Frederick sneaks past Salem, 2-1
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Brenden Webb led off the last of the eighth with a triple, scoring a batter later on Sammie Starr’s sac fly to give the Keys a 2-1 advantage that would not be relinquished in Thursday afternoon’s tilt at Harry Grove Stadium. The wind wreaked havoc on Webb’s deep fly to center, flummoxing Cody Koback in his pursuit of the soaring baseball. Koback overran it initially, then came up just shy with his diving bid. The minor mistake proved costly, particularly since the Red Sox rarely cashed in on their offensive opportunities against a trio of Frederick pitchers.
Salem had its best chance to put a crooked number on the board in the top of the eighth, but Gene Escat escaped a bases loaded threat by inducing Matt Gedman’s fly ball to left. The Sox went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight men aboard on the afternoon. Their lone run came in the top of the first, when Henry Ramos led off with a double, advanced to third on Deven Marrero’s grounder, and came across on Keury De La Cruz’ sacrifice fly.
The early 1-0 edge was quickly erased when Jason Esposito doubled home Glynn Davis with two outs in the bottom of the second. The Keys managed just four hits in the game, and consequently, have mustered only four hits in the first two games of the series, but earned a split on the back of their pitching.
With the score tied 1-1 after two, both Mickey Pena and Zach Davies delivered zeroes through the duration of their outings. Pena tossed six strong innings, permitting just one run on three hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. Meanwhile, Davies fanned seven and walked one in five innings, allowing one run on three hits. The game remained tied late and became a battle of the bullpens, leaving both starters with no-decisions.
Escat earned the win to improve to 5-6, while Nefi Ogando suffered the loss, allowing one run in two innings, slipping to 2-3.
Koback went 3-for-3 with a walk to lead the Red Sox offense. Ramos, Marrero, Stefan Welch, and Gedman added hits for Salem, who outhit Frederick 7-4. But the Keys prevailed by the smallest of margins to even the four-game series at one game apiece.
The two squads reunite on Friday night at 7 PM, with William Cuevas set to oppose Zach Clark.