Wilmington, DE - The Wilmington Blue Rocks (13-16) were stunned by the Frederick Keys (12-18) in the series finale as a 2-0 Blue Rocks' lead disappeared in the eighth inning and the Keys took their only lead of the game in the final frame to hand the Blue Crew a
Wilmington, DE - The Wilmington Blue Rocks (13-16) were stunned by the Frederick Keys (12-18) in the series finale as a 2-0 Blue Rocks' lead disappeared in the eighth inning and the Keys took their only lead of the game in the final frame to hand the Blue Crew a 3-2 loss Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. The Rocks did attempt a ninth inning rally and loaded the bases with two outs before Chris DeVito grounded out sharply up the middle to end the game. The Blue Rocks left 10 men in scoring position in the loss.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Keys took advantage of a pair of errors by Wilmington to tie the game. Chris Clare doubled with one out before Ryan McKenna reached on an infield single to the shortstop Angelo Castellano . Castellano's throw was low to first and it allowed Clare to advance to third. Randolph Gassaway followed with a single to right field to plate Clare to make it 2-1. On the play, Kort Peterson bobbled the ball and allowed McKenna to take third base.
Jomar Reyes then beat out an infield single and drove in McKenna to tie the game, 2-2. With two outs in the ninth, Clare roped a double down the left field line to push the Keys ahead, 3-2. Wilmington mounted a rally in the ninth inning and loaded the bases on a walk and two hit by pitches. DeVito fell victim to a defensive shift by the Keys and he grounded out sharply up the middle to end the game.
The game started as a pitching duel through the first seven innings. Gerson Garabito was strong on the mound for the Blue Rocks. The righty matched a career-high with seven scoreless innings, allowed two hits, three walks and struck out five in a no-decision. Frederick's starter Alex Wells battled against Garabito for six innings and allowed just two earned runs on nine hits and struck out six.
The Blue Rocks staked their two-run lead with an RBI single from Gabriel Cancel in the third inning while DeVito laced a run-scoring double in the fourth.
The Blue Rocks begin a three-game series against Potomac on Monday, May 7. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with righty Arnaldo Hernandez (3-0, 2.78 ERA) making the start for Wilmington. Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Gerson Garabito was masterful on the mound for the Blue Rocks on Sunday. The right-hander posted the longest outing by any Wilmington starter this season after pitching seven scoreless innings. The seven innings also tied Garabito's career-high in innings pitched when he last did it on April 18, 2017 when he was with Low-A Lexington. Garabito only gave up two hits, no runs, and three walks while punching out five Frederick batters. It marked the first time a Blue Rocks pitcher lasted seven innings since Jace Vines tossed a complete seven inning game in a doubleheader against Lynchburg on September 3rd last season.
Xavier Fernández extends his hitting streak to a season-high five games this season. Fernandez has only played in 15 games this season, but he has amassed a .309 batting average. With his two doubles on Sunday, Fernandez now has eight extra-base-hits with seven total doubles and a home run. The catcher for the Rocks has the second-best average on the team trailing D.J. Burt who has an average of .373.
With 10 hits on Sunday, the Blue Rocks have achieved double-digit hits in three straight games. Wilmington is now 3-2 in games where they collect 10 or more hits. This is only the second game this season where the Rocks have lost a game after leading for seven innings. The last time Wilmington blew a late-inning lead was on April 8th where they gave up a one-run lead against the Potomac Nationals and lost 3-2.