The Frederick Keys jumped out early as they scored early and knocked out Pelicans starting Chad Bell with two outs in the first inning. Centerfielder Kyle Hudson led off the game with a walk. Second baseman L.J. Hoes singled up the middle to put runners on the corners with nobody out. First baseman Tyler Townsend ripped a double to right field that scored the first two runs of the game. Right fielder Jacob Julius drove in Townsend on a sac-fly to increase the lead to 3-0 after the opening inning.
The Pelicans responded in the second inning as right fielder Jared Prince led off with a walk and advanced to second and third base on a wild pitch. Travis Adair followed with a walk to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Prince would score on a fielder’s choice by Andres James to make it 3-1 Keys.
Myrtle Beach tied the game in the third inning as Ryan Strausborger singled to right field to open the inning. Jared Hoying drove in the centerfielder on a single to make it 3-2 Keys. After third baseman Michael Olt grounded into a double play, catcher Vinny DiFazio singled to center field and advanced on to second on a wild-pitch. Left fielder Adair crushed a double to right field and scored DiFazio which tied the game at three after the third inning. They would add a run in the fourth inning on a RBI single by Hoying that scored Strausborger to take a 4-3 lead.
The Keys answered back in their sixth inning as shortstop Garabez Rosa began the inning with a single up the middle. Hudson followed with a walk and Hoes reached on an error by the second baseman to load the bases. Townsend was hit on the hands on a fastball to tie the game at four. Julius ripped a two-run single that scored Hudson and Hoes to give the Keys a 6-4 lead.
Kenny Moreland came in to save the game for the Keys and retired the first two batters. Things got a little too close for comfort as Adair singled to centerfield. James followed with a single and Chirino drove in Adair on an RBI base hit to make it 6-5. The tying run was in scoring position with two out as James Bolden grounded out to Rosa on a tricky hop off the pitchers mound to end the game and secure a 6-5 Keys victory.”
The chopper off the mound that was scooped up and thrown out by Rosa that ended the game was critical because otherwise the pelicans would have tied the game.
“That was the only chance he was going to have to get the guy,” Gomez said. “The judgment was good, his footwork was good and he is just playing outstanding.”
“He’s making some outstanding plays turning the double plays,” Keys manager Orlando Gomez said in regards to Rosa’s play at shortstop. “When you make those types of plays you give a breather to the pitcher and that can be the turning point of the game.
Julius broke out of his 1 for 11 slump with a 2 for 3 night at the plate with three RBI. The right-fielder said he felt good during batting practice today and the Keys manager echoed the statement.
“Yea, even in batting practice I could tell there was a different Julius. I think I screamed to someone hey we have a new Julius today in batting practice and he showed that in the game today with the sacrifice fly and the extra base hit.”
Will Startup earned his first win of the season in relief of Nathan Moreau, who pitched three innings and gave up three earned runs, and Moreland earned his first save. Moreland pitched in the ninth because Sean Gleason pitched two consecutive games.
The Keys and Pelicans combined to walk 19 batters and both teams left 13 runners on base.
The Keys continue their home stand this weekend as they host Salem on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 P.M.