The Keys Are Back!
Good Morning Keys Fans!
Well after a three-game roadtrip to open the second-half it is good to be back at the Grove. The team’s quick trip south to Carolina was highlighted by an 8-6 victory on Friday night, where the orange and black scored seven runs over their final three trips to bat. Tucker Nathans landed the final blow with a two-run single to center, as the team earned its second extra-inning win of the year over the Mudcats.
Thursday and Saturday were not as kind to the Keys. In the second-half opener, Frederick saw an eight-run lead vanish, while on Saturday Carolina tallied a season-high 17 hits en route to a 12-2 win. It was the club’s second-most lopsided defeat of the season.
Some news and notes from the trip to Zebulon (and post-All Star Break)
–Mike Yastrzemski, Trey Mancini, Jimmy Yacabonis and Dennis Torres were all promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. To create roster space, Creede Simpson and Lucas Herbst were transferred to the Shorebirds while Matt Hauser was released by the Orioles. Mancini made a good impression in the series opener, tying his career-high with four RBIs. Yastrzemski wasn’t bad either, going 4-for-12 in three games with three RBIs and four runs scored. And if you’re wondering, yes, he is the grandson of Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Here is a little bit more about him.
–Sammie Starr went 6-for-13 over three games during the trip. Half of those hits came on Friday, as the Canadian finished only a home run short of the cycle. On Saturday, he made the defensive play of the night, robbing Yhoxian Medina of a single in the fifth (spoiler: it may or may not be the Play of the Game you hear on the pregame show Sunday).
– Michael Burgess saw his string of four straight games with a homer conclude on Saturday, after just missing on a solo-blast in the fifth (it went off the center field fence). Still, it has been a great week for the Tampa native who has hit in six straight games and was also named the Carolina League “Player of the Week” on Monday, Over the week, he put up video game-like numbers: 11-for-22, 3HR, 3B, 2 2B, 9RBI. The three homers were tied for the most by a player in Advanced-A (Carolina, California and Florida State Leagues taken into account) last week.
On Sunday, the Keys will entertain the Wilmington Blue Rocks, as Frederick begins a six-game homestand. Remember, the last time the Rocks visited Frederick, the orange and black took three out of four. The Keys are hoping for similar results this time around. Wilmington will throw two Carolina League All-Stars in the series plus a top-5 prospect in the Royals farm system. Lefty Jonathan Dziedzic will toe the mound first and will be matched up by the red-hot Parker Bridwell. The Texan has tossed five straight quality starts at home, and will be trying for his fifth win of the year. Christian Binford faces Branden Kline on Monday, while Joe Van Meter tangles with Miguel Almonte on Tuesday night.
After the Blue Rocks, the Keys will host Winston-Salem for three games.
No doubt plenty of exciting baseball will be played, but there will also be a ton of great promotions. The fun starts on Sunday with “Faith Night.” Prior to the 6 p.m. first pitch there will be a special pregame concert (beginning at 3) by the Waterboyz for Jesus and the Grace Community Church Youth Band. Several players will also be giving testimonials, while after the game there will be fireworks!
Monday is a Kids Eat Free Night, and Tuesday is a Guaranteed Win Night! Here is how it works folks: We GUARANTEE a Keys victory. But, if things don’t play out like expected, fans can redeem their ticket stubs for any future Monday-Thursday regular season home game. On Tuesday there will also be a Bordeleau Wine Pairing Diner in the Mattress Warehouse Club. Six great wines and six great courses it what you’ll have to choose from, so don’t miss out!
Wednesday is a belly buster picnic as well as Greek Night at the Grove, while Thursday will be especially fun: SUPER SPLASH DAY!! Gametime is at noon, and we’ll be turning the Giant Eagle Funzone into a splash zone. The highlight will be the Big Kahuna Water Slide, so make sure to bring your bathing suits!
Then on Friday we’ll wrap things up with Fredneck Night. It’s one of the best nights of the year to come out to the Grove, and will be headlined by Ted DiBiase, better known as “The Million Dollar Man.” He’ll be on hand to chat with fans, while the Keys will be wearing special camo hats that will be auctioned off after the game in support of Heartly House’s “Safe at Home” night.
And there you have it folks. A ton of fun at the ballpark on the docket, so stop on by this upcoming week!
See you at the Grove and shake your keys!