Everybody at Harry Grove Stadium had to obey Mother Nature as the skies opened up with fury of rain, high winds, thunder and lightning that delayed the game for three hours and seven minutes. The weather didn’t damper the spirits of the Keys as they knew it was a must win game to avoid being down 0-2 in the series heading to Kinston Thursday night.
Game two started off well for the Keys as Rick Zagone pitched a scoreless first inning. Manny Machado walked with two out in the bottom of the first which set up an Aaron Baker RBI double to left-center field that put Frederick out in front 1-0.
Fourth inning troubles in this Mills Cup Championship Series continued for the Keys as Zagone gave up a leadoff home run to Jesus Aguilar that tied the game at one. After a strikeout by Tyler Cannon, the Keys starter gave up a base hit to Casey Frawley, a walk to Roberto Perez and a single that Zagone took a hot shot off his ankle to load the bases. He left the game limping with athletic trainer Pat Wesley. Ryan O’Shea came into relief Zagone and allowed a 5-2 fielder’s choice. The force was recorded at home which kept the bases loaded. Bo Greenwell grounded to first base to end the threat.
The score was tied at one entering the seventh. Delvi Cid led off the inning with a double. He would eventually score on a sacrifice fly by Adam Abraham to give Kinston a 2-1 advantage. Ryan O’Shea pitched 4 2/3 innings of relief and gave up the run in the sixth inning for the Keys.
The Keys bats finally woke up in the eighth inning as Manny Machado singled for his second hit of the night. Machado reached second on a fly out to center by Baker that he was aggressive and tagged to second. Miguel Abreu followed with a clutch base hit to right field that scored Machado to tie the game at two; Abreu reached second on the throw home. Brian Ward was in the batters box next and singled up the middle that drove in the go-ahead run 3-2.
Sean Gleason, who led the Carolina League in saves for a good portion of the season, came in the game and notched the save for the Keys as they tied the series at one game a piece with the remaining games in Kinston.
On the win
“There was no doubt it was a huge win and it turns the tide in this series to Kinston for game three.”
On your game winning hit
“It feels good it’s a big win we needed the win. If we lost in a five game series down 0-2 it would have been difficult to come back.”
On the win
“It’s a big win. At one point it was a pretty good game both games have been so far. At one time we had runners on base and couldn’t do anything. We were a little passive at the plate and finally in that half inning where we scored the two runs we were aggressive. Machado got a single. Baker was aggressive he flied out deep to center and then Manny tagged up and made it to second. Abreu was aggressive and same thing with ward. We were taking too many pitches letting the other pitchers get ahead in the count. We were hitting behind in the count all the time.”
On if that inning was what the team needed to get going for the rest of the series
“Yea, I think so. We had a few chances but couldn’t do anything. In that inning we went to the plate very aggressive and it worked.”