By Ty Bartell
Following the ballgame on Tuesday night, The Frederick Keys sat with a 2-0 series lead in the three game series against The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, setting up an interesting game three. With The Scrappers trying to salvage the final game of the home-series to get back to .500 on the year, while The Keys looked for the all-important road sweep early in the season.
Noah Matheny tossed the rock on the mound for Mahoning Valley, while Ben Vespi was called up to start the final game of the series for The Keys. Kendry Maduro introduced himself and his offensive capabilities to another arm for The Scrappers when he laced an RBI-single to left, scoring Tervell Johson and giving Frederick an early 1-0 lead. Mahoning Valley would respond in the bottom half of the inning when Prince DeBoskie lined a triple up the first base line and all the way to the wall before coming home to score courtesy of a wild pitch by Vespi to even the game 1-1.
Two innings later and The Scrappers would taste the lead for the first time when, one of the top bats in all of The MLB Draft League so far this season, Colton Coates came through with a two-out RBI-single to score Ny’Zaiah Thompson and put Mahoning Valley up 2-1. Frederick had a response ready the next half inning, when the top of the fourth rolled around and Jordan Hamberg found a meaty pitch and demolished a two-run shot to right-center making it 3-2 Keys. The back-and-forth game would continue in the bottom of the fourth when Braeden O’Shaughnessy hit a double and advanced to third, then eventually home off wild pitches from new Frederick Pitcher Jayden Martin, who came on in relief in the fourth.
With the game knotted up 3-3, The Scrappers would deal a big blow to Frederick in the bottom of the fifth. That man, Colton Coates delivered once again! This time, a two RBI-double that went to the gap in right! Mahoning Valley would then load the bases with nobody out to chase Keys pitcher Jayden Martin after the first six batters all reached in the inning. Frederick called upon the hometown kid Jack Maruskin to try and limit any further damage with the bags full. After Maruskin struck out Connor Capece, Jordan Williams hit a broken bat single just over the third baseman Luca Danos’ glove to add a run to The Scrappers lead now 6-3. However, Maruskin would strike out the next two Mahoning Valley bats in order to get out of the frame.
After going five innings with the lead, the dice were rolled on Noah Matheny giving The Scrappers a sixth inning of work on the mound. The Keys quickly made Mahoning Valley rethink the decision when Jordan Hamberg hit a one out triple and Luca Danos was hit by a pitch before The Sanders came through for Frederick! Both Logan Sanders and Marcus Sanders hit back-to-back RBI-singles to tighten the gap, trimming The Scrappers lead to just a single run at 6-5. Zane Barnhart was then called to replace Matheny and preserve the lead for Mahoning Valley which he accomplished by getting the next two on a popup and a fielder’s choice.
Like deja-vu, the top of the seventh started similar to the top of the sixth with Frederick hitting a big time one out triple, this time by Kendry Maduro who eventually scored off a dropped ball by right fielder Jack Moss on a shallow fly ball by Jacob McKeon to tie the game back up at six runs a piece. The two teams would exchange zeros on the scoreboard all the way to the ninth inning with the game tied up 6-6.
Cameron Liss came on to pitch for Mahoning Valley in the top of the ninth, replacing Barnhart on the mound. After getting a big strike out of big-time hitter, Tervell Johnson to start the game, things were looking good for The Scrappers. However, the next batter up, Jevin Relaford was hit by a pitch and stole second base before that man, Kendry Maduro did it again! Lining the clutch, late-game, RBI-double down the left field line to put Frederick up 7-6 late. Derek Bolander was then called out of the pen, in which he struck out the next two batters for The Keys to get Mahoning Valley out of the inning. Lucas Hartman, who came on to pitch originally in the bottom of the seventh for The Keys, stayed on for the ninth to attempt to close the victory out. Striking out Prince DeBoskie to start the bottom of the ninth, Hartman would then walk Colton Coates to put the tying run on first. But that would be all that The Scrappers could muster up, as the next two batters were sent down on a fly out and a pop out, thus ending the game and sealing the road sweep for The Keys 7-6.
Both teams are off on Thursday before resuming action on Friday night. Frederick (7-5) will return home to face The State College Spikes (6-5), while The Mahoning Valley Scrappers (5-7) will stay home to start a three game weekend set with The Williamsport Crosscutters (4-8) with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch start time on Friday! Trouble making it to the game? No worries, we got you covered! Check out all Scrappers home games on YSN!