August 18, 2010 - Carolina League (CarL) - Frederick Keys
Frederick was out hit by Wilmington on Wednesday night but the Keys outscored the Blue Rocks by three runs en route to a 4-1 victory. 3B Billy Rowell and LF Brian Conley each had a home run in the win. RHP Oliver Drake notched his first ever victory at Harry Grove Stadium after allowing just one run over six innings of work.
Facing 2009 first round pick, RHP Aaron Crow, the Keys scored a run in the bottom of the first to take the early lead. With one down and one on, RF Ronnie Welty stood at the plate. During the at bat for Welty, Crow uncorked a wild pitch that moved SS Pedro Florimon to second base. Welty eventually struck out but the Keys next batter, 3B Billy Rowell, singled home Florimon. Rowell smoked the Crow pitch right at the 3B Eddie Prasch and he could not handle it. The RBI single gave Frederick a one-run advantage.
The Frederick bats were back at it in the next inning and this time it was the newest Key in LF Brian Conley. Conley, who was hitless in his first starts with Frederick, belted a pitch deep to rightfield for a two-run shot. The Gaithersburg, MD native's first hit as a Key gave Frederick a 3-0 lead.
The Keys hit another big fly in the third inning and this time it was courtesy of Billy Rowell. The Rowell homer was his tenth of the season which set a new career high for the 2006 first round pick. Wilmington starter, Aaron Crow, left the contest after five innings of work. Crow allowed four runs on five hits and struck out eight in his fourth Carolina League start.
Oliver Drake gave up seven hits over his six innings of work but only one of those hits crossed the home plate. In the top of the sixth inning, C Wil Myers crushed a Drake pitch over all three tiers of fencing in leftfield to cut the Wilmington deficit to three runs. The Myers homer did not seem to bother Drake as he retired the next three batters of the inning.
Drake's outing was complete after the sixth when he turned the ball over to RHP Ryan Berry. In his first inning of work, the Blue Rocks had two runners in scoring position with two out and SS Christian Colon at the plate. Colon, who entered Wednesday night's game hitting .360 with RISP, struck out on a high heater from Berry to end the inning and the threat.
With the score still at 4-1 as the teams entered the ninth, Colon came to the plate in another big spot with men on first and second and two out. The outcome, however, was a familiar one. Berry struck out the 2010 first round pitch to end the inning and the game.
In relief, Berry struck out seven Blue Rocks over three scoreless innings and picked up his third save of the year. Oliver Drake improved to 4-6 on the season while Aaron Crow fell to 1-2.
Frederick and Wilmington will play the series finale of the four-game series on Thursday night. RHP Zach Clark (2-2, 5.59) will start for the Keys while LHP Will Smith (2-1, 3.16) gets the nod for the Blue Rocks. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. from Harry Grove Stadium.