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Back to the Hill City!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys begin their penultimate roadtrip of the year, a three-game series in Lynchburg. This is a critical series for the orange and black, as the Hillcats hold a two-game lead in the CL North. Moreover this is the last series these two teams will play against each other, and marks the second-to-last series the Keys will play against a division rival.

Mitch Horacek gets the ball in game one for the Keys and has beaten the Hillcats every time he has faced them this year. He will be opposed by Lynchburg right-hander Michael Peoples who takes the rotation spot of Rob Kaminsky.

First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m with pre-game coverage slated for 6:15 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Lineups will come your way shortly, while below are today’s batch of game notes.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 · Game #121 · Road Game #61

Frederick Keys (58-62/26-24) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (61-59/28-22)

LHP Mitch Horacek (7-13, 4.34) vs. RHP Michael Peoples (8-3, 3.98)

LONGBALL DENIES KEYS SERIES SWEEP: The Carolina Mudcats used three home runs and a strong start by Seth Webster to defeat the Frederick Keys 6-1 on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. The loss snapped the Keys four game winning streak and denied the club a three-game sweep. Frederick’s lone run came against Webster in the bottom of the second. After Yaisel Mederos opened the inning with a single, he advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt/error and moved to third on a single by Caronia. Later in the frame, Mederos would come in on a bounce out by Jay Gonzalez. Luis Gonzalez stranded six on base through the first three innings, but a pair comes home in the fourth. Reed Harper opened the frame with a solo homer while Keith Curcio brought in Johan Camargo on a sac-fly. Carolina plated runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to close out their scoring. Camargo hit a two-run homer in the sixth, three straight singles by Dustin Peterson, Jacob Schrader and Joseph Odom accounted for a run seventh inning marker, before Curcio hit a solo shot to close out the scoring in the eighth. On the mound, Webster tossed seven innings and allowed one unearned run.

STREAK SNAPPED/AVOIDING A BACKSLIDE: For the second time in two weeks and for the third time in just less than a month, the Keys saw a four-game winning streak come to a close. The hot stretch matched the club’s second-longest run of the season (the longest of the year is a six-gamer from April 10-15). Since the all-star break, Frederick has turned in four different four-game winning streaks, however in three of those instances, they have been followed by slides of two games or more. The worst of those was a six-game slump from July 26-31 (tying a season-high).

PITCHING PROVIDES A LIFT: Frederick’s four-game run was fueled by pitching, as in all four contests, a Keys starter went at least five innings and did not surrender any more than three runs. That included quality starts by Sean Bierman and Mikey O’Brien. However the real story was the bullpen. On Sunday, Keys relievers concluded wrapped up a string of 13.2 scoreless innings (starting in the ninth inning last Tuesday and concluding in the sixth inning on Sunday).

AGAINST THE GRAIN: Strong pitching triggered the winning streak, as the Keys offense managed only six total runs over the final three games of the run. Meanwhile, the club’s offense registered only five runs over the three-game series with Carolina and has scored only seven combined runs in the four games since posting a 10-2 win over the Hillcats last Wednesday. Nonetheless, in six of Frederick’s last 10 wins, the club has scored three runs or less. The six wins make up a large chunk of the Keys yearly total for victories by three or fewer runs (14-47), while 10 of the 14 have come since the all-star break. Frederick opened the season 1-17 in games when posting three runs or less.

CLOSE CALLS: Sunday snapped a string of three straight one-run games for the Keys, the second time in 2015 the club had been involved in three consecutive games hinging on one run. Over the last three weeks, the orange and black have been involved in a host of tight games, with 15 of the last 21 coming down to three runs or less (the Keys are 10-11 during that time). Frederick has fared well in nail-bitters this season, with the team boasting a 21-16 mark in one-run games (second-best in the league) and the circuit’s top mark in two-run games (14-8). This season, eight of the Keys 20 games with Lynchburg have come down to two runs or less, including each of the last three at City Stadium.

SISCO GETS CALLED UP: On Friday, the Baltimore Orioles announced that Keys catcher, Chance Sisco, had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He becomes the 14th Keys player to receive a call-up to either Double-A or Triple-A this year, and the second Keys player to receive a promotion this week. On Monday, relief pitcher Jon Keller received his first promotion to the Eastern League. In 75 games with the orange and black, Sisco hit .308 with four home runs and 26 RBIs. Over his first 11 August games, the Californian was batting .375, while he hit .324 in 46 games since the all-star break.

WHEELER RETURNS: After a 10-day absence, Cody Wheeler returned to action on Sunday, tossing a clean ninth inning while picking up a double play. Activated from the seven-day disabled list on Saturday, it was Wheeler’s first action since August 1 against Myrtle Beach. One of the Carolina League’s top relief arms this season, the Virginian paces the circuit in saves (16), games (39) and games finished (32). In 12 July games, Wheeler led all Keys pitches with a 0.69 ERA (13 IP/ER) as well as six saves in as many chances.

BULLPEN ARMS TO WATCH: Garrett Cortright and Donnie Hart have both proven to be outstanding additions to the Keys bullpen. On Thursday, the duo combined to strike out the final four Hillcats hitters and give the Keys a series win. Promoted to Frederick on August 3, Cortright has posted five scoreless outings (7IP/0R/3H) and has held opponents to a .136 batting average. He has not allowed a run in his last 9.2 frames (between Low-A and Advanced-A) while he has not surrendered an earned run in an eye-popping 33.2 innings (the last earned run he allowed came on May 30). Hart is 4-0 with three saves and a 0.91 ERA (29.2 IP/3ER) over 20 games with the Keys. He has walked seven and struck out 24, while opponents are batting .219 against him. He has not given up a run in his last five outings.  

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE MONTH: Last Monday, David Hess was named the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for July. He becomes the third member of the Keys to receive a monthly organizational honor, joining former teammates Drew Dosch and Trey Mancini, who were named players of the month in April and May. In six July starts, Hess went 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA, allowing only seven runs and 22 hits in 34.2 innings. Since the all-star break (nine starts) the Tennessee native has not allowed any more than two runs in a game.

AGAINST LYNCHBURG: The Keys hold an 11-9 lead in the season series against the Hillcats and can claim the season-set with a win on Tuesday night. In spite of the Keys two game lead, Lynchburg holds a 6-4 edge in games played at City Stadium. Frederick has dropped two of its three series in the Hill City, while splitting a four-game sweep over Memorial Day weekend. Offensively, the Keys are hitting .267 against the Hillcats and have a 5.02 staff ERA. Lynchburg is batting .261 off Frederick arms and hold a 4.20 ERA.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Michael Peoples makes his 22nd appearance on Tuesday and his 20th start. His most recent outing came last Wednesday at Nymeo Field when he pitched out of the bullpen. Working 3.2 innings, he allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits to go with two walks and six strikeouts. It was the most number of runs he had allowed since June 28. Peoples moves back to the rotation after Rob Kaminsky was placed on the disabled list last Thursday. After a rough first half, where he posted a 5.68 ERA over 12 games, Peoples has turned the corner since the all-star break, going 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA over nine games (seven starts). Outstanding in July, Peoples went 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA. Peoples has not done well against the Keys going 1-1 with a 5.53 ERA (27.2 IP/17ERA) in six games (five starts). In his second full season in the CL, Peoples went 7-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 26 games for Carolina last year. He fared better as a reliever (3.20 ERA/9G) than as a starter going 6-6 with a 4.61 ERA in 17 outings (82 innings. Peoples spent the 2013 season at Low-A Lake County and did not give up a run in 13.1 innings (working out of the bullpen) and was called up to Carolina at the end of May. He went 1-4 with a 5.27 ERA in eight starts before going on the disabled list on July 8 and missing the rest of the year with a right shoulder injury. Drafted in the 14th round of 2012 out of Western Oklahoma State College, Peoples registered a 3.33 ERA in his college career and had a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. There, he was part of the 2011 National Championship team. Other school alumni include Andrelton Simmons (former Hillcats shortstop and CL batting champion). WOSC was forced to forfeit all of its baseball games last year after it was found six players on the team did not complete high school. Peoples throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

It’s Seinfeld Night!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Well gear up for another outstanding guest appearance at Nymeo Field on Saturday! Seinfeld fans young and old can get a chance to meet a culinary legend. Yes, we’re referring to the Soup Nazi. He will be on hand to throw a first pitch, greet fans and sign autographs. And for those of you wondering, yes, you’ll be able to taste two of his signature soups: crab bisque and mulligatawny (it’s an Indian soup for those of you who didn’t know).

There will also be a host of fun Seinfeld-themed games that you can read about here. I’ll be very excited to see who does the best impression of the line “these pretzels are making me thirsty.” Just don’t make it too good or George Costanza might lose his cool.

As you might be able to tell, I’m a Seinfeld fanatic, and still love watching the show when it is 6:00 o’clock in the offseason and there is nothing on. However for those of you that have not seen the show, here are a couple of clips:

Additionally, here is a great interview the Soup Nazi (aka. actor Larry Thomas) did with WBAL on Friday night

As for baseball, the Keys try for a four-game winning streak with right-hander Mikey O’Brien on the hill. He will be opposed by southpaw Blair Walters.

First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m and today’s lineup and game notes are below!

Shake your Keys,

Geoff

LINEUP

CF Josh Hart

3B Tanner Witt

1B Wynston Sawyer

C Austin Wynns

DH Yaisel Mederos

SS Adrian Marin

2B Anthony Caronia

RF Conor Bierfeldt

LF Jay Gonzalez

RHP Mikey O’Brien

Saturday, August 15, 2015 · Game #119 · Home Game #59

Frederick Keys (57-61/25-23) vs Carolina Mudcats (60-57/26-22)

RHP Mikey O’Brien (1-4, 2.45) vs. LHP Blair Walters (5-5, 2.82)

KEYS END SLIDE AGAINST MUDCATS: The Frederick Keys snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Carolina Mudcats, earning a 3-2 win on Friday night at Nymeo Field. With the victory, the orange and black have taken three in-a-row and remain within three games of Lynchburg for first in the CL North standings. All five of the game’s runs scored in the third inning. David Hess loaded the bases after a single to Reed Harper, a bunt base hit by Keith Curcio and a walk to Dustin Peterson, while the first two scored on a sac-fly by Joe Odom and an RBI single by Carlos Franco. In the home-third, former Key, Matt Bywater, picked up the first two outs of the inning, but a costly error kept the frame alive. Muddies third baseman Carlos Franco mishandled a groundball by Tanner Witt, while Witt stole second and moved to third on a strikeout/wild pitch. With men at the corners, Wynston Sawyer responded with an RBI single to center, before Austin Wynns and Adrian Marin followed with RBI base knocks of their own. Hess muscled through five innings, despite issuing five walks, while Jimmy Yacabonis and Donnie Hart tossed four shutout frames to wrap things up.

THE SKID IS DEAD!: Following 10 straight losses to the Mudcats, the orange and black earned their first win over Carolina since last August 21 in Zebulon. A team that has had the Keys number the last two seasons, Carolina is 22-7 against their CL North foe. Wins have been especially tough to come by for the Keys in Frederick, as the Muddies have claimed nine of the last 12 contests on Stadium Drive. Carolina has already claimed the season series, though the two sides will meet six more times in 2015. That includes a potentially critical four-game series From September 1-4 at Nymeo Field.

BACK TO CLOSE CALLS: The Keys played their second straight one-run game on Friday, After games last Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday were decided by eight, 15 and eight runs respectively. Of the club’s last 19 games, 14 have been decided by three runs or less (the Keys are 9-10 during that time). This season, the orange and black are 20-16 in one-run games, second-best in the Carolina League, while the team is 14-8 in two-run games, the top mark in the circuit. Although the team has done well in close games this year, the team has lost four one-run games to Carolina, while of the Keys 10 losses to the Mudcats, seven have come down to three runs or less.

AGAINST THE GRAIN: Like many clubs, the Keys success often hinges on reaching the four-run barrier. However five of Frederick’s last nine victories have seen the team score three runs or less. That includes the last two nights, with the Keys earning a 3-2 win on Friday, the night after they beat Lynchburg 3-2. The five wins make up a large chunk of the Keys yearly total for victories by three or fewer runs (13-47), while nine of the 13 have come since the all-star break. Frederick opened the season 1-17 in games when posting three runs or less.

SISCO GETS CALLED UP: On Friday, the Baltimore Orioles announced that Keys catcher, Chance Sisco, had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He becomes the 14th Keys player to receive a call-up to either Double-A or Triple-A this year, and the second Keys player to receive a promotion this week. On Monday, relief pitcher Jon Keller received his first promotion to the Eastern League. In 75 games with the orange and black, Sisco hit .308 with four home runs and 26 RBIs. Over his first 11 August games, the Californian was batting .375, while he hit .324 in 46 games since the all-star break.

ROSTER SHAKE-UP: With Chance Sisco’s promotion, Ramon Ramirez has returned to the Keys after the infielder was transferred to Short-Season Aberdeen on Thursday. Meanwhile the call-up of Jon Keller on Monday was the first in a wave of transactions. Williams Louico was transferred from Frederick to Low-A Delmarva, Sean Bierman was transferred to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, while Stefan Crichton joined the Keys from Delmarva. Right before first pitch on Tuesday, Ronan Pacheco was also reinstated from the seven-day DL.

BULLPEN ARMS TO WATCH: Garrett Cortright and Donnie Hart have both proven to be outstanding additions to the Keys bullpen. On Thursday, the duo combined to strike out the final four Hillcats hitters and give the Keys a series win. Promoted to Frederick on August 3, Cortright has posted five scoreless outings (7IP/0R/3H) and has held opponents to a .136 batting average. He has not allowed a run in his last 9.2 frames (between Low-A and Advanced-A) while he has not surrendered an earned run in an eye-popping 33.2 innings (the last earned run he allowed came on May 30). Hart is 4-0 with three saves and a 0.91 ERA (29.2 IP/3ER) over 20 games with the Keys. He has walked seven and struck out 24, while opponents are batting .219 against him. He has not given up a run in his last five outings.  

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE MONTH: On Monday afternoon, David Hess was named the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for July. He becomes the third member of the Keys to receive a monthly organizational honor, joining former teammates Drew Dosch and Trey Mancini, who were named players of the month in April and May. In six July starts, Hess went 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA, allowing only seven runs and 22 hits in 34.2 innings. Since the all-star break (nine starts) the Tennessee native has not allowed any more than two runs in a game.

A LITTLE STREAKY: Over their last 22 games, the Keys have been very streaky. From July 22-25 the orange and black won four games in-a-row, before going on a six-game slide from July 26-31. The Keys then won four straight from August 1-5, dropped back-to-back games from August 6-7, won on the eighth, and then lost back-to-back contests before this current three-game winning streak. In the second-half, Frederick has gone on three different four-game winning streaks, while the Keys longest run of the season is six games. Meanwhile, the six-game slide equals a season-high. During this extended stretch of baseball, the club found itself in first place for the first seven days, but has been in second for the last 13. Entering Saturday, the orange and black are three games behind Lynchburg for first place.

AGAINST CAROLINA: Saturday marks the 12th head-to-head meeting between Frederick and Carolina. This season, the Keys are 1-10 against the Mudcats. Frederick is batting .235 against Carolina arms, while the Keys pitching staff has a 4.70 ERA. In contrast, the Mudcats are batting .286 against Keys pitching and own a 2.66 ERA. Wynston Sawyer (.353/6-for-17) and Josh Hart (.321/9-for-28) lead the way for the orange and black.  On the Carolina side, Jacob Schrader (.378/14-for-37), Carlos Franco (.342/13-for-38) and Joey Meneses (.317/13-41) pace the offense.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Blair Walters makes his 25th appearance of the season and his 18th start. The left-hander’s most recent outing came last Sunday against Potomac. Tying a season-high with seven innings pitched, he allowed two runs on four hits in a no-decision. Moved into the rotation in early May, Walters is 4-5 with a 2.69 ERA as a starter, as opposed to 1-0 with a 3.86 mark as a reliever. One of the CL’s top arms over the last three months, the 25-year-old is fourth in ERA (2.82), third in batting average against (.238) and fifth among starters in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings (10.76). This will be Walters’ third appearance against the Keys. Combined he is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA (6.2 IP/2ER). In five career games against Frederick, Walters is 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA (25.2 IP/10ER).  Signed by Atlanta last July, the lefty went 6-1 with a 2.33 ERA in eight games (seven starts) for Lynchburg (then a Braves affiliate). Prior to joining the Braves, Walters was playing for the Independent Joliet Slammers. A Frontier League All-Star, he pitched to a 2.74 ERA in 75.2 innings. He allowed just 59 hits and struck out 54. Originally selected by the White Sox in the 11th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Hawaii, Walters was acquired by the Houston Astros in July 2012 along with RHP Matt Heidenreich and RHP Chris Devenski in exchange for RHP Brett Myers. Last March, Walters was released by the Astros after finishing with a combined 7.18 ERA between High-A Lancaster and Triple-A Oklahoma City (one game) in 2013. He throws a fastball, a curveball, a slider and a changeup.

Keys open series with Carolina

The Keys kept their playoff hopes alive as they won a close contest 2-1 last night to clinch the three game set with Lynchburg, the division leader, and cutting the deficit to three games. Now riding the momentum, Frederick will be taking on the Carolina Mudcats at home for three games to close out their six game homestand. However, this will be a tough test for the orange and black as they have yet to beat the Mudcats this season so momentum will be the key here for Frederick. Going in game one for Frederick will be David Hess (7-4, 3.86) as he will be making his fourth start against Carolina. Hess has been phenomenal in the second half as he gone 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in the month of August. He will be countered by Matt Bywater (0-0, – -) as he will be making his debut for the Mudcats. Tonight’s game will start at 7:00 PM

Tonights lineup

Josh Hart CF

Tanner Witt 3B

Jeff Kemp 2B

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Austin Wynns C

Adrian Marin SS

Yaisel Mederos DH

Conor Bierfeldt RF

Jay Gonzalez LF

8/14 Game Notes

QUARTET PITCHES WAY TO SERIES WIN: The Frederick Keys got a strong debut start from Sean Bierman and lockdown relief by Matt Taylor, Garrett Cortright and Donnie Hart to claim a 2-1 win on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. That allowed the orange and black to claim the series, while it moved the team within three games of the Hillcats for first in the CL North standings. Both Keys runs scored in the fourth against Jayson Aquino, as the Keys opened the frame with three straight singles. Wynston Sawyer plated Jeff Kemp to make it 1-1, while two batters later, Chance Sisco scored on an RBI fielder’s choice. Lynchburg’s lone run came on a solo homer by Sicnarf Loopstok to right in the second, as Bierman turned in six strong innings. From there, Taylor, Cortright and Hart would toss three scoreless innings, recording eight of the final nine outs via strikeout.

BACK TO CLOSE CALLS: After the Keys were involved in three games decided by eight, 15 and eight runs respectively, the orange and black played a one-run affair on Thursday. Of the club’s last 18 games, 13 have been decided by three runs or less (the Keys are 8-10 during that time). This season, the orange and black are 19-16 in one-run games, third-best in the Carolina League, while the team is 14-8 in two-run games, the top mark in the circuit. Although the team has done well in close games this year, the team has lost four one-run games to Carolina, while of the Keys 10 losses to the Mudcats, seven have come down to three runs or less.

SISCO GETS CALLED UP: On Friday, the Baltimore Orioles announced that Keys catcher, Chance Sisco, had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He becomes the 14th Keys player to receive a call-up to either Double-A or Triple-A this year, and the second Keys player to receive a promotion this week. On Monday, relief pitcher Jon Keller received his first promotion to the Eastern League. In 75 games with the orange and black, Sisco hit .308 with four home runs and 26 RBIs. Over his first 11 August games, the Californian was batting .375, while he hit .324 in 46 games since the all-star break.

ROSTER SHAKE-UP: With Chance Sisco’s promotion, Ramon Ramirez has returned to the Keys after the infielder was transferred to Short-Season Aberdeen on Thursday. Meanwhile the call-up of Jon Keller on Monday was the first in a wave of transactions. Williams Louico was transferred from Frederick to Low-A Delmarva, Sean Bierman was transferred to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, while Stefan Crichton joined the Keys from Delmarva. Right before first pitch on Tuesday, Ronan Pacheco was also reinstated from the seven-day DL.

A REVERSAL OF FORTUNES: The night after the Keys suffered their worst loss since last April 23, the club bounced back with one of its most decisive wins of the year. Wednesday’s eight-run triumph ranks as the club’s second-largest margin of victory this season, and the club’s most lopsided since May 22, when the Keys defeated the Hillcats 14-4. This season, Frederick’s three biggest wins have all come against Lynchburg. These include wins on Wednesday, May 22 and a 7-0 victory on April 15. In Wednesday’s game, seven the team’s nine starters had one hit, while four posted multi-hit games/  

BIERFELDT ON THE BALL: Although Conor Bierfeldt lost his five-game hitting streak on Thursday, the Keys outfielder has still hit the ball well of late. In his last six games, the Connecticut native is batting .474 (9-for-19) with a home run, four doubles, eight RBIs and four runs scored. In the process, he has raised his batting average from .155 to .207. On Wednesday, Bierfeldt went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, with the three hits tying a career-high. During the Keys recent roadtrip, the 24-year-old went 6-for-13 with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs.

BULLPEN ARMS TO WATCH: Garrett Cortright and Donnie Hart have both proven to be outstanding additions to the Keys bullpen. On Thursday, the duo combined to strike out the final four Hillcats hitters and give the Keys a series win. Promoted to Frederick on August 3, Cortright has posted five scoreless outings (7IP/0R/3H) and has held opponents to a .136 batting average. He has not allowed a run in his last 9.2 frames (between Low-A and Advanced-A) while he has not surrendered an earned run in an eye-popping 33.2 innings (the last earned run he allowed came on May 30). Hart is 4-0 with two saves and a 0.94 ERA (28.2 IP/3ER) over 20 games with the Keys. He has walked seven and struck out 23, while opponents are batting .225 against him. He has not given up a run in his last four outings.  

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE MONTH: On Monday afternoon, David Hess was named the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for July. He becomes the third member of the Keys to receive a monthly organizational honor, joining former teammates Drew Dosch and Trey Mancini, who were named players of the month in April and May. In six July starts, Hess went 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA, allowing only seven runs and 22 hits in 34.2 innings. Since the all-star break (nine starts) the Tennessee native has not allowed any more than two runs in a game.

A LITTLE STREAKY: Over their last 21 games, the Keys have been very streaky. From July 22-25 the orange and black won four games in-a-row, before going on a six-game slide from July 26-31. The Keys then won four straight from August 1-5, dropped back-to-back games from August 6-7, won on the eighth, and then lost back-to-back contests before winning consecutive games on Wednesday and Thursday. In the second-half, Frederick has gone on three different four-game winning streaks, while the Keys longest run of the season is six games. Meanwhile, the six-game slide equals a season-high. During this extended stretch of baseball, the club found itself in first place for the first seven days, but has been in second for the last 13. Entering Friday, the orange and black are three games behind Lynchburg for first place.

AGAINST CAROLINA: Friday marks the 11th head-to-head meeting between Frederick and Carolina. This season, the Keys are 0-10 against the Mudcats. The Keys last win against Carolina came last August 21 in Zebulon, when Steven Brault tossed six shutout innings to lead the club to a 5-0 shutout. Frederick is batting .240 against Carolina arms, while the Keys pitching staff has a 4.99 ERA. In contrast, the Mudcats are batting .295 against Keys pitching and own a 2.90 ERA. Wynston Sawyer (.357/5-for-14) and Josh Hart (.320/8-for-25) lead the way for the orange and black.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander and former Keys pitcher, Matt Bywater, makes the start for Carolina on Friday. Signed as a free agent by the Braves on Thursday, Bywater returns to affiliated baseball for the first time since September 2012. Thar season, he moved between Frederick, Low-A Delmarva and Double-A Bowie (he made his last start there on September 3). Bywater was signed from the Southern Illinois Miners. In 16 starts, he went 8-4 with a 2.36 ERA, logging 107 innings. At the time he was signed by the Braves, Bywater was leading the Frontier League in strikeouts (123), was tied for fifth in wins and was seventh in ERA. The highlight of his season came on June 10 when he threw a no-hitter against Evansville. Also a member of the Miners in 2014, Bywater was named the Frontier League “Pitcher of the Year” going 8-4 with a 2.37 ERA. Working a league-high 129.2 innings, he allowed just 86 hits and struck out 114. He finished third in the league in ERA and strikeouts despite leading the circuit with 60 walks. As a member of the Keys in 2012, Bywater struggled, going 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 19 games (five starts). Combined between Low-A and Double-A that season, he went 3-3 with a 4.21 ERA in 28 games. He was released by Baltimore during 2013 spring training. Originally selected by the Orioles in the seventh round of the 2012 draft out of Pepperdine, Bywater received a reported signing bonus of $195,000. As a junior with the Wave, he was a unanimous First Team All-WCC selection and led the NCAA with four complete games. He throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Keys look to win series finale with Lynchburg

Last night the Keys turned the tables on the Lynchburg Hillcats as they routed them 10-2 to even the series at 1-1 and force a rubber match. Tonight’s series finale will be a key game for the orange and black if they want to get back stay in the playoff hunt as they trail by four games in the standings to Lynchburg and gain some momentum before their upcoming series with the Carolina Mudcats. Frederick will send out southpaw Sean Bierman (0-0, – -) who will be making his season debut for the Keys. He will be countered by lefty Jayson Aquino (0-0, 2.25) who will be making his second appearance for the Hillcats this season. Tonights contest will start at start at 7:00 PM.

Tonight’s lineup

Tad Gold LF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco C

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Yaisel Mederos DH

Adrian Marin SS

Conor Bierfeldt RF

Tanner Witt 3B

Jay Gonzalez CF

8/13 Game Notes

KEYS BOUNCE BACK TO FORCE RUBBER GAME: The Frederick Keys turned in four straight multi-run innings to top the Lynchburg Hillcats 10-2 on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. Half of the Keys runs were unearned on account of two costly Hillcats errors, while the win moves the orange and black within four games of Lynchburg for first in the CL North standings. Trailing 2-0, Frederick pulled things even in the bottom of the third. With two outs and a runner at third, Rob Kaminsky got Tanner Witt to hit a tapper back to the mound. However the Hillcats starter airmailed the throw to first allowing one run to score. Witt advanced to second on the play and scored on a Chance Sisco RBI single. One inning later, doubles by Wynston Sawyer and Conor Bierfeldt gave the Keys the lead for good, while Jay Gonzalez added an RBI single to make it 4-2. After scoring two more runs in the fifth, Sawyer provided the big blow in the sixth with a bases clearing double. On the mound, Mitch Horacek earned the win with 5.1 innings of two-run baseball.    

A REVERSAL OF FORTUNES: The night after the Keys suffered their worst loss since last April 23, the club bounced back with one of its most decisive wins of the year. Wednesday’s eight-run triumph ranks as the club’s second-largest margin of victory this season, and the club’s most lopsided since May 22, when the Keys defeated the Hillcats 14-4. This season, Frederick’s three biggest wins have all come against Lynchburg. These include wins on Wednesday, May 22 and a 7-0 victory on April 15. In Wednesday’s game, seven the team’s nine starters had one hit, while four posted multi-hit games/  

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS: For the second straight series, the Keys will play a rubber game. This will mark the team’s 14th deciding contest of the season. In rubber matches, the Keys are 6-7. Frederick dropped its most recent one on Sunday, falling at Myrtle Beach 10-2. Thursday marks the third straight home series where the Keys have played a rubber game. The club won its most recent contest at Nymeo Field on August 2 against the Pelicans.

BIERFELDT ON THE BALL: Conor Bierfeldt continued his hot stretch of hitting on Wednesday. After going 6-for-13 with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs during the recent roadtrip, the Connecticut native went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs last night. The three hits tied a career-high for Bierfeldt, while the three RBIs equaled the most he had posted in a Carolina League game. Currently, the Keys outfielder owns a five-game hitting streak and is batting .529 (9-for-17) during that time. In the process, Bierfeldt has seen has average climb from .155 to .211, the highest it has been since July 6.

A COUPLE OF LANDSLIDES: After 12 of 14 games came down to three runs or less, Frederick’s last three games have been decided by eight, 15 and eight runs respectively. The Keys won by eight last night, after dropping the first two contests. When the orange and black score four or more runs, the team is 44-14, as opposed to go 11-47 when tallying three or less runs. When the club scores 10 or more runs, Frederick is 4-1, but the team is 0-12 when the opposition reaches double-digit runs.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE MONTH: On Monday afternoon, David Hess was named the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for July. He becomes the third member of the Keys to receive a monthly organizational honor, joining former teammates Drew Dosch and Trey Mancini, who were named players of the month in April and May. In six July starts, Hess went 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA, allowing only seven runs and 22 hits in 34.2 innings. Since the all-star break (nine starts) the Tennessee native has not allowed any more than two runs in a game.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: A number of roster moves were made during Monday’s off-day. Jon Keller was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, becoming the 13th Frederick player to advance to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. In 30 games, the Iowa native went 3-4 with four saves and a 3.82 ERA. To go with Keller’s promotion, Williams Louico was transferred from Frederick to Low-A Delmarva, Sean Bierman has been transferred to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, while Stefan Crichton has joined the Keys from Delmarva. Right before first pitch on Tuesday, Ronan Pacheco was also reinstated from the seven-day DL, pushing the Keys roster back to 25-men, the Carolina League limit.

A LITTLE STREAKY: Over their last 20 games, the Keys have been very streaky. From July 22-25 the orange and black won four games in-a-row, before going on a six-game slide from July 26-31. The Keys then won four straight from August 1-5, dropped back-to-back games from August 6-7, won on the eighth, and then lost back-to-back contests before a win on Wednesday. In the second-half, Frederick has gone on three different four-game winning streaks, while the Keys longest run of the season is six games. Meanwhile, the six-game slide equals a season-high. During this extended stretch of baseball, the club found itself in first place for the first seven days, but has been in second for the last 13. Entering Thursday, the orange and black are four games behind Lynchburg for first place.

AGAINST LYNCHBURG: The Keys have only seven games left against intra-division competition, and four of those contests will come against Lynchburg. Currently, the Keys lead the season series 10-9, with the orange and black holding a 6-3 edge in games at home and a 4-6 mark in contests at City Stadium. Keys hitters are batting .268 against the Hillcats, but the pitching staff has a 5.24 ERA. As a club, Lynchburg is batting .262 against the Keys, while their pitching staff has a 4.29 ERA against Frederick. Two teams that have not seen each other since June 2, only five Keys position players faced the Hillcats before Tuesday, while only three relievers have seen Lynchburg before.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Jayson Aquino makes his 20th start on Thursday and his second with Lynchburg. Combined between three different Advanced-A clubs (Lynchburg, Dunedin, Bradenton) Aquino is 4-8 with a 3.49 ERA over 19 games (108.1 innings). During that time he has struck out 72 and walked 25. The left-hander’s first outing with the Hillcats came last Saturday. Tossing four innings, he gave up on run on two hits to go with six strikeouts in a no-decision. Acquired by the Indians from the Pirates on July 29 for cash considerations, it marked the third time this season that Aquino had been traded. On February 4, he was dealt from Coloroado to Toronto. From there, he was sent from the Blue Jays to the Pirates on May 10 (also for cash considerations) after being designated for assignment and from there to the Indians in late-July. Of Aquino’s 19 games, 13 have come with Bradenton, where he went 2-6 with a 3.78 ERA. Entering 2015 ranked as the No. 25 prospect in the Rockies system according to Baseball America, Aquino went 5-10 with a 5.13 ERA between Advanced-A Modesto and Double-A Tulsa last season. He pitched two games at Double-A. He was placed on the Rockies 40-man roster after the 2013 season. Originally signed by Colorado as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2009. He throws a fastball, a changeup and a slider. Baseball America rated his changeup as “well above average.”

Keys look to recover and even series tonight vs Lynchburg

Last night the Lynchburg Hillcats put a drubbing on the Keys as the orange and black fell 17-2, their worst defeat since April 23, 2014 where they lost 21-6 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. However, Frederick can still win the series as that was only game one yesterday and could potentially cut the deficit from five games to three. With the daunting task of trying to even the three game set at one apiece, the Keys will send southpaw Mitch Horacek (6-13, 4.38) to the mound as he will be making his fifth appearance against the Hillcats this season. Horacek has found success against Lynchburg this year as he has won all four outings accumulating for four of his six wins. He will be countered by lefty Rob Kaminsky (0-0, 0.00) who is only making his second appearance for the Hillcats. Tonights game will start at 7:00 PM.

Tonight’s lineup

Josh Hart LF

Tanner Witt 3B

Chance Sisco C

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Yaisel Mederos DH

Conor Bierfeldt RF

Anthony Caronia 2B

Jay Gonzalez CF

Ramon Ramirez SS

8/12 Game Notes

HILLCATS RECORD 12 EXTRA-BASE HITS IN ROMP: The Lynchburg Hillcats registered 12 extra-base hits and had six different players post multi-hit games, as the Frederick Keys fell 17-2 on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field. It was the club’s worst loss of the season, and moves the team five games behind the Hillcats for first in the CL North standings. A majority of the damage came in the second, when Lynchburg scored eight times against Luis Gonzalez. Joe Sever and Dorssys Paulino singled to open the inning, while Mike Papi plated the first run with a double. Yhoxian Medina followed with an RBI groundout, before Papi came home on a two-bagger by Ivan Castillo. LeVon Washington followed with a single to make it 4-0. After an error by Tanner Witt, Clint Frazier cracked a two-run double before coming home on a two-run homer by Sever. Paulino added a three-run homer to stretch the lead to double digits in the fourth, while he was one of four Hillcats players to total three or more RBIs. Lynchburg finished the game with four multi-run innings, while the 17 runs were a season-high.

MAMA SAID THERE WOULD BE DAYS LIKE THIS: Tuesday’s loss was the team’s worst since last April 23, when the Keys lost 21-6 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The 18 hits allowed tied a season-high for the pitching staff, while the 12 extra-base allowed hits were double the club’s previous season-high. Additionally, the eight-run second, marked Frederick’s toughest inning since July 9, when Wilmington scored 10 times in the bottom of the seventh. This season, the Hillcats scored 10 or more runs against the Keys on three occasions and have turned in two different eight-run innings, two six-run innings and a five-run inning.

A BIT OF AN OUTLIER: A team that has been accustomed to playing close games of late, the Keys have lost their last two games by 15 runs and eight runs respectively (during that stretch the team has been outscored 27-4). In spite of those numbers, 12 of Frederick’s last 16 games have been decided by three runs or less. Nine have hinged on two runs or less, while five have come down to one run. A team that is not unaccustomed to close games, from April 10-May 2, 18 of the Keys 21 contests came down to three or fewer runs.

MY CARONIA:  Anthony Caronia has hit safely in each of his last six games, after he went 2-for-4 on Tuesday. During the six-game jaunt, the Floridian is batting .375 (9-for-24) with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. In the process, he has raised his batting average by 12 points (.240-.252) the highest it has been since June 30. This season, Caronia has turned in two different seven-game hitting streaks, with the most recent taking place from May 14-30.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE MONTH: On Monday afternoon, David Hess was named the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for July. He becomes the third member of the Keys to receive a monthly organizational honor, joining former teammates Drew Dosch and Trey Mancini, who were named players of the month in April and May. In six July starts, Hess went 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA, allowing only seven runs and 22 hits in 34.2 innings. Since the all-star break (nine starts) the Tennessee native has not allowed any more than two runs in a game.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: A number of roster moves were made during Monday’s off-day. Jon Keller was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, becoming the 13th Frederick player to advance to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. In 30 games, the Iowa native went 3-4 with four saves and a 3.82 ERA. To go with Keller’s promotion, Williams Louico was transferred from Frederick to Low-A Delmarva, Sean Bierman has been transferred to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, while Stefan Crichton has joined the Keys from Delmarva. Right before first pitch on Tuesday, Ronan Pacheco was also reinstated from the seven-day DL, pushing the Keys roster back to 25-men, the Carolina League limit.

FREE RIDING: Walks proved problematic in the Myrtle Beach series, as Keys pitching combined to walk 20 over three games. Nine of those free rides came during Friday’s series opener, tied for the second-most the pitching staff had given up since the all-star break. Currently, Frederick leads the CL in walks (467), 87 more than the next-closest team.

A LITTLE STREAKY: Over their last 19 games, the Keys have been very streaky. From July 22-25 the orange and black won four games in-a-row, before going on a six-game slide from July 26-31. The Keys then won four straight from August 1-5, dropped back-to-back games from August 6-7, won on the eighth, and have lost back-to-back contests since. In the second-half, Frederick has gone on three different four-game winning streaks, while the Keys longest run of the season is six games. Meanwhile, the six-game slide equals a season-high. During this extended stretch of baseball, the club found itself in first place for the first seven days, but has been in second for the last 12. Entering Wednesday, the orange and black are five games behind Lynchburg for first place.

AGAINST LYNCHBURG: The Keys have only eight games left against intra-division competition, and five of those contests will come against Lynchburg. Currently the season-set is tied at 9-9, with the orange and black holding a 5-3 edge in games at home and a 4-6 mark in contests at City Stadium. Keys hitters are batting .261 against the Hillcats, but the pitching staff has a 5.42 ERA. As a club, Lynchburg is batting .264 against the Keys, while their pitching staff has a 4.22 ERA against Frederick. Two teams that have not seen each other since June 2, only five Keys position players faced the Hillcats before Tuesday, while only three relievers have seen Lynchburg before.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Rob Kaminsky makes his 19th overall start this season and his second as a member of the Hillcats. Combined between Lynchburg and Advanced-A Palm Beach (Cardinals) he is 6-5 with a 1.98 ERA over 18 games. In 100 innings, he has allowed 22 earned runs on 87 hits to go with 31 walks and 80 strikeouts. Traded by the Cardinals to the Indians on July 30 in exchange for Brandon Moss (following an injury to St. Louis outfielder Matt Holiday) Kaminsky received a no-decision in his Hillcats debut last Thursday. Tossing 5.1 innings of shutout baseball, he scattered five hits, walked three and struck out one. With Palm Beach, the southpaw went 6-5 with a 2.09 ERA in 17 games. Entering Wednesday, he is still ranked as the Florida State League’s leader in ERA, and fourth in batting average against .228. Opening the season ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the Cardinals system according to Baseball America, Kaminsky went 8-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 18 starts for Low-A Peoria in the Midwest League. There, he was one of the circuit’s youngest pitchers at 19 years old. Originally selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 2013 draft (28th overall) out of St. Joseph’s High School in Montvale, N.J, Kaminsky received a reported $1.785 million signing bonus, leading him to pass on a scholarship offer to North Carolina. Growing up a Yankees fan, the 20-year-old, posted a 0.10 ERA and 126 strikeouts as a high school senior. Getting all his strikeouts sponsored, he raised more than $30,000 for the pediatric cancer ward at Englewood Hospital. He also volunteered as an EMT and at a food pantry. Kaminsky throws a fastball, a curveball, and a changeup.

1st Place Lynchburg comes to Frederick

The Frederick Keys are returning to Nymeo Field to open up a six game home stand after going 3-3 on a roadtrip to Salem and Myrtle Beach. However, this homestand will be a very important one with the season winding down as they will take on the Lynchburg Hillcats for the first three games of the home stand. This will be a crucial three game set for the orange and black as they are chasing Lynchburg for first place in the North Division trailing by four games. This series could decide whether the Keys will make the playoffs as by the end they could be a game out or seven games. Frederick will send out southpaw Luis Gonzalez (5-8, 6.61) as he will be making his fifth start against the Hillcats this season where is 0-3. Gonzalez will be countered by Dace Kime (2-5, 4.89) making his third appearance against the Keys on the year where he is 0-1. Game time start is at 7:00 PM.

Tonight’s lineup

Josh Hart LF

Jeff Kemp SS

Chance Sisco C

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Yaisel Mederos DH

Tad Gold RF

Tanner Witt 3B

Anthony Caronia 2B

Jay Gonzalez CF

8/11 Game Notes

PELICANS TAKE RUBBER GAME: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans pounded out 14 hits, and benefited from seven walks to top the Frederick Keys 10-2 on Sunday night at TicketReturn.com Field. With the loss, the orange and black finish their roadtrip 3-3 and move to 22-22 in the second-half CL North standings. Frederick checks into Tuesday’s game four games behind Lynchburg for first place. Holding a 3-1 lead, Myrtle Beach scored seven of the game’s final eight runs. Three of those came in the sixth, as Williams Louico walked the bases loaded to open the frame. Daniel Lockhart drove in two with a single, while Jason Vosler completed the scoring with an RBI single. In the eighth, the Birds put things away. Batting around, the first four hitters all recorded base knocks, while Lockhart and Pin-Chieh Chen drove in runs. Later in the inning, Victor Caritini and Cael Brockmeyer added singles of their own. On the mound, Brad Markey limited the Keys to one run and five hits over six innings.

A BIT OF AN OUTLIER: A team that has been accustomed to playing close games of late, Sunday was a bit an exception for the Keys. The 10-2 loss equals the club’s second-worst since the all-star break, and is the team’s most lopsided defeat since June 29, when Wilmington defeated the orange and black 11-3. In spite of the game on Sunday, 12 of Frederick’s last 15 games have been decided by three runs or less. Nine have hinged on two runs or less, while five have come down to one run. A team that is not unaccustomed to close games, from April 10-May 2, 18 of the Keys 21 contests came down to three or fewer runs.

FREE RIDING: Walks proved problematic in the Myrtle Beach series, as Keys pitching combined to walk 20 over three games. Nine of those free rides came during Friday’s series opener, tied for the second-most the pitching staff had given up since the all-star break. Currently, Frederick leads the CL in walks (464), 85 more than the next-closest team.

HESS NAMED PITCHER OF THE MONTH: On Monday afternoon, David Hess was named the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for July. He becomes the third member of the Keys to receive a monthly organizational honor, joining former teammates Drew Dosch and Trey Mancini, who were named players of the month in April and May. In six July starts, Hess went 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA, allowing only seven runs and 22 hits in 34.2 innings. Since the all-star break (nine starts) the Tennessee native has not allowed any more than two runs in a game.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: A number of roster moves were made during Monday’s off-day. Jon Keller was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, becoming the 13th Frederick player to advance to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. In 30 games, the Iowa native went 3-4 with four saves and a 3.82 ERA. To go with Keller’s promotion, Williams Louico was transferred from Frederick to Low-A Delmarva, Sean Bierman has been transferred to Frederick from Double-A Bowie, while Stefan Crichton has joined the Keys from Delmarva.

A LITTLE STREAKY: Over their last 18 games, the Keys have been very streaky. From July 22-25 the orange and black won four games in-a-row, before going on a six-game slide from July 26-31. The Keys then won four straight from August 1-5, dropped back-to-back games from August 6-7 and have traded wins and losses in their last two games. In the second-half, Frederick has gone on three different four-game winning streaks, while the Keys longest run of the season is six games. Meanwhile, the six-game slide equals a season-high. During this two week-plus stretch of baseball, the club found itself in first place for the first seven days, but has been in second for the last 11. Entering Tuesday, the orange and black are four games behind Lynchburg for first place.

AGAINST LYNCHBURG: The Keys have only nine games left against intra-division competition, and six of those contests will come against Lynchburg. Frederick holds a slim 9-8 advantage in the season series. Keys hitters are batting .266 against the Hillcats, but the pitching staff has a 4.96 ERA. As a club, Lynchburg is batting .253 against the Keys, while their pitching staff has a 4.36 ERA against the orange and black. Two teams that have not seen each other since June 2, only five Keys position players have seen the Hillcats, while only three relievers have seen Lynchburg before. Offensively, Chance Sisco leads the way with a .333 average (.333/4-12).

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END:  Yaisel Mederos saw his eight-game hitting streak conclude on Sunday, as the 26-year-old went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. During the eight-gamer, Mederos hit .303 (10-for-33) to go with two home runs, a double, five RBIs and six runs scored. It was just the second time in 10 games the Keys first baseman had not recorded a hit. Mederos played four seasons for Camaguey in the Cuban National Series (2008, 2011-13) and batted .268 with 13 home runs and 64 RBIs in 164 total games.

MORE QUALITY: In five of the last nine games, a Keys starting pitcher has delivered a quality start. The most recent came on Saturday, when David Hess fired off six innings of one-run baseball against the Hillcats. For the year, starters have turned in 27 quality outings, with 20 of those coming since the all-star break. A Keys starter has allowed more than three earned runs only twice in the last 18 games.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Dace Kime makes his 23rd start this season and his 17th with Lynchburg. Combined between Low-A Lake County and the Hillcats, he is 4-8 with a 4.41 ERA. With Lynchburg he is 2-5 with a 4.89 ERA. Kime opened the year as the No. 20 overall prospect in the Indians farm system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against Potomac. Receiving a no-decision he worked only 2.2 innings, giving up six runs on seven hits. Kime opened the year at Low-A Lake County and went 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA over six games. Kime spent all of 2014 at Lake County where he went 7-14 with a 5.22 ERA over 28 starts. Finishing second in the Midwest League in losses (he opened the year 0-9) command was a central issue for the Ohio native, as he finished with 56 free tickets in 136.1 innings (fifth-most MWL). Originally selected by the Pirates in the eighth round of the 2010 draft out of Defiance High School (the same high school as big league pitchers Chad Billingsley and Jon Niese) Kime elected to attend Louisville rather than go pro. Beginning his career with the Cardinals as a bullpen-hand, he did not begin starting on a consistent basis until midway through his junior year. That season he went 5-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 24 games and helped lead his team to the College World Series. Drafted by Cleveland in the third round, Kime was the first pitcher the Indians selected. He received the call he had been drafted while on the Cardinals team bus going to Vanderbilt for the Super Regionals. Kime’s first name is pronounced like “ace” with a “D.” He got the name from his dad, who saw it in an NRA magazine, which talked about a kid who broke the world record for a pistol shooting competition.  He throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a 12-6 curveball, a cutter/slider and a changeup.

Keys Try For a Winning Roadtrip!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys conclude their three-game series on Sunday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m as the orange and black try to take their third rubber game of the year against the Birds.

Today’s lineup and notes are below while the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com!

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

  1. CF Josh Hart
  2. SS Jeff Kemp
  3. C Chance Sisco
  4. 1B Wynston Sawyer
  5. DH Yaisel Mederos
  6. RF Tad Gold
  7. 3B Tanner Witt
  8. 2B Anthony Caronia
  9. LF Jay Gonzalez

RHP Mikey O’Brien

Sunday, August 9, 2015 · Game #114 · Road Game #60

Frederick Keys (54-59/22-21) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (66-46/25-18)

RHP Mikey O’Brien (1-3, 2.84) vs. RHP Brad Markey (3-0, 0.91)

PITCHING LEADS KEYS TO ONE-RUN WIN: The Frederick Keys used outstanding pitching from David Hess, Garrett Cortright and Donnie Hart to earn a 2-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Saturday night at TicketReturn.com Field. With the victory, the Keys keep pace with the Lynchburg Hillcats in the CL North race, while the orange and black move back over the .500 mark (22-21). Down 1-0, Frederick scored both its runs in the fourth off Pelicans starter Paul Blackburn. After not allowing a hit through the first three stanzas, the right-hander gave up a leadoff triple to Jeff Kemp. A walk to Chance Sisco put runners at the corners for Wynston Sawyer who hit a groundball to third. With Kemp coming home, Jason Vosler’s throw went over the head of Victor Caritini to tie things up. One batter later, Yaisel Mederos singled in Sisco. On the mound, Hess tossed six innings of one-run baseball, while Cortright and Hart combined on three frames of one-hit ball.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have played a host of close games over the last two weeks and Saturday was no exception, as the Keys posted their 18th one-run win of the year. Of Frederick’s last 14 games, 12 have been decided by three runs or less, nine have come down to two runs or less, while five have hinged on one run. Frederick has a 18-16 mark in one-run affairs this season, third-best in the Carolina League, while the 34 one-run games are tied for third-most in the circuit. Wilmington has also played 34 one-run games, while the Keys trail Myrtle Beach (40), and Potomac (37) in that department. Meanwhile, the orange and black hold the league’s best record in two-run games (14-8). A team that is not unaccustomed to close games, from April 10-May 2, 18 of the Keys 21 contests came down to three or fewer runs.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS: On Sunday, the orange and black will play their 13th rubber game of the season. This year, the Keys are 6-6 in deciding contests, while the club’s most recent rubber game came last Sunday against the Pelicans. Frederick earned a 2-0 win in that game as David Hess tossed seven shutout innings. All three three-game sets between the Keys and the Birds have come down to a rubber game, with the first two going to the orange and black.

HESS KEEPS DEALING: David Hess continued his hot stretch of pitching on Saturday, picking up his second win against the Pelicans. Coming off an impressive July where he went 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA, the Tennessee native is now 2-0 in his first two August outings with a 0.69 ERA (13IP/1R). Since the all-star break, Hess has not allowed any more than two runs in any of his nine starts and is 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA during that time. Moreover, the Keys have won eight of the last nine times when the righty has been on the mound.

A LITTLE STREAKY: Over their last 17 games, the Keys have been very streaky. From July 22-25 the orange and black won four games in-a-row, before going on a six-game slide from July 26-31. The Keys then won four straight from August 1-5, before snapping a two-game slide with a win last night. In the second-half, Frederick has gone on three different four-game winning streaks, while the Keys longest run of the season is six games. Meanwhile, the six-game slide equals a season-high. During this two week-plus stretch of baseball, the club found itself in first place for the first seven days, but has been in second for the last 10. Entering Sunday, the orange and black are three games behind Lynchburg for first place.

FINDING HIS STROKE: After a slow start at the plate, Jay Gonzalez has picked up steam over the last week . In his last nine games, the Keys outfielder is batting .333 (10-for-30) with a triple, a double, three RBIs and four runs scored. He has safely in eight of those nine contests, and is currently the owner of a five-game hitting streak, his longest as a member of the Keys. Thanks to this recent run, Gonzalez has seen his batting average climb from .213 to .244, the highest it has been since July 21.

KNOCKING OFF THE RUST:  Yaisel Mederos may not have played in a professional game in more than a year when he suited up for the Keys on July 29, but the Cuban has turned it on of late. Entering Sunday with an eight-game hitting streak, the 26-year-old is batting .303 (10-for-33) over that time to go with two home runs, a double, five RBIs and six runs scored. He enters today with a .270 average. Mederos played four seasons for Camaguey in the Cuban National Series (2008, 2011-13) and batted .268 with 13 home runs and 64 RBIs in 164 total games.

MORE QUALITY: In five of the last eight games, a Keys starting pitcher has delivered a quality start. David Hess posted his sixth on Saturday, and his third against the Pelicans. For the year, starters have turned in 27 quality outings, with 20 of those coming since the all-star break. A Keys starter has allowed more than three earned runs only twice in the last 17 games.

ROAD SWEET HOME?: Although the Keys are seven games below .500 for the year on the road, the team has played very well of late away from home. The orange and black have won three of their last four series, going 9-6 during that stretch. That includes a sweep of Potomac, plus series wins against the Blue Rocks and Red Sox. In the second-half, the Keys are two games over .500 on the road (12-11), while only Winston-Salem (13-6) and Lynchburg (11-9) have winning road records since the all-star break

AGAINST MYRTLE BEACH: Frederick and Myrtle Beach square off for the 13th time on Sunday. Despite holding the top overall record in the Carolina League (66-46), the Pelicans trail in the season-series (7-5). The orange and black have won both three-game sets thus far (including the latest last weekend) while the two sides split a four-game affair at Nymeo Field from June 9-11. Myrtle Beach only has a losing record against two teams, Frederick and Winston-Salem (10-11). As a team, the Keys are hitting .252 against Pelicans pitching and hold a 3.81 ERA. Myrtle Beach is batting .268 against the orange and black and hold a 3.26 ERA. Jay Gonzalez (.353/6-17), Chance Sisco (.346/9-26) and Yaisel Mederos (.333/5-for-15)  fare the best offensively.

LEE PROMOTED TO DOUBLE-A: On Monday afternoon, Chris Lee was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He becomes the 12th Frederick player to advance to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. Moving to the Eastern League for the first time, Lee went 3-6 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 starts for the Keys. In his last seven Advanced-A outings, the Floridian registered a 1.47 ERA. In a corresponding move, Garrett Cortright joins the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 34 games he went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA. A South Atlantic League All-Star, Cortright was third among relievers in BB/9IP ratio (1.34), fourth in games finished (23) and tied for fourth in saves (12).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Brad Markey makes his 18th appearance of the season on Sunday and his sixth start. Combined between Myrtle Beach and Low-A South Bend he is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA (58.2 IP/11ER). With Myrtle Beach the righty is 3-0 with a 0.91 ERA in five games (four starts). Recently named the Cubs Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” Markey’s most recent outing came against the Keys last Saturday. Tossing six innings, he allowed one run on four hits in a no-decision to go with a walk and a strikeout. After making 15 appearances out of the bullpen this year, Markey has thrived as a starter, posting a 1.50 ERA (30IP/5ER) between Low-A and Advanced-A, while turning in three quality outings. Promoted to Myrtle Beach on July 5, the Bel Air, MD native went 0-0 with two saves and a 2.48 ERA in 12 games with South Bend. Although he did not make a start until his final appearance, eight of Markey’s 11 relief appearances last two or more innings. Selected by Chicago in the 19th round of the 2014 draft out of Virginia Tech, the righty went a combined 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA (15 relief appearances) between the AZL Cubs and Short-Season Boise of the Northwest League. Markey played college baseball at three different schools. He began at Georgia Tech and rarely pitched, transferring to Santa Fe (FL) College the same junior college that former Keys pitcher Chris Lee attended (the two did not play together). From there, Markey moved to Blacksburg and was twice an ACC All-Academic selection. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Keys Try and Move Back Over .500 on Saturday Night

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Frederick Keys continue their three-game series in Myrtle Beach on Saturday night at TicketReturn.com Field. The Keys come off an 8-4 setback last night, in a game that featured three multi-run innings by the Birds.

The good news is that David Hess makes the start for the Keys on Saturday. Coming off seven shutout innings last Sunday against Myrtle Beach, the Tennessee native picked up 15 flyball outs. as the Keys were 2-0 winners. He will be opposed by Paul Blackburn who also tossed seven scoreless in his last game…against the Keys. After missing more than a month due to injury, the Pelicans righty has allowed only one run in 20 innings in the second-half.

For those of you who missed Keys Corner earlier today, don’t fear, we’ve got a couple of interviews for you to check out!

David Hess joins us first, and discusses his latest start, whether he had ever gotten 15 fly outs in a game before, and how he adjusts when he is struggling to throw his secondary offerings for strikes:

Josh Hart explains how being a good left fielder has made him a better centerfielder, how he maintains an aggressively selective approach at the plate, and what he leans on to get through an overnight bus ride:

Mikey O’Brien talks about another start in his own backyard (he pitched against Salem and is from Roanoke), playing baseball as a diabetic. while he also recounts his scariest travel story:

We’ll post more interviews over these final few weeks. Tonight’s broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m and we hit the air at 6:50. We’ll have some fun.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Saturday, August 8, 2015 · Game #113 · Road Game #59

Frederick Keys (53-59/21-21) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (66-45/25-17)

RHP David Hess (6-4, 3.98) vs. RHP Paul Blackburn (5-4, 3.42)

RED SOX SALVAGE SERIES FINALE: Frederick Keys pitching walked nine batters, while the Myrtle Beach Pelicans used three multi-run innings to earn an 8-4 victory on Friday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. Myrtle Beach jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first, after the first three reached via walk. Cael Brockmeyer plated the first run with an infield single, while a single by Ben Carhart and an error by Jay Gonzalez brought in two more. The Birds led by as many as six, thanks in part to home runs by Carhart and Carlos Penalver. On the mound, Jeremy Null retired the first 13 Keys he faced, before allowing a pair of runs in the fifth. Wynston Sawyer provided the first blow with an RBI double to left-center, and later came in on a single by Gonzalez. However, the Pelicans scored two of their own in the home-fifth to match their opponent and maintained a lead of four or more the entire way.

WALK THIS WAY: On Friday, Keys pitching walked nine batters for the first time in nearly a month. The last time it occurred was on July 9, when the orange and black walked nine at Wilmington. The nine free rides are two short of a season-high and are tied for the second-most Keys arms have given out since the all-star break (Frederick pitching walked 10 on June 26 at Salem). This season, the pitching staff has walked nine or more in a game on 11 occasions and includes three games of double-digit walks.

CLOSE CALLS: Although Friday’s game was decided by four runs, the Keys have been involved in a number of nick-and-tuck affairs recently. Of the last 13 games, 11 have been decided by three runs or less, eight have come down to two runs or less, while four have hinged on one run. Frederick has a 17-16 mark in one-run affairs this season, third-best in the Carolina League, while the Keys have played the fourth-most one-run games in the circuit. They trail Myrtle Beach (39), Potomac (37) and Wilmington (34) in that department. Meanwhile, the orange and black hold the league’s best record in two-run games (14-8). A team that is not unaccustomed to close games, from April 10-May 2, 18 of the Keys 21 contests came down to three or fewer runs.

A LITTLE STREAKY: Over their last 16 games, the Keys have been very streaky. From July 22-25 the orange and black won four games in-a-row, before going on a six-game slide from July 26-31. From there, the club posted four more wins from August 1-5 and has now dropped its last two ballgames. In the second-half, Frederick has gone on three different four-game winning streaks, while the Keys longest run of the season is six games. Meanwhile, the six-game slide equals a season-high. During this two week-plus stretch of baseball, the club found itself in first place for the first seven days, but has been in second for the last nine. Entering Saturday, the orange and black are three games behind Lynchburg for first place.

FINDING HIS STROKE: After a slow start at the plate, Jay Gonzalez has picked up steam over the last week. In his last eight games, the Keys outfielder is batting .348 (9-for-26) with a triple, a double, three RBIs and four runs scored. He has safely in seven of those eight games, while the Floridian has an RBI in three straight games (the third time he has posted an RBI in three consecutive contests with the Keys). Thanks to this recent run, Gonzalez has seen his batting average climb from .213 to .243, the highest it has been since July 21.

KNOCKING OFF THE RUST:  Yaisel Mederos may not have played in a professional game in more than a year when he suited up for the Keys on July 29, but the Cuban has turned it on of late. Entering Saturday with a seven-game hitting streak, the 26-year-old is batting .310 (9-for-29) over that time to go with two home runs, a double, four RBIs and six runs scored. He enters today with a .273 average. Mederos played four seasons for Camaguey in the Cuban National Series (2008, 2011-13) and batted .268 with 13 home runs and 64 RBIs in 164 total games.

FUN WHILE IT LASTED: The series finale against Salem, concluded the Keys four-game winning streak. That stretch equaled the team’s second-longest winning streak of the campaign, and was tied for the club’s best run in the second-half. In the last three and a half weeks, Frederick has posted three different four-game winning streaks. In spite of those runs, the Keys have been streaky of late. Prior to Thursday’s loss, the Keys had won four in-a-row, then lost six in-a-row, before winning four games from last Saturday-Wednesday.

MORE QUALITY: In four of the last seven games, a Keys starting pitcher has delivered a quality start. Mitch Horacek leads the way this year with nine and fired off his latest on Thursday, tossing six inning and allowing three runs (two earned). For the year, starters have turned in 26 quality outings, with 19 of those coming since the all-star break. A Keys starter has allowed more than three earned runs only twice in the last 16 games, while tonight’s starter, David Hess has not given up more than two runs in any of his eight second-half starts.

ROAD SWEET HOME?: Although the Keys are eight games below .500 for the year on the road, the team has played very well of late away from home. The orange and black have won three of their last four series, going 8-6 during that stretch. That includes a sweep of Potomac, plus series wins against the Blue Rocks and Red Sox. In the second-half, the Keys are one game over .500 on the road (12-11). Only Winston-Salem (13-6) and Lynchburg (11-9) have fared better.

AGAINST MYRTLE BEACH: Frederick and Myrtle Beach square off for the 12th time on Saturday. Despite holding the top overall record in the Carolina League (66-45), the Pelicans trail in the season-series (6-5). The orange and black have won both three-game sets thus far (including the latest last weekend) while the two sides split a four-game affair at Nymeo Field from June 9-11. Myrtle Beach only has a losing record against two teams, Frederick and Winston-Salem (10-11). As a team, the Keys are hitting .258 against Pelicans pitching and hold a 4.07 ERA. Myrtle Beach is batting .273 against the orange and black and hold a 3.58 ERA. Jay Gonzalez (.385/5-13), Yaisel Mederos (.364/4-for-11) and Chance Sisco (.346/9-26) fare the best offensively.

LEE PROMOTED TO DOUBLE-A: On Monday afternoon, Chris Lee was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He becomes the 12th Frederick player to advance to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. Moving to the Eastern League for the first time, Lee went 3-6 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 starts for the Keys. In his last seven Advanced-A outings, the Floridian registered a 1.47 ERA. In a corresponding move, Garrett Cortright joins the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 34 games he went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA. A South Atlantic League All-Star, Cortright was third among relievers in BB/9IP ratio (1.34), fourth in games finished (23) and tied for fourth in saves (12).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Paul Blackburn makes his 15th start of the season and his third against the Keys. The right-hander’s most recent outing came last Friday in Frederick. Earning the win, he tossed seven shutout innings, while scattering seven hits. He walked two and struck out three.  The seven innings tied a career high for Blackburn. After missing 26 games due to injury (he was on the disabled list from June 15-July 13) the right-hander has been lights out, giving up one run in 20 (0.45 ERA) innings in four games, while opponents are hitting .246 against him. This will be Blackburn’s third start against the Keys. Over a pair of games he is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA (12 IP/5ER). Currently in his first season at the Advanced-A level, Blackburn was named a Midwest League All-Star in 2014 for Low-A Kane County. The 21-year-old ended the year with a 9-4 record and a 3.23 ERA, second-best among Cubs farmhands. Selected by the Cubs with the 56th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Blackburn had a baseball scholarship to attend Arizona State, but elected to sign for a reported $911,700. He was a compensation sandwich pick that Chicago received for losing Carlos Pena to free agency. A three-pitch pitcher, Blackburn throws a fastball, curveball and changeup.

It’s Off to the Grand Strand!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys begin a three-game set with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Friday night on the Grand Strand. The Keys saw their four-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday in Salem, but the club still claimed another road series win, giving the team three in its last four sets. Frederick is now 12-10 in second-half road games. That is tied for the second-best road mark since the all-star break.

Tonight the Keys will send left-hander Matt Taylor to the mound against 6-7 Pelicans righty Jeremy Null. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m from TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans park and we’ll have the broadcast starting at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source. Today’s notes are below.

Talk soon and shake your Keys!

Geoff

Friday, August 7, 2015 · Game #112 · Road Game #58

Frederick Keys (53-58/21-20) vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans (65-45/24-17)

LHP Matt Taylor (1-1, 3.48) vs. RHP Jeremy Null (1-1, 4.33)

RED SOX SALVAGE SERIES FINALE: A ninth inning home run by Yaisel Mederos was not enough, as the Frederick Keys left 13 on base in a 3-2 setback to the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. With the loss, the Keys see their four-game winning streak come to a close. Frederick tied the game at one in the fourth after a two-out walk to Conor Bierfeldt and back-to-back singles by Anthony Caronia and Jay Gonzalez. In the fifth, the Red Sox broke the deadlock for good. After consecutive singles by Mauricio Duban and Wendell Rijo put men at the corners, the duo pulled off a double-steal of home, while Rijo later scored on a fielder’s choice by Kevin Heller. In the seventh, the Keys had a chance to pull ahead with the bases loaded, but Taylor Grover got Bierfeldt to pop out to shallow center. Mitch Horacek turned in his third straight quality start but suffered his fourth straight loss.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys were involved in yet another nip-and-tuck affair on Thursday night, falling by a run to Salem. Of the last 12 games, 11 have been decided by three runs or less, eight have come down to two runs or less, while four have hinged on one run. Frederick has a 17-16 mark in one-run affairs this season, third-best in the Carolina League, while the Keys have played the third-most one-run games in the circuit. They trail on Potomac (37) and Wilmington (34) in that department. Meanwhile, the orange and black hold the league’s best record in two-run games (14-8). A team that is not unaccustomed to close games, from April 10-May 2, 18 of the Keys 21 contests came down to three or fewer runs.

WHERE IT RANKS: The series finale against Salem, concluded the Keys four-game winning streak. That stretch equaled the team’s second-longest winning streak of the campaign, and was tied for the club’s best run in the second-half. In the last three and a half weeks, Frederick has posted three different four-game winning streaks. In spite of those runs, the Keys have been streaky of late. Prior to Thursday’s loss, the Keys had won four in-a-row, then lost six in-a-row, before winning four games from last Saturday-Wednesday.

ROAD SWEET HOME?: Although the Keys are seven games below .500 for the year on the road, the team has played very well of late away from home. The orange and black have won three of their last four series, going 8-5 during that stretch. That includes a sweep of Potomac, plus series wins against the Blue Rocks and Red Sox. In the second-half, the Keys are two games over .500 on the road (12-10). Lynchburg is also two games above sea-level, while Winston-Salem has the best road mark in the second-half at 13-6. This year, the Keys have visited Myrtle Beach only once, taking two of three from May 19-22.

AGAINST MYRTLE BEACH: Frederick and Myrtle Beach square off for the 11th time on Friday. Despite holding the top overall record in the Carolina League (65-45), the Pelicans trail in the season-series (6-4). The orange and black have won both three-game sets thus far (including the latest last weekend) while the two sides split a four-game affair at Nymeo Field from June 9-11. Myrtle Beach only has a losing record against two teams, Frederick and Winston-Salem (10-11). As a team, the Keys are hitting .262 against Pelicans pitching and hold a 3.62 ERA. Myrtle Beach is batting .275 against the orange and black and hold a 3.64 ERA. Tad Gold (.375/3-for-8), Chance Sisco (.364/8-22) and Yaisel Mederos (.364/4-for-11) fare the best offensively.

KNOCKING OFF THE RUST:  Yaisel Mederos may not have played in a professional game in more than a year when he suited up for the Keys on July 29, but the Cuban has turned it on of late. Entering Friday with a seven-game hitting streak, the 26-year-old is batting .310 (9-for-29) over that time to go with two home runs, a double, four RBIs and six runs scored. He enters today with a .273 average. Mederos played four seasons for Camaguey in the Cuban National Series (2008, 2011-13) and batted .268 with 13 home runs and 64 RBIs in 164 total games.

A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS:  On Wednesday, Salem helped the Keys out by committing seven errors, the most an opponent has made against the orange and black this season. The previous high for an opponent was four errors, a feat which last occurred on May 30 at Nymeo Field, when four Lynchburg miscues led to three unearned runs for the orange and black. On Wednesday, five of the nine Keys runs were unearned. Salem also left 15 on-base (tying the most by an opponent). Frederick pitching though tied its season-high with 18 hits allowed.

MORE QUALITY: In four of the last six games, a Keys starting pitcher has delivered a quality start. Mitch Horacek has led the way this year with nine and fired off his latest on Thursday, tossing six inning and allowing three runs (two earned). For the year, starters have turned in 26 quality outings, with 19 of those coming since the all-star break. In July, Frederick starters posted a combined 2.93 ERA, while over the first five games starters have allowed just nine earned runs in 29.2 innings (2.73). A Keys starter has allowed more than three earned runs only once in the last 15 games.

LEE PROMOTED TO DOUBLE-A: On Monday afternoon, Chris Lee was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He becomes the 12th Frederick player to advance to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. Moving to the Eastern League for the first time, Lee went 3-6 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 starts for the Keys. In his last seven Advanced-A outings, the Floridian registered a 1.47 ERA. In a corresponding move, Garrett Cortright joins the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 34 games he went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA. A South Atlantic League All-Star, Cortright was third among relievers in BB/9IP ratio (1.34), fourth in games finished (23) and tied for fourth in saves (12).

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: After going a full week without a home run, the Keys have hit five in their last five games. Two of those have come from Austin Wynns, two are courtesy of Yaisel Mederos, while Conor Bierfeldt added a two-run shot on Tuesday. Despite going on a seven-game homer drought, the orange and black rank third in the CL in deep flies (49) trailing only Lynchburg (81) and Carolina (57).

WINNING WITH WYNNS: Austin Wynns enjoyed a great homestand, going 4-for-6 with two home runs, a double, three RBIs and two runs scored. The Californian did a host of his damage on Saturday, when he finished 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and a pair of RBIs. The Keys catcher has now hit safely in five of his last six games, and is batting .444 (8-for-18) during that time with two homers, two doubles, five RBIs and three runs scored.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Jeremy Null makes his 18th start of the season on Friday night. Combined between Myrtle Beach and Low-A South Bend he is 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA. In five games with the Pelicans, the 21-year-old is 1-1 with a 4.33 ERA (27IP/13R/30H). His most recent outing came last Thursday against Potomac. Tossing five innings, he allowed two runs on seven hits in a no-decision. It was Null’s first start since being placed on the disabled list on July 20 (he missed 10 days). In four July starts with the Pelicans, he went 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA (22IP/9R). Promoted to Myrtle Beach on June 28, the 6-7 right-hander was lights out for Low-A South Bend, going 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 12 starts. A Midwest League All-Star (East Division), Null was the starting pitcher and game MVP, striking out the side in the first inning. The spoils from a fantastic start to the season, Null allowed one earned run across his first five starts, spanning 30.2 innings, while he did not issue a walk until the sixth inning of his fourth start (28.1 IP). With the Cubs, he walked only four in 65.2 innings. For the year, he has a BB/9IP ratio of 0.7 (92.2 IP/7BB). Selected by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 2014 draft, Null played his college baseball at Western Carolina, where he was a second-team All-Southern Conference selection as a sophomore and junior. Null was selected by Seattle in the 37th round of the 2011 draft but did not sign. The right-hander hails from Conover, NC, a town of just over 8,000. Known for its NASCAR presence, Conover is the home of Dale Jarrett Racing ventures. Null throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Keys Try for the Sweep!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try for a three-game sweep of the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. Last night, the team engineered a 9-7 come-from-behind win thanks in large part to seven Red Sox errors. It was the most a Carolina League team has committed in a game this year, while it led to five unearned Frederick runs.

Down 5-1 at one point, the comeback win also equaled the Keys largest of the year. The other time the Keys have battled back from four down? It came at Salem on April 30.

This season Frederick has swept series against Lynchburg and Potomac. The most recent came against the Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium from July 22-24 (two roadtrips ago). To wrap things up. the Keys will turn to CL all-star Mitch Horacek. He will be opposed by Kevin McAvoy. Second in the league in walks, the righty has often used the double play to get out of his own jams. He has recorded 23 this year, most in the circuit.

First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Broadcast time is at 6:50.

Today’s notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Thursday, August 6, 2015 · Game #111 · Road Game #57

Frederick Keys (53-57/21-19) vs Salem Red Sox (53-57/15-25)

LHP Mitch Horacek (6-12, 4.45) vs. RHP Kevin McAvoy (6-9, 4.12)

SEVEN SALEM ERRORS LEAD KEYS TO SERIES WIN: The Salem Red Sox committed seven errors, two of which fueled a four-run Frederick Keys eighth inning, as the orange and black earned a 9-7 win on Wednesday night at LewisGale Field. It was the club’s fourth straight win, equaling the club’s longest winning streak of the second-half. In the game, Salem made two errors in three different innings, including four over the final two stanzas. In the eighth, the club wiped out a 7-4 deficit, scoring four times off Kyle Kraus. Wynston Sawyer reached on an error by Mauricio Duban to open the inning, and scored one batter later after a double by Conor Bierfeldt. He later scored on a single by Jay Gonzalez, while a base hit by Josh Hart and an RBI bounce out by Tanner Witt tied the game. With the frame still alive, Chance Sisco singled home Hart after going nine pitches against Kraus. Frederick added an insurance run in the ninth, while Garrett Cortright shutdown Salem in its final at-bats to complete the comeback.

COMEBACK KIDS: Wednesday’s victory equaled Frederick’s largest come-from-behind win of the season. In both instances where the Keys have rallied from a four-run deficit, it has come against Salem. On April 30 at LewisGale Field, the Keys trailed 5-1 after three innings, but utilized a four-run sixth and a three-run ninth to earn a 9-8 triumph. With a win in the middle game, the Keys will look for their third sweep of the season on Thursday. The club last broomed the Potomac Nationals from July 22-24 at Pfitzner Stadium. In 2014, the Keys swept Salem twice, including a four-game set from July 7-10 in the Roanoke Valley.

DON’T STOP NOW BOYS: For the third time since the all-star break, the Keys have won four straight games. Previously the orange and black took four straight from July 22-25 and from July 12-16. Both of those streaks came during a torrid 13-game stretch, where the Keys won 11 times. The four-gamer is tied for the team’s second-longest winning streak of the campaign, while the team’s longest run of the year is six games from April 10-15. During this current streak, three of the four contests have hinged on two runs or less, while 10 of Frederick’s last 11 games have been decided by three runs or less.

A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS:  Salem helped the Keys out by committing seven errors, the most an opponent has made against the orange and black this season. The previous high for an opponent was four errors, a feat which last occurred on May 30 at Nymeo Field, when four Lynchburg miscues led to three unearned runs for the orange and black. On Wednesday, five of the nine Keys runs were unearned. Salem also left 15 on-base (tying the most by an opponent). Frederick pitching though tied its season-high with 18 hits allowed.

STARTING PITCHING STREAK SNAPPED: Mikey O’Brien came one out shy of a quality start, and extended the scoreless inning streak by Keys starters to 19.1 innings before Mario Martinez broke it up with an RBI single in the sixth. It marked the first run allowed by a Keys starter since the sixth inning of Friday’s game against Myrtle Beach. Meanwhile, the five-run Salem fourth inning ended a string of 13 games where a Keys starter had not allowed more than three earned runs.

LEE PROMOTED TO DOUBLE-A: On Monday afternoon, Chris Lee was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He becomes the 12th Frederick player to advance to either Double-A or Triple-A this season. Moving to the Eastern League for the first time, Lee went 3-6 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 starts for the Keys. In his last seven Advanced-A outings, the Floridian registered a 1.47 ERA and held opponents to a .223 average. Six of those outings were quality starts. In a corresponding move, Garrett Cortright joins the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 34 games he went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA. A South Atlantic League All-Star, Cortright was third among relievers in BB/9IP ratio (1.34), fourth in games finished (23) and tied for fourth in saves (12).

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: After going a full week without a home run, the Keys have hit four in their last four games. Two of those have come from an unlikely source. With only four professional home runs, Austin Wynns has gone deep in two of his last three contests. Conor Bierfeldt added a two-run shot on Tuesday, while Yaisel Mederos hit his first Carolina League longball on Saturday. In that game, he and Wynns became just the second duo to hit back-to-back homers for the Keys this year. Despite going on a seven-game homer drought, the orange and black rank third in the CL in deep flies (48) trailing only Lynchburg (81) and Carolina (57).

WINNING WITH WYNNS: Austin Wynns enjoyed a great homestand, going 4-for-6 with two home runs, a double, three RBIs and two runs scored. The Californian did a host of his damage on Saturday, when he finished 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and a pair of RBIs. The three hits tied a season-high (he also had three on July 4) and were one short of his career-high (Wynns posted on four-hit game in 2013 with Short-Season Aberdeen). The Keys catcher has now hit safely in five of his last six games, and is batting .444 (8-for-18) during that time with two homers, two doubles, five RBIs and three runs scored.

AGAINST SALEM: Frederick and Salem square-off for the 16th and final time on Thursday. The Keys lead the season-series 8-7 and are trying to win their second season-set of the year. The team has already won its season-set with Potomac (12-7) while the Keys have lost season series to Wilmington (10-16) and Carolina (0-10). As a team, the Keys are batting .266 against the Red Sox, and hold a 3.92 ERA. Salem hitters are batting at a .290 clip against Frederick arms and boast a 3.59 ERA. Individually, Tad Gold (2-for-4), Tanner Witt (.421/8-for-19), and Anthony Caronia (.364/12-for-33) lead the team offensively.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: After grounding into three double plays last Friday, the Keys bounced into three more over the final two games of the Myrtle Beach series. Over the last 11 games, Frederick has grounded into 15 double plays, giving them 96 for the season, tied with Wilmington for most in the CL. On Tuesday, the Keys snapped a string of five straight games with a double play ball.

WRAPPING UP JULY: After winning 11 of 13 games from July 12-25, the Keys dropped six straight to finish July with a 15-15 record. Among CL North teams, only the Lynchburg Hillcats (16-14) fared better. As a team, the Keys hit .248 in July, but pitching carried things, with the staff tallying a 3.23 ERA. Individually, Tanner Witt (.310), Chance Sisco (.306) and Tad Gold (.304) led the way, while on the mound Cody Wheeler (0.69), Donnie Hart (1.29), Chris Lee (1.75) and David Hess (1.82) accounted for four of five Keys with ERA’s of 2.50 or lower.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Kevin McAvoy makes his 21st start of the season on Thursday and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Saturday at Potomac. Tying his career-high of seven innings pitched, the right-hander earned the win, giving up one unearned on five hits to go with three walks and two strikeouts. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak. At times, walks have been a bugaboo for the Syracuse, NY native, who is second in the CL in free passes (56) trailing only Lynchburg’s Mitch Brown (58). In seven of his starts McAvoy has walked four or more, while his high-water mark for the year is seven (occurring on April 20 v Myrtle Beach). This will be his second start against the Keys. Facing them on July 10 at Nymeo Field he picked up the win, tossing six innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. He also got two double plays, in a game where the Keys hit into a season-high five. McAvoy leads the Carolina League with 23 double plays and has picked up at least one in six of his last seven games. He spent all of 2014 at Short-Season Lowell, going 0-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 starts. He paced the Spinners in ERA, WHIP (0.92) and starts, while nine of his 11 games were scoreless outings. Selected by Boston in the fourth round of last year’s draft, McAvoy played three seasons at Bryant University and is the highest-drafted player in the school’s history. During his tenure there, he was 21-5 with a 3.11 ERA. He was named NEC Rookie of the Year in 2012. A three-pitch pitcher, McAvoy throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

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