Frederick scores three in the ninth, stuns Red Sox, 9-8

salem red soxThe Frederick Keys scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take their first lead of the game and stun the Salem Red Sox, 9-8, on Thursday night at LewisGale Field.

Trailing 8-6 heading to the ninth, the Keys loaded the bases on a walk, single and an error. Back-to-back sacrifice flies knotted the game at eight before Adrian Marin drilled a two-out, two-strike RBI double to left-center, scoring Drew Dosch to push Frederick ahead 9-8. Cody Wheeler (1-0) retired Salem in order in the bottom of the frame to preserve the comeback win.

Salem jumped out to a lead early in the game with a two-run first inning. Manuel Margot led things off with a single followed by a walk from Cole Sturgeon. With one out, the Sox initiated a double steal and Frederick catcher Steel Russell airmailed the ball into center field, allowing Margot to score. Two batters later, Jake Romanski drove in Sturgeon with a sacrifice fly, making it 2-0.

The Keys scratched out a run off of Teddy Stankiewicz in the top of the second on a Brenden Webb RBI groundout. However, the Red Sox struck for two more in the last of the second on a Sturgeon RBI single and Travis sac fly, opening up a 4-1 lead.

In the third, Jordan Betts lined a ball off the upper body of Frederick starting pitcher Matt Taylor for an RBI single. Taylor left the game via ambulance after a 19-minute delay. There was no update on his status by the end of the game.

The contest cruised along until Stankiewicz ran into trouble in the sixth inning. Working with a 5-1 lead, Stankiewicz hit Tucker Nathans on an 0-2 pitch with two outs. A walk followed to load the bases before Webb reached on a free pass, forcing in a run and making it 5-2. Russell followed with a three-run double to left, tying the game at five.

Stankiewicz did not factor in the decision, surrendering five runs on six hits in 5.2 innings, walking two and striking out five.

The Red Sox came right back in the bottom of the frame, though, to retake the lead. With Margot at second and one down, Frederick reliever Dylan Rheault threw wildly to second attempting to pick off Margot. Center fielder Gregory Lorenzo sailed his throw to third all the way to the Salem dugout, allowing Margot to score. Sam Travis followed the fiasco with a double and scored on a Romanski RBI single, pushing the Sox ahead, 7-5. Franklin Guzman launched a titanic solo home run in the seventh to give Salem a three-run cushion.

Frederick wouldn’t go away though, notching a run in the top of the eighth on an RBI fielder’s choice from Russell to bring it to within 8-6. Salem reliever Taylor Grover came back out for the ninth after relieving Stankiewicz in the sixth and allowed the first two batters to reach. Austin Maddox (0-2) was brought in from the bullpen, but could not keep the lead.

Despite the loss, Salem finished with eight stolen bases on the night, one shy of a franchise record set in 2007 against Frederick. It was the most steals in a game for the Red Sox since they had eight in August 2012 versus Carolina. All nine Salem starters had at least one hit, while six of the nine players score at least one run and five collected an RBI.

Frederick took the series to improve to 13-8 on the year while Salem fell to 9-10. The Red Sox welcome in the Potomac Nationals on Friday night for the start of a four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Kevin McAvoy (1-1, 1.72) starts for Salem opposite Potomac’s Matthew Spann (0-3, 5.82). As part of the Freedom Friday series, the Red Sox will wear special military appreciation uniforms and fans will be treated to a postgame fireworks display. Plus, the first 500 fans get a player poster courtesy of Freedom First Credit Union. Fans unable to attend can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at salemsox.com or via the TuneIn Radio app.

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