Rocks Offense Awakens to Take Series from Frederick
Wilmington, DE - After scoring just four runs total over the first three games of their series with Frederick, the Wilmington Blue Rocks offense exploded for six scores in a 6-1 win over the Keys on Thursday at Frawley Stadium. The victory secured Wilmington a series triumph and the Blue Crew produced its highest run output since April 28.
The Rocks scored twice in the second inning and added four more runs in the third. Dennicher Carrasco had a big night, hitting his first home run of the season, while driving in a pair and scoring twice. He was the one who got things rolling in the second with a one-out walk. Brewer Hicklen immediately brought him home with a triple to right. He then scored on Cristian Perez' subsequent seeing-eye single to center.
Two-out magic got Wilmington a crooked number one inning later. With two down and the bases empty MJ Melendez and Nick Pratto produced consecutive doubles to make it 3-0. After Frederick pitcher DL Hall and manager Ryan Minor were ejected Seuly Matias greeted Cameron Ming with the Blue Crew's third straight two-bagger. Carrasco capped the frame with a two-run blast to left.
It was more than enough run support for Wilmington starter Brady Singer. The Royals' top-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, fanned a career-high 10 over six shutout innings. Singer (4-2) scattered six hits, but walked none and threw 64 of his 95 pitches for strikes.
The Blue Crew open a seven-day, eight-game road trip on Friday at Potomac. Righty Jackson Kowar gets the ball for Wilmington with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. Fans can catch all the action with the Voice of the Blue Rocks Cory Nidoh on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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Wilmington's starting pitching has been virtually untouchable over the last three games. The trio of Rito Lugo, Daniel Lynch and Brady Singer combined to toss 18 scoreless innings. Lugo made a spot start and kept the Keys at bay over five frames in the nightcap of Tuesday's doubleheader. Lynch retired 16 in a row at one point on Wednesday and did not allow a ball out of the infield after Jake Ring's lead-off single in the second. He equaled his career-long outing, tossing seven frames while yielding just two hits, fanning nine and walking none. Singer fanned a career-high 10 and walked none in six innings on Thursday. Ironically, Singer was the only one of the three to be rewarded for his effort with a win.
Entering the final inning of Tuesday's doubleheader the Blue Rocks offense had gone 155 frames at Frawley Stadium without hitting a home run. Wilmington got a walk-off blast that frame MJ Melendez and Dennicher Carrasco added a two-run bomb on Thursday, so the Blue Crew now have two dingers in the First State over their last 17 trips to the plate. Carrasco's homer was his first as a Rock and his first anywhere in almost 11 months (since June 30, 2018).
The Blue Crew finally found some success in clutch spots on Thursday. Wilmington had managed just 13 total hits with runners in scoring position over its previous 15 games, but went 4-for-5 with men at second and/or third base in the victory over Frederick. The Rocks offense had its best game in terms of both runs and hits in the month of May. Wilmington still ranks last in the Carolina League in runs, hits, extra-base knocks, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage for the season.
Wilmington has had an odd schedule to start the 2019 season. Wilmington opened the campaign with a series against Salem and then played 17 consecutive games against CL South opponents. The Rocks went 9-8 during that stretch. The Blue Crew are now in the midst of playing 24 out of 26 against the CL North. The Rocks are 12-6 so far during this divisional-heavy portion of the slate and 12-8 on the year against CL North foes.
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