Frederick, MD - It was a wild marathon between the Wilmington Blue Rocks (41-47 / 10-8) and Frederick Keys (40-50 / 5-16) that took 12 innings to decide, but the Blue Crew held on for the thrilling 12-11 victory Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. Blake Perkins paced the offense with four hits, including his first home run as a Blue Rock while Gabriel Cancel and Emmanuel Rivera added three hits of their own. The Blue Rocks had four different leads slip away before ultimately holding on to their last advantage in the final inning.
In the top of the 12th inning, Cancel broke the 11-11 stalemate and delivered a clutch, two-out single to score Travis Jones who was the runner to start at second base under the new extra-inning rules to give Wilmington a 12-11 lead. Justin Camp tossed a clean bottom half of the inning to earn his first-career win.
The game went back-and-forth in the later stages of the contest. In the 11th inning, the Rocks scored two runs on an RBI single from Meibrys Viloria and a bunt single by Nick Heath to score an insurance run to make it an 11-9 score. Frederick answered with a pair of runs in its half of the inning on a two-run single by Yojhan Quevedo to tie the game.
Wilmington scored three in the tenth inning on just one hit. The Rocks scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by Frederick's third baseman Jomar Reyes to take a 7-6 lead. Jones delivered a pinch-hit RBI single for an insurance run before Perkins drove in a run on a groundout to make it 9-6. Frederick however tied the game up after an RBI single from by T.J. Nichting made it a 9-7 game before Chris Clare clubbed a two-out, two-run double to tie the knot the game at 9-9.
The Blue Rocks took a late-inning lead in the top of the eighth inning to break a 4-4 stalemate. Heath led the inning off with a double and after a fly out, Rudy Martin launched his second homer of the season over the right field wall to push Wilmington out in front, 6-4. The pesky Keys once again tied the game in the bottom of the ninth and loaded the bases with one out. Randolph Gassaway flew out to right field to drive in Chris Clare to make it a 6-5 ballgame before Preston Palmiero singled on a soft liner to left field to drive in the game-tying run.
With Wilmington leading 4-0, Frederick stormed back and tied the game. With the bases loaded and two outs, Collin Woody cleared the bases with a double to pull the Keys within a run to make it a 4-3 game. Cole Billingsley followed with an RBI double of his own to tie the game at 4-4. Wilmington staked a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Gabriel Cancel singled home Perkins before Emmanuel Rivera plated Cancel with a run-scoring hit of his own. In the top of the fifth, Perkins belted his first homer as a Blue Rock for a two-run blast over the left center field wall to give Wilmington the 4-0 advantage.
The Blue Rocks and Keys will play the finale of the series on Thursday, July 12 at Nymeo Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with the Rocks sending righty Jace Vines (2-8, 5.11 ERA) to the mound while fellow right-hander Cristian Alvarado (8-6, 4.17 ERA) starts for the Keys. Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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The power surge continued for the Blue Rocks Wednesday night as Blake Perkins and Rudy Martin each smacked their second home runs of the season in the win. It was the first for Perkins as a Blue Rock and his first long ball since May 12 which was also against Frederick. Martin's go-ahead home run in the eighth was his first home run since April 12. Wilmington has now hit five home runs during the first three games of the series with D.J. Burt and Emmanuel Rivera hitting back-to-back home runs on Monday before Nick Heath led Tuesday's game off with a home run.
The extra-inning game marked the fourth game that needed more than nine innings to decide and second on the road trip for Wilmington. With the win, the Rocks are now 3-1 in extra-inning affairs this season. The Blue Rocks won a 13-inning game Saturday night at Lynchburg by the score of 9-7.
The game took four-hours and 20-minutes to complete, which marked the longest time of game for the Blue Rocks this season. Prior to Wednesday's game, the Rocks played their 13-inning game at Lynchburg in four-hours and eight-minutes. The Rocks pounded out a single-game high 17 hits in the win as both teams combined for 34 total hits in the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.