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Notes From the Minors 4/30


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Douglass Newton

Bierfeldt's Heroics Lift Birds in 9th, 7-6

Delmarva escapes with series win after wild finish in Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Delmarva Shorebirds mounted a thrilling comeback in the ninth inning, taking a 7-6 victory on a bases-clearing double by Conor Bierfeldt. Delmarva (12-8) was down to their final strike, and still managed to steal a series win on the road.

The game began perfectly for Delmarva with three runs in the opening moments. Bierfeldt slammed an RBI double off the left-center wall, and then Jamill Moquete crushed his third home run of the year. The Shorebirds scored another in the third on an infield single by Guillermo Salas, taking a 4-0 lead.

Savannah responded with six unanswered runs, capitalizing off a few Shorebirds? miscues. Two errors committed in the third allowed two unearned runs to come across off starter John Means. In the fourth, the Sand Gnats tied the game with an RBI double by Wuilmer Becerra, followed by an RBI single from Luis Guillorme.

Another error in the sixth inning set up a chance for the Sand Gnats. Savannah took their first lead on an RBI single by Pedro Perez. The hosts built a 6-4 advantage after an infield chop by Jonathan Johnson, scoring Perez.

David Roseboom kept Savannah in front with four incredible innings in relief. The Savannah lefty retired 11 of the 12 batters he faced, only surrendering an infield single that was erased with a caught stealing.

The Sand Gnats turned to closer Shane Bay in the ninth, and Delmarva blitzed the new lefty. A leadoff walk to Jared Breen started the rally. Back-to-back singles by Jay Gonzalez and Cam Kneeland loaded the bases with one out. After a fielder?s choice, Bierfeldt stepped to the plate representing the Shorebirds? final hope. With two strikes, the cleanup hitter ripped a double into the left field corner, scoring all three baserunners for a 7-6 lead.

Tense moments arose in the bottom of the ninth as Savannah threatened to extend the game. The tying run reached on a wild pitch for strike three. After a sacrifice bunt, a cueshot to the mound allowed John Mora to reach on an infield single. A hit batter loaded the bases with two outs, bringing up John Leroux. The Sand Gnats? designated hitter sent a bouncer up the middle, but Salas ranged to his right and flipped to Breen for the force out to close out the win.

Stefan Crichton (1-1) earned the win for Delmarva, allowing just two unearned runs in two innings of relief. Shane Bay took a blown save and loss for Savannah, while Donnie Hart improved to a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities for Delmarva.

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Doug Raferty

KEYS SCORE THREE IN NINTH TO WIN 9-8 IN WILD GAME

RUSSELL’S CAREER-HIGH FOUR RBI’S LEAD OFFENSE

Salem, VA – The Keys fell behind by scores of 5-1 and 8-5 against Salem on Thursday night, but they never gave up in taking their first rubber game of the season by a 9-8 final at LewisGale Field. Frederick finishes April five games over .500 for the second time this decade with their largest come-from-behind win of 2015. Steel Russell knocked in a career-high four RBI’s, including a three-run bases clearing double in the sixth.

Down 8-5 entering the top of the ninth, Johnny Ruettiger earned a base on balls against Salem bullpen arm Taylor Grover, and Jeff Kemp followed with a single to place runners on first and second and knock Grover out after 2 ? innings. Austin Maddox replaced him and got a ground ball by Drew Dosch, but it slipped under the mitt of Wendell Rijo at second to load the bases. Trey Mancini and Tucker Nathans lifted sacrifice flies to tie it up at 8-8, and then Adrian Marin doubled into the left-center field gap to score Dosch for a 9-8 lead.

It didn’t start off well for the Keys, as Salem plated a pair of runs in the first and second innings to take a 4-1 lead against starter Matt Taylor. The Keys scored in the top of the second on an RBI groundout by Brenden Webb.

It took a turn for the worse in the third with a scary moment. After Rijo doubled to start the bottom half, Taylor got hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Jordan Betts. The hit scored a run to make it 5-1 Salem, and Taylor was escorted off in an ambulance during a 19 minute delay.

The Keys would start to make their comeback in the sixth against Salem starter Teddy Stankiewicz. Setting down his last eight in order, Dosch singled to start things. After Mancini flied out for the second out of the inning, the next four batters reached. Nathans was hit by a pitch and Marin walked to load the bases. Webb followed with a free pass to make it 5-2. One batter later, Russell drilled a 0-2 pitch down the third base line into the corner to make tie it up at five apiece.

Keys reliever Dylan Rheault couldn’t hold the lead though, as Salem took it back in the bottom half of the sixth. Manuel Margot would score from second on a pickoff on a two-error play by Rheault and centerfielder Gregory Lorenzo, and Jake Romanski brought home Sam Travis, who had doubled.

Trailing 7-5, Williams Louico would serve up a solo homer to Franklin Guzman in the last of the seventh for a three-run Keys deficit. However, Frederick wouldn’t go to sleep just yet, as they scored the three in the ninth.

Cody Wheeler pitched a clean eighth and ninth innings for the Keys to earn his first win as a member of the Orioles organization. Maddox took the loss, his second, for Salem.

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Ian Locke

The Buffalo Bisons pushed across a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to edge the Tides 2-1 Wednesday night.

With the score knotted at 1-1, Caleb Gindl opened the eighth inning by reaching on a two-base error by left fielder Chris Parmelee. After a bunt single by Eziquel Carrera put runners on first and third, Michael Bowden (1-1) retired Andy Burns on a popout for the first out of the frame. During the next at-bat Tides catcher Rossmel Perez couldn't handle a pitch from Bowden, and Gindl scored from third on the passed ball to give the Bisons the lead.

Norfolk starter Eddie Gamboa turned in his best outing of the season, as he allowed one run on three hits and two walks over six innings of work. Gamboa struck out three while throwing 54 of his 83 pitches for strikes.

The Tides got their only run of the contest in the second inning, as Michael Almanzar, Sharlon Schoop and Paul Janish connected on consecutive two-out singles. Janish's RBI hit extended his season-high hitting streak to six games.

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Doug Raferty

KEYS SCORE THREE IN NINTH TO WIN 9-8 IN WILD GAME

RUSSELL’S CAREER-HIGH FOUR RBI’S LEAD OFFENSE

Salem, VA – The Keys fell behind by scores of 5-1 and 8-5 against Salem on Thursday night, but they never gave up in taking their first rubber game of the season by a 9-8 final at LewisGale Field. Frederick finishes April five games over .500 for the second time this decade with their largest come-from-behind win of 2015. Steel Russell knocked in a career-high four RBI’s, including a three-run bases clearing double in the sixth.

Down 8-5 entering the top of the ninth, Johnny Ruettiger earned a base on balls against Salem bullpen arm Taylor Grover, and Jeff Kemp followed with a single to place runners on first and second and knock Grover out after 2 ? innings. Austin Maddox replaced him and got a ground ball by Drew Dosch, but it slipped under the mitt of Wendell Rijo at second to load the bases. Trey Mancini and Tucker Nathans lifted sacrifice flies to tie it up at 8-8, and then Adrian Marin doubled into the left-center field gap to score Dosch for a 9-8 lead.

It didn’t start off well for the Keys, as Salem plated a pair of runs in the first and second innings to take a 4-1 lead against starter Matt Taylor. The Keys scored in the top of the second on an RBI groundout by Brenden Webb.

It took a turn for the worse in the third with a scary moment. After Rijo doubled to start the bottom half, Taylor got hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Jordan Betts. The hit scored a run to make it 5-1 Salem, and Taylor was escorted off in an ambulance during a 19 minute delay.

The Keys would start to make their comeback in the sixth against Salem starter Teddy Stankiewicz. Setting down his last eight in order, Dosch singled to start things. After Mancini flied out for the second out of the inning, the next four batters reached. Nathans was hit by a pitch and Marin walked to load the bases. Webb followed with a free pass to make it 5-2. One batter later, Russell drilled a 0-2 pitch down the third base line into the corner to make tie it up at five apiece.

Keys reliever Dylan Rheault couldn’t hold the lead though, as Salem took it back in the bottom half of the sixth. Manuel Margot would score from second on a pickoff on a two-error play by Rheault and centerfielder Gregory Lorenzo, and Jake Romanski brought home Sam Travis, who had doubled.

Trailing 7-5, Williams Louico would serve up a solo homer to Franklin Guzman in the last of the seventh for a three-run Keys deficit. However, Frederick wouldn’t go to sleep just yet, as they scored the three in the ninth.

Cody Wheeler pitched a clean eighth and ninth innings for the Keys to earn his first win as a member of the Orioles organization. Maddox took the loss, his second, for Salem.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/ManofSteel_19">@ManofSteel_19</a> is back and he's here to Steel your Keys heart this Valentine's Day <a href="http://t.co/j2KUrnJuvC">pic.twitter.com/j2KUrnJuvC</a></p>— Frederick Keys (@FrederickKeys) <a href="

">February 13, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
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He appears to be doing ok. I hope he does recover.

Melewski wrote this a bit ago:

Single-A Frederick pitcher Matt Taylor, who was hospitalized in Salem, Va. on Thursday night after being hit in the head by a line drive, was released from the hospital today."He is on his way back to Frederick with the strength coach. He will be under the doctor's care when he gets back to Fredeick. The diagnosis is a concussion. We just don't know how long he will be out," Orioles director of player development Brian Graham said this afternoon.

Taylor will go on the Keys disabled list. He's had some tough luck so far in 2015. He began the season late due a muscle spasm in his back. The concussion could keep him out for several weeks, and he will have to be cleared by MLB medical officials before he can return to the field, per the concussion protocal.

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