Frederick Keys Game Notes 6-21-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Frederick concludes its three-game set with Carolina on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. The orange and black will send Brady Wager to the mound, while lefty Shawn Morimando gets the ball for the Muddies. First pitch is at 6 p.m.

Saturday’s batch of game notes are below. Talk soon, and shake your keys!

Geoff

Saturday, June 21, 2014 · Game #70 · Road Game #38

Frederick Keys (33-36/1-1) vs Carolina Mudcats (30-39/1-1)

RHP Brady Wager (2-5, 5.40) vs. LHP Shawn Morimando (6-2, 3.13)

NEVER SAY DIE: One night after the Frederick Keys saw an eight-run lead slip away, the orange and black turned the tables. Trailing the Carolina Mudcats 4-1 through six innings, Frederick tied the game twice, before the Keys broke the deadlock for good in the 10th to earn an 8-6 win at Five County Stadium. Tucker Nathans provided the decisive blow on Friday night, with a two-run single to centerfield. In total, the Keys scored seven runs over their final three trips to bat. Three of those runs came in the eighth courtesy of a two-run double by Sammie Starr and a sacrifice fly by Mike Yastrzemski. Carolina briefly regained the lead in bottom of the eighth, after four walks by Matt Hobgood and a balk made it 6-4 Muddies. Frederick then evened the score in the ninth on a solo homer by Michael Burgess, and an opposite field single by Zane Chavez to force extra innings. Matt Price worked two scoreless innings to pick up his third win of the year. A victory on Saturday would give the team its fourth straight series victory.

FREE BASEBALL!: On Friday, the Keys earned their fourth extra-inning win of the season. Frederick has now won back-to-back games stretching past regulation, after the club defeated Salem 9-8 in 12 innings on June 4 at LewisGale Field. Meanwhile, half of the orange and black’s extra-inning wins have come against the Mudcats. On April 18, the club topped the Muddies 3-1 in 11 stanzas. The Keys sports the third-best extra-inning record in the Carolina League at 4-4, with only Myrtle Beach (3-1) and Lynchburg (5-1) holding better marks.

SLAMMIN SAMMIE: Sammie Starr continued his tear at the plate on Friday night, going 3-for-5 with a triple, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. It was the Canadian’s third straight multi-hit game and moved his average up to .263, the highest it has been since May 1. Riding a mini four-game hitting streak, Starr is batting .500 (8-for-16) during that time with two homers, a triple, a double, six RBIs and four runs scored. Over 13 games in June, the infielder is hitting .295 with two homers, a triple, three doubles and six RBIs.

NO NAIL IN THE COFFIN YET: Friday’s victory marked only the third time all season that Frederick had won a game when trailing after eight innings. Down 6-4 entering the ninth, the Keys picked up a pair of runs to force extras before taking the lead for good in the 10th. Two of the three wins when playing from behind after eight have come over the last week, as the orange and blacked topped Myrtle Beach 7-6 last Friday at Harry Grove Stadium. Down 6-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Keys scored three times of Cody Ege, as a two-run throwing error and a bloop single to right by Zane Chavez gave the Keys the win.

UP, UP AND AWAY!: In the middle game against Carolina, the Keys continued to rack up runs via the longball. A Michael Burgess solo shot in the ninth frame marked the fourth straight game where the Keys had homered, while it pushed the team’s total up to 43. That figure is tied for second-most in the CL with Winston-Salem. Only Myrtle Beach (61) has whacked more longballs. Over their last four games, the Keys have hit 11 home runs, as the orange and black hit four homers last Saturday and four more on Sunday to close the first-half. Currently, Michael Burgess paces the Keys with 10 deep flies, and is tied for fourth in the circuit in that department. The Floridian has homered in four straight games.

WHAT AN ENTRANCE!: Playing in his first Carolina League game on Thursday, Trey Mancini did not show any signs of nerves. Going 2-for-5, the former Notre Dame doubled and hit a three-run homer while he drove in four RBIs. The four RBIs tied a career-high for Mancini, who registered four on May 30 at Lakewood as a member of the Delmarva Shorebirds. Mike Yastrzemski also enjoyed a fine Keys debut, ending 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Both players were named South Atlantic League All-Stars prior to their promotion on Thursday.

TAKE HOME SOME HARDWARE:  On Monday, Michael Burgess was named the Carolina League “Player of the Week.”  It marked the third time in 2014 that a member of the Keys had received a weekly honor, while it was the first time Burgess had received a player of the week honor since 2008, when he earned South Atlantic League Player of the Week accolades in late April of that season. Over six games, Burgess hit .500 (11-for-22) with three homers, one triple, two doubles nine RBIs and four runs scored. The three homers were tied for the most by an Advanced-A player last week and the nine RBIs were good for third-best across the Advanced-A classification. He also placed seventh across the minors in slugging percentage (1.091). Thanks to the huge week, Burgess pushed his average to .319, the highest it has been all season. That stat is good for fourth-best in the Carolina League, while he tied for second in RBIs (46), second in slugging (.564) and extra-base hits (30) and tied for third in total bases (115).

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made a series of roster moves affecting the Keys. Frederick received outfielder Mike Yastrzemski, infielder Trey Mancini, and relief pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis from Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the Keys transferred infielder Creede Simpson and outfielder Lucas Herbst to the Shorebirds. On Monday, the Orioles released right-handed reliever Matt Hauser. Yastrzemski, Mancini and Yacabonis were all members of the South Atlantic Northern Division All-Star squad. At the midway break, Yastrzemski was first in the league in total bases (143), second in runs (52), tied for second in slugging (.554) and extra-base hits (34) and third in hits (79), while he sported a .306 batting average to go along with 12 steals in 16 tries over 63 games. Mancini led the Shorebirds in hitting in the first half, batting .317 in 68 games (tied for 2nd-most in the SAL). The .317 mark was good for seventh-best overall, while he finished second in hits (85). Out of the bullpen, Yacabonis was 14 of 15 in save opportunities and registered a 1-1 mark to go along with a 1.07 ERA over 21games (25.1 IP). He did not allow a run over his first 19 outings (spanning 24 innings).

ALL-STAR NOTES: Glynn Davis and Branden Kline each participated in the Carolina League-California League All-Star game on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington Delaware. Batting sixth and making the start in centerfield, Davis went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He drove in the Carolina League’s first run with a groundout to short, after Jorge Alfaro tripled to begin the fifth. Kline tossed a scoreless eighth, needing just 16 pitches (10 strikes) to dispose of Chris Jacobs, Roberto Pena and Trevor Story in order. The California League earned a 3-2 win. Bakersfield’s Kyle Waldrop led the charge for the westcoasters, with an RBI single in the second and then a two-run blast off Wilmington’s Christian Binford in the fourth. Waldrop was named the Cal League’s MVP, while Kyle Wren took home Carolina League MVP honors going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a pair of steals.

NAME THAT PUJOLS!: Luis Pujols becomes the 20th manager in Keys history, after spending 2013 as the skipper at Low-A Delmarva. He takes the reins from Ryan Minor, who went 61-78 in his lone season as Frederick’s head man. The cousin of Angels star, Albert Pujols, the 58-year-old has considerable experience as a player, manager and coach in the majors and minors. Since spending nine years as a big league catcher with Houston, Kansas City and Texas, Pujols has worked as a bench/first base coach for Montreal (1993-00) and San Francisco (2003-06), while he served as interim manager for the Detroit Tigers in 2002, after Phil Garner was fired six games into the season. He has also managed for Double-A affiliates in the Detroit and Houston systems.

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Lefty Shawn Morimando makes his 14th start for the Mudcats on Saturday night and is the No. 22 prospect in the Cleveland farm system according to Baseball America. In his final first-half start last Saturday at Wilmington, Morimando was dominant, tossing six innings of one-hit baseball. He walked two, struck out six and surrendered one hit. Author of five straight quality starts, the southpaw has not given up any more than two runs during those five outings. Currently, Morimando is tied for second in the circuit in wins, and has the lowest batting average against (.183). He is also third in WHIP (1.07) and allows just over 10 base runners per nine innings. Promoted to Double-A Akron on May 30, Morimando made one start with the RubberDucks, tossing six scoreless innings in a win over Harrisburg. Two days later, he was sent back to Carolina. This will be the fourth time Morimando has faced the Keys this year. In that span, he is 3-0 with a 0.48 ERA (18.2 IP/ER).  The Virginian spent all of 2013 with the Mudcats, going 8-13 with a 3.73 ERA over 27 starts. The 13 defeats were the most in the Carolina League, while he finished second in walks (76). Still, the lefty enjoyed his share of success last season. The high point was a 23.2 innings scoreless streak which spanned five starts (May 17-June 8). During that time, he was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (May 27-June 3). Additionally, he finished with second lowest batting average against (.231).  In his fourth professional season, Morimando spent 2012 at Low-A Lake County (22 games, 7-6, 3.59 ERA) and made three starts for the AZL Indians in 2011. Selected by Cleveland in the 19th round of the 2011 draft, the southpaw was committed to East Carolina, but was lured away by the Indians with a $350,000 signing bonus. According to Baseball America, Morimando’s fastball sat between 87-91 mph as a high school pitcher. However the organization’s strength and conditioning programs have allowed him to sit between 90-92 mph as a professional. He also throws a curveball, a slider and a changeup.

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