Winston-Salem 12, Frederick 10
W: Blake Hickman (1-2)
L: Alex Wells (3-5)
S: Mike Morrison (5)
FREDERICK, Md. (June 29, 2018) – The Dash tallied a season-high 23 hits – which included four-hit performances from Yermin Mercedes and Ti’Quan Forbes – to outslug Frederick 12-10 on Friday at Nymeo Field. With the win, Winston-Salem earns a series victory over the Keys.
Winston-Salem (6-3, 47-32) jumped on Frederick (3-6, 38-40) starter Alex Wells (3-5) in the top of the first inning for three runs on three hits. After Laz Rivera walked with one out, Blake Rutherford and Mercedes hit back-to-back singles to bring home the game’s first run. Later in the inning, Forbes collected his first of four hits with a two-out, two-run single.
Working with a lead in the bottom of the first, Blake Hickman (1-2) got two quick outs with a double-play, but then allowed a solo home run to Wilson Garcia.
The Dash offense – which scored in each of the first five innings – plated two more runs in the top of the second. With runners on first and second and one out, Rutherford stroked an RBI single to bring home Zach Remillard for his 54th RBI of the season. Rivera, who had singled earlier in the inning, came home to score on an RBI single from Mercedes to give the Dash an early 5-1 lead.
But, Frederick responded with two runs in the bottom of the second inning. First, Chris Clare hit a solo home run to left field. Later in the inning, Cole Billingsley walked and moved to second on a single, putting him in scoring position for Preston Palmeiro. He hit a slow roller to the third base side of the mound, but Hickman could not field it cleanly and then threw low to first base, allowing Billingsley to score on the pair of errors.
In the third inning, Forbes and Nate Nolan combined to extend the Dash lead, smacking back-to-back doubles. Winston-Salem added another run in the fourth when Rutherford doubled, moved to third on a single from Mercedes, and scord on a single from Gavin Sheets.
With the single, Sheets extended his hitting streak to a career-long 13 games, which represents the longest active streak in the Carolina League. He finished the game 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI to mark his fourth consecutive multi-hit game.
Leading 7-3 entering the top of the fifth, the Dash bats exploded for five runs on six hits, including two home runs and three doubles. Forbes led off the frame with a solo blast to left field – his fourth home run of the season and his third hit of the game. Then, after Nolan drilled his second double of the night, Remillard hit an RBI ground-rule double down the third-base line. Next, Luis Gonzalez joined the hit parade, punching a single back up the middle to bring around Remillard. Mercedes capped the scoring with a two-run homer to straightaway centerfield. Through five innings, the Dash posted 12 runs on 18 hits to take a commanding 12-3 lead.
Mercedes tied a career-high with four hits, finishing the game 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. Nolan also tied a career-high in hits with his 3-for-5 performance with two doubles.
However, the Keys battled back. Frederick pounced for four runs on three hits in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut into the Dash lead. After T.J. Nichting singled and Palmeiro walked, Garcia pounded a three-run shot – his second home run of the game and his fifth homer of the five-game series. Later in the inning, Randolph Gassaway walked, moved to second on a single, advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a sacrifice fly by Clare to cut the Dash lead to 12-6.
Frederick used the long ball to claw closer in the next inning. With a runner on first and one out, Palmeiro smacked a two-run homer over the right-center field fence to make it a 12-8 game.
Forbes, who came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning needing only a triple to complete the cycle, singled and grounded out to shortstop in his final two at-bats of the game. He tied a career-high with four hits, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBIs.
Winston-Salem was held off the board from the sixth inning on, but added on five hits to reach a new season-high of 23 hits. The Dash broke their previous season-high of 20 hits, set earlier in the series on Monday in a 19-2 win. For the second consecutive game, seven of the nine batters in the Dash lineup notched multi-hit games.
Frederick did not go down quietly. Trailing 12-9 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Keys plated a run on a double from Jake Ring and an RBI single from Yojhan Quevedo. Next, Billingsley doubled to put runners on second and third with two outs, bringing up Nichting as the potential winning run. But, Mike Morrison struck out Nichting on three pitches to secure the win and earn his fifth save of the season.
After posting 18 hits on Thursday and 23 hits on Friday, the Dash have now tallied 15 or more hits in back-to-back games for the first time since April 22-April 23, 2016, in a series against the Salem Red Sox.
Across the five-game series against Frederick, Winston-Salem scored 45 total runs on 78 total hits and outscored the Keys 45-26.
Winston-Salem travels to Wilmington to start a four-game series with the Blue Rocks on Saturday, when Dash right-hander Blake Battenfield (1-0, 2.25 ERA) faces Blue Rocks left-hander Daniel Tillo (2-1, 3.03 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 5:50 p.m., and fans can catch all of the action on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App.
Following their nine-game road trip, the Dash will return for a five-game homestand starting on July 4th. The festivities for the Fourth of July will feature a pregame party beginning at 4:30 p.m., which includes an open Foothill Brewpen, $5 Kids Zone entry and the band Stereo Dolls performing on the patio. Winston-Salem’s contest against the Down East Wood Ducks that day will begin at 6 p.m., and fireworks will follow after the game. For tickets and more information, give us a call at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.