The Frederick Keys began play in their fifth ever Mills Cup Series appearance Tuesday but were defeated 3-1 by Kinston.
Kinston got on the board quickly in the first inning with a fielder’s choice by Adam Abraham that scored Tyler Holt, who drew a leadoff walk, to make it 1-0.
The Keys snapped a nine inning hitless streak with an RBI double to left field by shortstop Manny Machado in the third inning to tie the game at one.
The fourth inning brought troubles defensively for the Keys as they committed an error and gave up two runs on three hits. First baseman Jesus Aguilar hit a solo home run which was followed by a double and a single. A fielder’s choice by catcher Roberto Perez brought in the final run of the inning. Kinston enjoyed a 3-1 advantage.
Frederick countered with a threat of their own in the fourth as Jacob Julius and Brian Ward singled with one out. First baseman Michael Flacco would end the chance on a 6-4-3 double play to keep the score as is through four.
The score was the same in the sixth as the Keys also had a rally brewing. Miguel Abreu drew a one-out walk and Jacob Julius singled to put runners on the corners. Ward lined out to shortstop Casey Frawley and Flacco popped to second to end the inning and another opportunity to score.
Frederick starter Nick Haughian gave up one earned run, walk, six hits and struck out four in four innings of work. He suffered the loss for the Keys.
Kenny Moreland pitched three scoreless innings and gave up two hits and one walk. Chris Petrini entered in the eighth inning and struck out Aguilar, Cannon and got Frawley to fly out to center. He also pitched a scoreless ninth.
The night was about missed opportunities as the Keys grounded into two inning ending double plays and left nine runners on base.
On his performance
“I felt good. I felt like my stuff was pretty good. I had command of the ball pretty well but I just didn’t make the plays I needed to in that fourth inning. They kept putting the ball down and I kept throwing the ball away. It was tough."
Were they tough breaks?
“Well every ball that was put down went to me. There was one that went to third on the other one but there was nothing Dale Mollenhauer could do about it.”
On the perspective of the series right now
“We have to win three before they do. We have to get them whenever and wherever we can get them. I don’t know if anyone in this league has ever lost the first two games and went on the road to win the last three. We need to win. I don’t think we played poorly tonight we threw the ball well. We played alright and we battled the entire way. They made good pitches we had our opportunities.”
On your three hit night
“Right now I would trade all three hits for a win. It doesn’t mean anything now but we had some opportunities tonight. Flacco hit a ball hard and so did Ward they just read it and there is nothing you could do about it.”
On the loss
“I think everyone was pumped up today, obviously. I think maybe that led to long swings. We got this game out of the way with a long way to go in this series.”
On the loss
“We had our chances. We had our chances to score some runs. We had it first and third twice with one out and could not do it; the same with two outs and nothing. We could not capitalize on our chances. We threw the ball away a couple times and we were lucky they didn’t score a couple more times in that situation.”
“He made his own break because he got a nice one hopper to his hand and he tried to be too perfect and threw it away. I saw he got really excited and slid. We had the other bunt and threw that away too. You have to make the plays and get them out.” He wasn’t aggressive tonight. He was pitching too carefully. He only had 77 pitches in four innings tonight so he wasn’t aggressive.”
On any concerns for the offense
“Sometimes there are concerns because we only scored three runs the night before and won and then tonight we only scored one run and had our chances so I think you have to be concerned because right now we are struggling a little bit. We are lucky the bullpen came in and did their job. We played hit and run and tried to do it differently. Just hoping they can wake up tomorrow.”
On if there are any major changes to the lineup
“I think I am going to make at least one change right now. At this point I will probably give Flacco the day off. He is fighting with himself right now. I will probably put [Glynn] Davis in the outfield and DH [Jacob] Julius. If we want to win we need the offense to wake up and score some runs.”