September 3, 2011 - Carolina League (CarL) - Wilmington Blue Rocks
Wilmington, DE - Three times the Wilmington Blue Rocks (64-72, 28-39) and Frederick Keys (80-57, 39-29) were tied. Three times the Blue Crew snapped the deadlock with a single score. The third time proved the charm in a 3-2 win at Frawley Stadium on Saturday night. The bottom third of Wilmington's lineup combined to notch seven of the squad's 10 hits, while reliever Cole White (1-0) got the win in his second-ever Blue Rocks outing.
Whit Merrifield, swinging a brand new bat, started things with a bang when he hammered Nick Haughian's 2-1 pitch well over the fence in left for his second leadoff homer of the year.
Frederick tied the game with an unearned run against Tyler Sample in the fifth. Brian Ward connected on a leadoff single, took second when Justin Dalles reached on an error and the duo moved to second and third on a Michael Rooney sacrifice. Dale Mollenhauer then scorched a ball to Nick Van Stratten in right for a sacrifice fly and a 1-1 draw.
The next half-inning, Travis Jones and Deivy Batista regained the lead with back-to-back extra-base hits. Jones doubled and Batista tripled, his second of the season, with both blows going to the expansive gaps of Frawley.
A two-out rally by Frederick forged a tie again in the seventh. Three straight men reached against White with two down. Dalles singled to right, Rooney walked and Mollenhauer drove Dalles home with a base hit to left-center. Dalles scored just before Rooney got caught in a rundown and tagged out by a lunging Batista while attempting to retreat to second, 7-5-6.
Once again, the Rocks responded. In the bottom half of the seventh, Batista started things with a bunt single. Merrifield sacrificed him up and Carlo Testa worked a four-pitch walk before Haughian got the hook in favor of Justin Moore. Van Stratten followed with a grounder to Moore who flipped home late as Batista evaded Dalles' tag for a 3-2 lead.
White responded with a 1-2-3 shutdown eighth, paving the way for closer Bryan Paukovits to face the minimum in the ninth. He turned a 1-6-3 double play to end the game and cement his seventh save of the season.
The Blue Rocks' final series of 2011 continues at 1:35 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Tim Melville (10-10, 4.49) gets the nod for the Blue Crew against righty Scott Copeland (3-1, 1.52). Broadcast coverage begins at 1:05 p.m. as studio host Adam Dobrowolski brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.