Potomac couldn’t pull off a second walkoff in as many nights as their ninth-inning rally fell one run short in a 3-2 loss to Frederick.
Through eight innings, the Keys held the P-Nats to just four hits, thanks in large part to six strong innings from native son Brenden Kline. The Frederick-born 22-y.o. walked just one and struck out four while earning his third win of the season.
After Stephen Perez tapped a dribbler in front of the mound to start the ninth, Oscar Tejeda beat out an infield singled and scored ahead of Brandon Miller’s team-leading eighth home run.
The Keys lifted Miguel Chalas, who had stifled Potomac in the 7th and 8th innings, in favor of veteran Matt Hauser. Shawn Pleffner kept the one-out rally going against the 26-y.o. reliever with double to right field and took third on a wild pitch.
Potomac had two chances to send in Pleffner but couldn’t deliver as Keys shortstop Adrian Marin knocked down Khayyan Norfork’s at ’em ball with infield drawn in for the second out and then ranged behind second base to gun down Adrian Sanchez on a close play at 1st to end it.
Ronald Pena was charged with the loss despite turning his best effort of the season with six innings pitched, with two runs on four hits and one walk. He did give up a home run, his fourth of the season, on a first-pitch fastball to Frederick’s Glynn Davis.
Travis Henke was responsible for the third Keys run as former P-Nat Mike Burgess singled in the second of two walks issued with two outs in the 8th after pitching a scoreless 7th. Gilberto Mendez stranded two runners and struck out the side in the 9th to lower his pitching line to 1.54/1.74/0.69 in 11⅔ innings over nine appearances.
The loss snaps a three-game win streak for Potomac, which still leads the Carolina League North by 4½ games. The seven-game homestand continues as Myrtle Beach, the Southern division leader by two games over Carolina, visits for the the next four games.
Brett Mooneyham (2-2, 4.43) will be on the mound for the P-Nats opposed by Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-2, 2.80) for the Pelicans.