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Mudcats rally to beat Frederick Keys 4-3

A three-run eighth inning was the difference for the Mudcats on Thursday.

Mudcats rally to beat Frederick Keys 4-3
Left fielder LeVon Washington continued his hot start to the season batting 2-2 with a walk and a RBI on Thursday. (Photo: Tony Lastoria)
April 10, 2014
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FREDERICK, MD — After falling behind early, an impressive three-run eighth inning from the Carolina Mudcats (5-2) secured a 4-3 come from behind win over the Frederick Keys (2-5) on Thursday night.

Down by two runs, Carolina responded with three runs in the eighth to earn their first comeback win of the season.

Carolina’s Jeremy Lucas blasted an RBI double to center that scored Anthony Gallas from first after he reached base with a leadoff single. A wild pitch by Miguel Chalas walked Alex Monsalve and advanced Lucas to third. LeVon Washington’s sac fly gave Lucas just enough time to tag and score the tying run from third.

James Roberts singled and a walk of Charlie Valerio loaded the bases putting added pressure on the Keys. Chalas felt the heat and the second passed ball of the game scored Monsalve to give Carolina the go-ahead run and a 4-3 lead.

Carolina closer Louis Head earned his third save of the season by keeping the Keys off the board in the eighth and ninth innings. After allowing Frederick’s Trent Mummey to reach second base, Head struck out three straight Keys’ batters to end the game.

The Mudcats failed to capitalize on an early scoring opportunity in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Todd Hankinsreached first on an error by first baseman Creede Simpson and Logan Vick singled to right putting runners at first and second. With Erik Gonzalez batting, Hankins and Vick each stole a base putting both runners in scoring position. Three straight outs by Carolina bats left the two runners stranded and zero runs on the board.

Meanwhile, the Frederick Keys managed to convert early opportunities into runs. In the bottom of the first, Glynn Davis hit a leadoff single and was advanced to second after Branden Webb earned a walk. Tucker Nathan grounded out advancing both runners; Simpson scorched a double to deep center that brought both runners around to score, giving Frederick an early 2-0 lead.

Carolina responded in the top of the second. Monsalve doubled to center, immediately, giving Carolina a runner in scoring position. Washington singled, advancing Monsalve to third and a passed ball at home allowed him to score making it 2-1.

The Keys extended their lead in the fifth, due to smart baserunning from shortstop Adrian Marin. After Marin singled to left, a solid lead and quick feet allowed him to steal second. Davis hit an RBI double down the right field line to bring Marin home giving the Keys a 3-1 cushion and setting the stage for Carolina’s eighth inning comeback.

Michael Peoples pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. Carolina’s bullpen really made the difference in the game, allowing just two hits in three innings of play. Benny Suarez (1-0) earned the win after pitching a strong seventh inning and allowing only one hit.

Chalas (0-1) was credited with the loss and a blown save after allowing three runs in the eighth to give Carolina the lead.

Carolina travels to Potomac to take on the Nationals (3-4) on Friday. The Mudcats split 2-2 in their opening home series with the Nationals earlier this month. Carolina’s Ryan Merritt (1-0) will face off against Potomac’s left-hander Brett Mooneyham (0-1).

Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.

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