Keys ousted in Carolina playoffs, 3-0 Wilmington throws 2nd shutout in row

WILMINGTON, DEL. — WILMINGTON, Del. -- They regained some respectability, but lost their chance for the Carolina League championship.

That was the story of the Frederick Keys last night, when Wilmington shut them out for the second straight time and clinched the Northern Division title with a 3-0 victory before 3,706 at Legends Stadium.


In the two losses, the Keys were punchless, mustering two hits in an inning only once and advancing just one runner to third base.

They were equally ineffective on the pitching mound in an 11-0 defeat Sunday at Grove Stadium. At least last night they received a quality start from Scott Klingenbeck.


But it wasn't nearly strong enough to offset a seven-hitter by Brian Harrison, who lost to Klingenbeck, 6-4, June 26 in the two starters' only previous appearance against each other.

"They beat us in every phase of the game," said Keys manager Pete Mackanin. "Hitting, pitching, defense. Every aspect was below our expectations."

Klingenbeck, 13-4 during the regular season, pitched a gutty game and did his best to turn around the series.

He pitched out of two jams to keep the game scoreless through three innings, then held the Blue Rocks to a lone run on Raul Gonzalez's bloop single after Wilmington had loaded the bases with none out in the fourth.

But two sixth-inning runs put the game out of reach of the silent Frederick offense, which finished last in the league in homers and sixth (out of eight) in team batting during the regular season.

An overthrow by right fielder Alex Ochoa allowed one Blue Rock run to score and another error -- by Scott McClain -- contributed to the second run.

Harrison glided through the game, permitting a mere two runners in scoring position, once with none out. He escaped that predicament with a double-play pitch and a strikeout.

"We haven't had back-to-back games like that all year," said Mackanin. "The guys just didn't look like themselves. They looked a little tight. Hopefully, they will learn from this and relax and do things right the next time."


The Keys' offense was hurt when Bo Ortiz was promoted to Double-A two weeks ago, but the team received a good prospect, Brian Link, as a replacement.

It was a strange ending for Frederick, which rolled through the second half with a 43-27 record and beat first-half titlist Wilmington, which finished last, by 13 games.