Frederick entered the game with a .500 record and an opportunity for success in the second half. They finished with the worst record in the Carolina League in the first-half of the campaign.
The Keys sent Scott Copeland to the mound against the Carolina Mudcats for a chance at first place in the northern division. The right-hander struggled as he gave up six earned runs on nine hits, and struck out three in 3 2/3 innings.
Carolina jumped on Frederick in the first inning as they plated three runs on a three-run home run by Giovanny Urshela. They added two in the second as Anthony Gallas and Tyler Cannon both reached base and scored. Things got worse for Copeland in the fourth as he gave up two more and left the game with two outs in the inning.
Frederick entered the fourth with a seven run deficit, but a five-run fourth brought them within two. Second baseman Ty Kelly homered with one out. First baseman Aaron Baker and right fielder Jeremy Nowak both reached base. Mike Flacco reached on a base hit to right with two outs which scored Nowak. He scored along with Michael Mosby on a Garabez Rosa single.
The Mudcats added one in the top half of the fifth with a homer by second baseman Ronny Rodriguez.
The Keys scored two more on Aaron Baker’s league leading 20th homer of the season to cut their deficit to 8-7. The first baseman is the ninth player in Keys history to hit 20 or more in a season. First since Brandon Waring did it in 2009.
Frederick continued their rally in the sixth as Mosby walked to lead off the inning. He scored on a bases loaded walk by Kelly. The Keys took the lead on a wild pitch that scored Flacco in the seventh.
Ryan Berry closed it out for the Keys in the ninth inning for the victory.
– On being the ninth Frederick Key to hit 20 home runs.
“I didn’t know that, but it’s pretty cool to be able to do that.”
– On the comeback victory
It’s more important that we came back to win down seven runs. It’s a pretty even keel group we have here. We are playing good baseball. It’s definitely exciting.”
– On playing strong and hearing a promotion call
“That’s out of my hands. I’m not worried about that. All I can say is if my name is in the lineup all I can do is have fun.”
– On the comeback victory
“Before the inning, I saw that we didn’t have any hits I didn’t even know that. I had no idea that one hit was going to spark that kind of rally.”
– On team’s success in the second half so far
“I think we are just winning the close games. In the first-half, we were just finding different ways to lose, and this half it’s just been coming back and winning it.”
– On individual success this season leading the Carolina League in hitting (.340)
“I think it’s just confidence, and just trying to stay consistent. I feel really confident up there. I feel that is what the whole team is going through right now when you have one of those streaks. When players do well it makes it easier for every individual because guys are seeing more pitches and it makes pitchers have longer innings. It makes it easier to hit.
– On the comeback
“I thought we had a great game to comeback. I have to give the credit to the players. They won and never died, and I have to take my hat off to them. We had some clutch hits, and played well.”
– On success in the second half of the season
“I don’t think it’s luck. I think you create your own luck by how you play the game. If you play the game right, you’re going to win games. We are more patient at the plate. I feel like we established a lineup with six or seven guys in there in a row. We had a few injuries before, and now everyone is healthy.
– On thought process being down seven early.
“I didn’t get excited or anything like that. Guys came back. We chipped one here and there and we came back. Right now comebacks are good for us. Before we had plenty of chances, but now something happens.”
Dylan Bundy will be taking the hill Saturday for the Keys. Game begins at 6:00. The first 1,000 fans receive a Bundy T-shirt.