Billy Deck wasn't crushed when he got demoted to the Class A Potomac Cannons from Class AA Arkansas on June 3. In a way, he was glad.
So are the Cannons. Yesterday, he drove in the winning run in the eighth inning in a wild 10-9 win over the Frederick Keys before 1,024 at Pfitzner Stadium in a Carolina League game.
The Keys trailed 7-0 but came back to tie the game at nine in the eighth inning before Deck's heroics. On Monday, Deck hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Keys to tie the game, but the Keys eventually won that game in 11 innings.
Deck, a 1995 Potomac (Va.) High School graduate, hit .238 with four home runs and 45 RBI for the Cannons last season. This year, he started the season at Arkansas but went 2 for 33. On June 3, he was sent down to the Cannons and has since hit over .360 with 16 RBI.
"I was glad they sent me there to start off the season and have faith in me," Deck said. "It just turned into a situation where I wasn't getting too many at-bats. I'm actually kind of glad they gave me the opportunity to come back down and play a little more. Double-A is where you want to be. Obviously, you want to play at a higher level so hopefully next time we'll see."
Yesterday, the Cannons scored seven unearned runs, all off Keys starter Josh Spurgeon.
The Keys rallied with five runs in the fifth, keyed by Mike Lopez-Cao's solo home run and Ntema Ndungidi's RBI triple. The Keys added three runs in the eighth inning to tie the game at 9. Eddy Martinez, Eddy Garabito and Ivanon Coffie drove in the runs. Potomac reliever Jason Marr (1-3) blew the save, giving up the hits that scored the runs, but pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.