FREDERICK, MD – A five-run fifth and several free passes were too much to erase for the Wood Ducks in a series-opening loss to the Keys. Ledarious Clark had his ninth multi-hit game which included his third home run of the season in the loss.
From the start the Wood Ducks had a chance for a big inning with runners on second and third in the first with one run already in from a Chuck Moorman single. Michael O’Neill hit a fly ball to shallow center that was caught and Luis La O tested Austin Hays‘ arm and was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Still, the Woodies added another run in the third inning with Clark’s home run down the left field line. He continues his hot start to the month of May with a .345 (10-29) average in eight games. Pedro Payano did not allow a hit to the Keys in his first three innings despite two walks.
The Keys would breakthrough against Payano in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Steve Laurino. Both teams would be held scoreless in the fifth but the sixth featured lopsided action for the offenses. Josh Morgan was the beneficiary of an ill-timed dive by Randolph Gassaway for an RBI double and restore the Woodies’ two-run lead, 3-1.
Payano unraveled in the sixth inning by loading the bases without a hit (two walks and another hit batter). Stuart Levy knocked a single into left field to make it a one-run game and it ended Payano’s night. Tyler Davis entered with the bases loaded but had two run-scoring wild pitches with the bases loaded before a two-run single by Stevie Wilkerson.
In the top of the seventh, the Woodies responded by loading the bases with nobody out for Moorman. Tanner Chleborad was called to defuse the threat. Moorman brought in a run with a fielder’s choice, but was retired when O’Neill grounded into an inning-ending double play.
For good measure, the Keys added two more in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff double by Gassaway, a throwing error on a stolen base by the catcher Morgan, and a sacrifice fly from Laurino all off of Davis.
Adam Choplick would work a 1-2-3 eighth inning as a bright spot for the staff. The Woodies (13-19) could not respond in the eight or ninth innings and dropped to a season-low six games below .500. Frederick (17-15) stays in the hunt in a crowded northern division.
On Wednesday, a pair of southpaws matchup with Jeffrey Springs (0-3, 4.70) against Keegan Akin (1-3, 6.26) with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed live on the TuneIn Radio app.
Story Credit: Down East Wood Ducks