Road Notes and the Keys Upcoming Homestand

Good Evening Keys Fans!

I hope everybody had a solid weekend, and that you’re all ready for Keys baseball at the Grove on Tuesday night! Frederick will play a three-game set with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans with first pitch slated for 7:00 p.m. Parker Bridwell makes the start for the Keys, and will be countered by Birds right-hander Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez.

It promises to be an exciting evening of baseball. Bridwell nearly threw a no-hitter has last time out, while Gonzalez has turned in 4 straight quality starts. During that stretch, he has allowed only four runs over 27.2 frames (1.30 ERA) and won four straight times. In his only start against the orange and black this season, Gonzalez tossed eight shutout innings, walking three and striking out five.

The good news is that the Keys bats have been hot of late. Despite falling 7-6 to Winston-Salem on Sunday, the club has averaged seven runs of offense over its last five games. The team is also hitting .270 as a team over the month of May.

Some other news and notes:

  • Parker Bridwell was named Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” on Monday after throwing a near no-hitter last Tuesday at Potomac. Tony Renda broke it up with one out in the ninth via single to center. It marks the first time that a Keys pitcher has won a pitcher of the week award since September 2012, when Tyler Wilson took the honor. here is the full article
  • Tucker Nathans had an outstanding series against Winston-Salem. In four games he went 9-for-16 with two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored. His best game of the year came on Saturday night, when he went 4-for-4 with three RBIs and a double, tying career-highs for hits and RBIs. He has now hit safely in a season-high five games and is batting .340 in the month of May.  A former baseball AND soccer standout at Fairfield University, here is a quick interview that Tucker did with Greg Swatek of the Frederick News Post last year.
  • Michael Burgess has also hit safely in 5 straight games, and has seen his batting average climb nearly 30 pts over that stretch. On Sunday, he finished a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with a homer, four RBIs and two runs scored. Right now, the Tampa native is sitting at .279, the highest his average has been all season.
  • Gene Escat made his first professional start on Saturday, while Mark Blackmar made his first Carolina League start on Friday. Both were sharp, with Escat dealing four scoreless innings and striking out five, while Blackmar put together five innings of two-run baseball.

In short, plenty of positives to be taken from the roadtrip. Now if Frederick can get a sweep of the Pelicans over the next three days, than the team can get back to .500 on the season. It won’t be easy though, as Myrtle Beach comes in with the best record in the Carolina League (27-15). After the Birds, no team in the Carolina League is any more than four games over sea-level.

At the moment, the orange and black are tied for second in the CL North with Lynchburg and Wilmington, all of whom are 19-22 on the season. Potomac holds the top spot at 22-18.

We hope you’ll be joining us at Harry Grove Stadium over the next few days, here are some things to look forward to during the quick homestand!

- Tuesday night at 7 p.m. is GUARANTEE WIN NIGHT! It’s pretty simple, tomorrow night we GUARANTEE a Keys win. But, if things don’t go according to plan, than your Tuesday night ticket can be redeemed at the box office for a future Monday-Thursday regular-season home game (based on availability). It will also be Peanut Free Night, and no peanut products will be sold

- Wednesday night there will be a Brewer’s Alley Beer Pairing in the Mattress Warehouse Club. So come on out and enjoy Kolsch, India Pale Ale, Maibock. Trinity Stout and Nut Brown Ale as well as wings, sausages and more. First pitch is at 7 p.m.

- For the second straight homestand, the Keys will play at 11 a.m., when Frederick and Myrtle Beach conclude their series on Thursday. It’s also History Day at the ballpark, where we’ll hop into the time machine and give fans and students a look back at American History. Then later that day, it’s Meet the Keys at Downtown Frederick Partnerships “Alive at Five.” The event runs from 5-8 p.m. at the Carroll Creek Amphitheater, and fans will be able to mingle with Keys players and coaches.

One final note, during tonight’s “Monday Night Baseball” on ESPN, the Keys may get some type of mention…tune in and see if you can spot it!

Alright folks, that’s all for now. Talk to you tomorrow night!

Shake Your Keys!

Geoff

 

 

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