The lights were turned on, the wind started blowing and the Frederick Keys did everything they could to coax the rain out of the dark clouds above. But the rain never came, and the Keys (20-23) lost, 11-10, to the Lynchburg Hillcats today in a Class A Carolina League game before 3,137 at Harry Grove Stadium.
With reliever Jeremy Halpin cruising along in the sixth, Keys Manager Andy Etchebarren made a slow walk to the mound and took Halpin out of the game with rain clouds looming. The Hillcats had runners on first and second with two outs, but if rain canceled the game the Keys would have won.
The Hillcats' next batter, Derrick Lankford, hit a three-run homer over the left-center field fence off Kasey Richardson (5-2) to give Lynchburg a 9-8 lead. Corey Pointer added a two-run homer two batters later.
"They had two left-handers coming up, and it's Kasey's job to get them out," Etchebarren said. "If he can't get left-handers out, he's going to have to go home."
BLUE ROCKS 2, CANNONS 1: For the third consecutive game, Potomac could not hold a lead against Wilmington, which scored a pair of eighth-inning runs to win before 3,024 at Pfitzner Stadium. Cannons reliever Jose DeLeon (4-4) wriggled out of a seventh-inning jam but gave up two runs in the eighth, the first on a run-scoring triple by Steve Medrano. The Cannons have lost four in a row.
-- Jay Kroshus