After giving up a one-run lead in the top of the ninth, the Frederick Keys scored on a throwing error to win the game in the last of the ninth. They won a game in which they trailed 8-0 after the top of the first inning.
L.J Hoes led off the ninth with a bloop single to right, his second hit. Then Miguel Abreu dropped a bunt and first baseman Tyler Moore threw toward first and the ball hit Abreu and went down the right-field line. Hoes scampered around all the way from first to score the winning run.
The Keys beat Potomac 10-9 in game one of the best-of-five Northern Division Championship series.
Frederick took a 9-8 lead to the top of the ninth, but Derek Norris hit a leadoff homer off Will Startup to tie the game.
After one wild first inning, the score was Potomac 8, Frederick 7 as the teams combined for 15 runs, seven hits, two Grand Slams and one error in the 44-minute first inning.
Keys starter Oliver Drake lasted just 2/3 of an inning, throwing 23 of 41 pitches for balls and allowing eight runs on three hits, five walks and a costly Tyler Townsend error.
But Frederick came back with its seven-run first on four hits, the last of which was a Grand Slam by number nine hitter, catcher Brian Ward. It was his first homer since May 6th.
Frederick tied the game 8-8 on a Hoes RBI groundout in the second and went ahead 9-8 on a Pedro Florimon RBI single in the fifth.
The Keys bullpen shutout Potomac until the homer in the top of the ninth tied it. On the night, the Keys pen of Cole McCurry, Brett Jacobsen and Startup pitched 8 1/3 allowing just one run on three hits.
Ward went 3 for 4 on the night. Kyle Hudson had three hits while Billy Rowell, Hoes and Florimon had two each.
Frederick out-hit Potomac 15-6 and the rally from the early 8-0 hole was easily its best comeback of the year. The largest deficit overcome to win previously this year was from four runs down.
Righty Ryan O’Shea (7-8, 3.84) who is 7th in the league in ERA, is set to start game two on the mound for the Keys on Thursday night here.
Some post-game comments:
L.J. Hoes on the last play: “Once we got the bunt down, I tried to get to second base. Once I got to second, I turned and looked and saw the ball actually went past the first baseman, I don’t know who threw it. Pretty much after that, I just tried to score. I knew Orlando (Gomez, Keys skipper) was going to send me, because we are a very aggressive team and I was just running as fast as I could.”
Manager Orlando Gomez on the comeback win: “If you told me that was going to happen in this game, it was unbelievable. I was saying today I was worried about middle relief, but our middle relief did a helluva job and our starter struggled today.
“The whole thing is those kids have battled all year and they battled back today. It’s a helluva good sign there. You get behind eight runs in the first inning, you could get your head down, but they never gave up. I give all the credit to them.
“When you comeback like that and score seven runs, it shows what you are capable of doing and that brings more confidence to each guy.”