Benches Clear In Exhilarating 6-3 Keys Win

Tyler Wilson Throws a Career-High Eight Innings and Twelve Strikeouts

FREDERICK, MD – Complete with a bench clearing altercation, four ejections, a dominant pitching performance and an eighth inning rally to win the game, the Frederick Keys 6-3 win over Wilmington was exhilarating to say the least.

Although Tyler Wilson threw a gem, striking out a Keys season-high 12 batters through eight innings and allowing just three batters to reach, the game was highlighted when both benches cleared over an altercation at the plate involving Wilmington catcher Juan Graterol and Frederick’s Garabez Rosa.

On top of that, Frederick rallied in the eighth inning as Jeremy Nowak set off a scoring spree with a two-run blast to dead center to break a 2-2 score as the Keys eventually won 6-3 to put the Keys back to 0.5 games out of first place.

The fracas started in the fifth inning with the score tied at one, as Glynn Davis hit a ball into the outfield which allowed Garabez Rosa a chance to score from second base. As the throw came in, Graterol’s tag on Rosa was high as his glove came up and hit Rosa’s head. Graterol dropped the ball and Rosa, who missed stepping on home plate, went to back step on home, but Graterol greeted him with a punch, igniting a firestorm of emotion as both benches cleared.

Joe Oliveira, waiting at the plate for his next at-bat, came to Rosa’s defense and charged after Graterol. While tempers were hot and players had to be restrained from attacking one another, no more punches were thrown.

Graterol and Oliveira were ejected as a lengthy delay ensued as the umpires tried to restore order.

Wilson, who was in the midst of perhaps his best start as a pro, then was the first batter up following the melee. Oliveira, the catcher in the game, was replaced by designated hitter Allan de San Miguel who was the only other catcher available. With the Keys forfeiting their designated hitter, Wilson was forced to then hit.

While Wilson went 0-for-2 offensively, he had a game to remember on the mound also as he dusted up Wilmington. His eight innings pitched and twelve strikeouts are personal professional highs for Wilson, who gave up two runs on the evening. In the third inning, Wilson took a line drive off of his shoulder, but afterwards, he retired 17 batters in a row.

The action-packed fifth inning did see the Keys take the lead but Wilmington would tie it in the eighth off of Wilson as Murray Watts hit a home run over the left field wall to tie the score at two.

The next time up for Frederick, Jeremy Nowak, with a runner on first base, punished a pitch over all three tiers of signs in dead center field to put the Keys on top again at 4-2. Nowak’s seventh home run started a scoring binge as they followed with back-to-back doubles to bring in another run and scored a fourth run when Rosa succeeded on a suicide squeeze to make it 6-2.

In maybe a consequence of tempers still boiling over, Angel Franco and Blue Rocks manager Vance Wilson were ejected in the sixth inning just after the confrontation at home plate as they argued balls and strikes.

The Keys will look to take four of five in the series and move into first place when LHP Trent Howard takes the mound for Frederick against RHP Brooks Pounders (5-4, 4.35 ERA).

First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM and live coverage starts on 1450-AM The Source at 6:40.

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Tucker began operating Orioles-Nation.com in October 2013. He has been writing and reporting on the Orioles for an extensive period of time, dedicating most of his energy to the minor league side. He is also a member of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Evaluation Team. Outside of baseball, Tucker also works as a Government Contractor for Contracting Resources Group, Inc. He has appeared as a radio guest on Fox 1370 and WNST 1570. Tucker writes and updates all player reports at Orioles-Nation.com and can be contacted at tuckerblair1989@gmail.com. Follow Tucker on Twitter @TuckerBlairON. Email Tucker at tblair@orioles-nation.com.