Potomac takes early lead on Keys (updated, Keys lead, game now delayed)

FREDERICK, Md. - After three innings of Game 1 of the Carolina League playoffs, the Potomac Nationals lead the Single-A Frederick Keys 1-0 at Harry Grove Stadium.

After a scoreless first inning, Potomac first baseman Steven Souza hit a solo homer to left in the second to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. It was his 12th homer of the year.

Keys starter Jake Pettit, who is 7-0 with an ERA of 1.62 in 10 Keys starts, has allowed just the one run on two hits through three innings. Pettit has no walks and two strikeouts.

Frederick has just one hit so far against right-hander Paul Demny. Bobby Stevens doubled with one out in the third and Frederick had two on after a walk to Dale Mollenhauer. But Demny got Jonathan Schoop to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Frederick and Potomac met in the opening round of the playoffs last year and the Nationals advanced, three games to one, on their way to the Carolina League championship.

Frederick is in the playoffs for the fifth time in the last seven years and the 10th time in its 23-year history. The Keys won titles in 1990, 2005 and 2007.

The winner of this series will meet either Kinston or Myrtle Beach for the Mills Cup championship.

Update: Just a few moments after filing this entry, Miguel Abreu hit a three-run homer in the last of the fourth as the Keys took a 3-1 lead on his sixth of the year. Catcher Brian Ward followed with a solo shot to left to make it a three-run lead at 4-1.

Frederick ended a 16-inning scoreless stretch with that four-run inning.

All this happened after Potomac second baseman Jeff Kobernus bobbled a potential inning-ending double play ball and and the Nationals got one out and not the second and third outs on that play. After that, the Keys picked up the back-to-back homers.

Update II: As of 8:54 p.m., we are in a rain delay here in Frederick with the Keys leading 5-1 in the last of the sixth and still batting.

Keys starter Jake Pettit appeared headed out of this game had we reached the top of the seventh. Ryan Berry was warming up. Pettit has had another good outing for the Keys. Over six innings, he allowed just three hits and one run with two walks and four strikeouts. Pettit threw 83 pitches, 52 for strikes.

If play is not resumed tonight, this may not yet be an official game, but rather a suspended game. There is some question as whether this would be an official game or suspended game and that they would need to finish all nine innings. When we get the official word on that, I'll pass it along.

Update III: The word is that this will become an official game if play cannot be resumed tonight and Frederick would have a 5-1 win in six innings.

Update IV: The game was called at 9:40 p.m. and is now over and official. Frederick wins 5-1 in six innings to take game one.

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