting with the bases loaded and no outs, Britton chopped a ball over the head of Dash 1B Seth Loman, down the right-field line for a two-run double. The Keys plated three runs in the inning to take a 5-2 lead they would not let go of.
An inning earlier the Keys weren't in such a festive mood. Dash LF Kenny Williams Jr. was hit by a pitch attempting a bunt. Keys manager Orlando Gomez vehemently argued that Williams had offered at the pitch. After the umpires convened they upheld the hit by pitch sending Gomez into a fury that led to his ejection. A batter later, C Luis Sierra tied the game with a two-run home run into the right-field seats.
Trailing 6-2 in the eighth inning, Winston-Salem threatened loading the bases against Keys reliever Raul Rivero with no outs. Rivero struck out Williams swinging at a breaking ball and then enticed a line drive inning ending double play off of the bat of Sierra to escape the jam.
Frederick now heads to Myrtle Beach for its final three-game series of the first half. Rick Zagone gets the start Friday, June 18th at 7:05 p.m. with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. on the Keys Baseball Network. Frederick needs one win to reach 40 in the first half for the second time in franchise history.
The Keys head home after the all-star break for a weeklong home stand at Harry Grove Stadium beginning Thursday, June 24th at 7:00 p.m. against Winston-Salem. For tickets contact the Keys Box Offices at 1-877-8-GO-KEYS or purchase online at frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.