Wilmington, DE- The Wilmington Blue Rocks tossed their second consecutive shutout, taking a 1-0 pitchers' duel from the Frederick Keys on Wednesday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. Daniel Lynch, Collin Snider and Tad Ratliff combined on the blanking, while Nick Pratto drove in the game's only run in the bottom of the eighth.
Lynch was brilliant. The lefty retired 16 in a row at one point and did not allow a ball out of the infield after Jake Ring's lead-off single in the second. He equaled his career-long outing, tossing seven frames while yielding just two hits, fanning nine and walking none.
Lynch gave way to Collin Snider who worked around a leadoff walk to toss a scoreless eighth and get the win. Tad Ratliff turned in a one-two-three ninth to nail down his Carolina League-leading 10th save of the season.
The top of Wilmington's order produced the Blue Crew's offense in the eighth. Colby Schultz opened the frame with a single and then MJ Melendez patiently worked a walk. That set the stage for Pratto, who lined a single into left that brought home Schultz and gave the Rocks a second straight shutout victory.
The Blue Crew wrap up their homestand with a 6:35 p.m. game against the Keys on Thursday. Righty Brady Singer gets the ball for Wilmington. Tickets are available at BlueRocks.com and fans that don't make it to the ballpark can catch all the action with the Voice of the Blue Rocks, Cory Nidoh on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
The Blue Crew have excelled in close games this season. Wilmington leads the Carolina League with 17 contests decided by a single score in 2019. The Rocks are an impressive 14-3 in those close calls. They are also stellar at holding late leads, going 13-1 when taking an advantage into the eighth inning and 15-0 when leading after eight.
The Blue Rocks have had a great deal of success this season under the sun. Wilmington has played seven day games in 2019 and have a 6-1 record in those contests.
Daniel Lynch has owned the Keys this season. The lefty established a new career-high by tossing seven frames on May 2 at Frederick, allowing just two runs (one earned) in a victory. He went seven again on Tuesday against the Keys and this time did not surrender a single score. In 14 total frames Lynch has 14 strikeouts and no walks. His ERA versus Frederick is 0.64 as opposed to 4.50 against the rest of the Carolina League.
Wilmington has had an odd schedule to start the 2019 season. Wilmington opened the campaign with a series against Salem and then played 17 consecutive games against CL South opponents. The Rocks went 9-8 during that stretch. The Blue Crew are now in the midst of playing 24 out of 27 against the CL North. The Rocks are 11-6 so far during this divisional-heavy portion of the slate and 11-8 on the year against CL North foes.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.