Keys Suffer Tough Loss to Black Bears Thursday Night

Final Score West Virginia 8 Frederick 4
KeysFinalsGraphic_MW 6 6 vs WV

Granville, WV- The Frederick Keys took a loss for the second straight game Thursday night, falling to the West Virginia Black Bears 8-4 at Kendrick Family Ballpark.

Despite the Keys pitching staff retiring the last 12 Black Bears batters of the game, a five-run fourth and a three-run fifth inning for West Virginia led the way for the home team to take the season opening series over the Keys, who are in the midst of a six-game road trip.

After each teams went scoreless in the first inning, Frederick struck first for the third straight game with an RBI bases loaded walk drawn by Brody Fahr (Presbyterian), making it a 1-0 lead through an inning and a half in Granville.

Following a scoreless bottom of the second on the mound from Justin Needles (UNC Asheville), the Keys went right back to work on offense with an RBI single hit by Irvin Escobar (Bethune-Cookman), doubling the lead to 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third, with Needles set to come back out on the hill for a third inning of work.

Needles threw a 1-2-3 bottom of the third and Frederick then tacked on one more run on an RBI single from Irvin Weems (San Diego State) bumping the lead to 3-0 through three and a half innings of play at Kendrick Family Ballpark.

West Virginia however took their first lead of the game after scoring five runs in the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of back-to-back two-RBI base hits, making it a 5-3 ballgame entering the fifth inning Wednesday night.

The Black Bears tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth on a couple RBI free passes, but Joe Zhu (Minnesota West) finished the frame strong with two strikeouts to keep it a five-run game going into the sixth, with the Keys trailing 8-3.

Frederick scored their fourth run of the game courtesy of a throwing error, as following a Trevell Johnson (UT-Rio Grande Valley) stolen base, he marched on home after an error by the catcher allowed him to score, cutting to deficit to four heading into the bottom of the sixth.

After Zhu got himself a scoreless bottom of the sixth in relief, he did so once again in the seventh, retiring the last nine in a row dating back to the fifth, keeping it an 8-4 game entering the eighth in West Virginia in favor of the Black Bears.

Valek Cisneros (Central Oklahoma) tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth to keep it an 8-4 game, but the Black Bears slammed the door with a scoreless top of the ninth on the hill, handing West Virginia an 8-4 victory Thursday night.

Box Score

The Keys continue their six-game road trip Friday night at Mahoning Valley to begin a three-game series with the Scrappers. First pitch from Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio is set for 7:05 p.m.