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We’re back in the Hill City!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys are back in the Hill City for the second time in three roadtrips, as the club embarks on a three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats on Tuesday night. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. And yes, it’s still me everybody. Don’t fret though, Doug Raftery will return on Friday night when the team gets back home.

Today’s lineup and notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. LF Tucker Nathans

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. DH Anthony Caronia

8. C Austin Wynns

9. CF Johnny Ruettiger

RHP David Hess

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 · Game #33 · Road Game #19

Frederick Keys (17-15) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (11-21)

RHP David Hess (2-2, 2.83) vs. RHP Dace Kime (0-0, –)

MILLER MASHES, KEYS SETTLE FOR SPLIT: Brandon Miller became the second player to hit two home runs off Keys pitching this year, while the Potomac Nationals used excellent pitching to top the orange and black 5-1 on Monday night at Pfitzner Stadium. The loss means a four-game split for Frederick who won the first two games of the series, while the P-Nats claimed the final two. Potomac would grab a 2-0 lead in the second off Mitch Horacek. After quickly recording the first two outs, Khayyan Norfork singled before Miller hit his first longball to left. He would add a solo shot two innings later, finishing the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Frederick’s lone run came off P-Nats starter Dakota Bacus in the fourth, thanks to an RBI double by Trey Mancini which scored Drew Dosch. Limited to just five hits on the game, the Keys will try and snap the two-game slide on Tuesday, when they play their third series against the Hillcats and second at City Stadium.

SPLITSVILLE: The Keys were forced to settle for their first split of the season on Monday night, and their first since last August 22-25, also against the P-Nats at Pfitzner Stadium. After earning a one-run win on Friday followed by a shutout on Saturday, things did not go as planned over the final two days. Offensively, the Keys hit just .205 as a team in the later two ballgames, and went just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, after batting .302 over the first two contests and hitting .368 (7-for-19) with men at second or third. On the mound, the Keys bullpen blew its seventh save on Sunday, while Mitch Horacek surrendered a season-high five runs on Monday.

WHERE’S THE DOOR LOCK?: Despite a great performance by Dennis Torres on Saturday, things have been tough on the Keys bullpen this month. Frederick is just 2-for-5 in save chances in May, while the Keys lead the Carolina League in blown saves (seven) three-more than Wilmington and Lynchburg who have each blown four save tries. Following a terrific April where the Keys bullpen tallied a 3.69 ERA, Frederick relievers have allowed 35 runs in 38.2 innings this month (8.15 ERA).

NEED SOME MILEAGE: While the starting rotation has fared better than the bullpen this month, Keys starters have rarely worked past the fifth inning this year. In 32 games, Keys starters have completed six innings or more just four times, while starters have pitched into the sixth only nine times. Mitch Horacek leads the way, having completed six innings or more on three occasions and tonight’s starter David Hess has done it once. In 32 games, Frederick has only three quality starts, with all belonging to Horacek (giving the team a quality start percentage of 9.38).

A ONE-RUN GAME? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT: Despite playing only 32 games this season, half (16) have been decided by one run. That includes Sunday’s 4-3 defeat, which was the team’s 10th one-run road game of the season (out of 18 they have played). In total, seven of the club’s last 11 road games have been one-run affairs. For the year, the Keys are 8-8 in one-run tilts (tied for fourth in the year) but one-run games have been a different story on the road (2-8) than at home (6-0). No other Carolina League team has played more than 12 one-run games so far.

HARD AND FAST RULES: A quick check of the Keys run output can often tell you if the team won or lost the game the previous night. In games where the Keys score four runs or more the team is 16-1. In contrast, the orange and black are just 1-14 when posting three runs or less in a game. The lone outliers came against Winston-Salem (3-2 Keys win) on April 2 and at Carolina on May 4 (6-5 Keys loss). On the road, the Keys have yet to win a game when scoring less than four runs (0-11) and are 6-1 when tallying four or more.

HEATING UP: Trey Mancini has started to heat up for the Keys, hitting .346 (9-for-26) over a six-game hitting streak. Over that stretch he has a home run, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored, while his batting average has climbed from .238 to .260, the highest it has been in more than a week. Following an up-and-down April where he hit .244 in 21 games, the first baseman is batting .289 over 11 May contests with two homers and 10 RBIs. One of the Carolina League’s top power hitters, Mancini leads the league in extra-base hits (15), total bases (60) and is tied for fourth in hits (34) and RBIs (21).

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: On Monday, Jeff Kemp and Anthony Caronia each lost their hitting streaks, with both individuals finishing 0-for-4. Owner of the longest hitting streak by a Keys player this season, Kemp hit safely in eight games from May 2-10. During that time, he batted .406 (13-for-32) with a homer, a double, a triple, three RBIs and eight runs scored. He saw an average boost of 59 points, while it was his longest streak since last June 14-27, when he hit in 10 straight with Low-A Delmarva. Caronia’s seven-gamer was equally as impressive with the Floridian hitting .458 (11-for-24) over the week-long stretch. That moved his batting average from an astounding .200 to .315. Caronia would rank as the 10th-leading hitter in the circuit (.293) if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

WELCOME BACK TO LYNCHBURG: For the second time in three road trips, the Keys make a stop at City Stadium to play the Lynchburg Hillcats. While the Keys lead the season-series 4-2 (thanks in part to a three-game sweep at Nymeo Field) the Hillcats took two of three games in the Hill City when the two sides last clashed from April 20-22. In that series the orange and black took the series opener 6-4, before the Hillcats outscored Frederick 13-1 over the final two nights (which included a 9-0 setback in the finale). Despite holding a winning record, the Keys are batting only .216 against Lynchburg pitching this year. The pitching staff has performed well though, tallying a 3.60 ERA. Adrian Marin has led the Keys at the plate batting .300 (6-for-20) over five games with a triple, a double, three RBIs and four runs scored. For Lynchburg, Eric Haase is batting .429 (3-for-7) with a triple, a double and three RBIs, while Clint Frazier is hitting .417 (10-for-24) over six games with a double, four RBIs and three runs scored.

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Dace Kime makes his Carolina League debut on Tuesday night and is the No. 20 overall prospect in the Indians farm system according to Baseball America. Kime opened the year at Low-A Lake County and went 2-3 with a 3.34 ERA over six games. His most recent outing came last Thursday against Great Lakes. Tossing six innings, he allowed four runs on eight hits to go along with five strikeouts. Kime won two of his last three starts with the Captains and enjoyed an outstanding month of April. Over four games he went 1-2 with a 1.85 ERA, surrendering just five earned runs on 24.1 innings. In May, he tallied a 6.75 ERA, due in large part to his first outing of the month where he gave up eight runs (four earned) in 4.2 innings. A pitcher who has shown good command this year, the right-hander has a strikeout/walk ratio of better than 5:1 (32 SO/6BB/35 IP). 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). He was better in the second-half (6-5, 4.98 ERA) than the first-half (1-9, 5.48 ERA). 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. The 23-year-old signed for a below-slot bonus of $525,000 (the assigned value of the pick was ($692,000). 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.

The Keys Go For a Series Win on Monday in Potomac

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try and close out their first trip to Pfitzner Stadium on a high note, after suffering a 4-3 walk-off defeat on Sunday afternoon. And without question the team has to like its chances with lefty Mitch Horacek on the mound. The Carolina League strikeout leader has worked at least five innings in each start and has not given up any more than three runs in an outing this year.

He will be opposed by Dakota Bacus, who oddly enough was Horacek’s first counterpart in a CL game. Make sure to check out an interesting note on Bacus at the bottom of the notes which discusses his “dual-personality.” Perhaps we’ll have a chance to touch on it during tonight’s broadcast. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m and we’ll hit the air at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. We’ll be trying to top “Dancing with the Stars” in the ratings tonight, so your listenership would be greatly appreciated/encouraged.

Game notes for today are below and we’ll have the lineup later on. Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Monday, May 11, 2015 · Game #32 · Road Game #18

Frederick Keys (17-14) vs Potomac Nationals (12-18)

LHP Mitch Horacek (2-2, 2.83) vs. RHP Dakota Bacus (0-0, 3.38)

BOSTICK WALKS IT OFF: Christopher Bostick lifted a single over the head of Johnny Ruettiger in center to give the Potomac Nationals a 4-3 walk-off win against the Frederick Keys on Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium. After the Keys tagged MLB rehabber Casey Janssen for three runs in the seventh inning to build a 3-1 advantage, the P-Nats scored the final three runs to end a three-game losing streak. Estarlin Martinez pulled the Nats within a run in the home-seventh thanks to a single which scored Drew Ward, before tying things in the eighth. Facing Jon Keller, Isaac Ballou singled with one out, moved to second on a balk and to third on a bounce out by John Wooten. That sent up Khayyan Norfork, who brought home his teammate with a dunk single to right. Back on for the ninth, Keller walked Craig Manuel to start the frame, while Steel Russell mishandled a bunt to put men at first and second. After Spencer Kieboom came on pinch-run at second, Narciso Mesa advanced Kieboom to third, setting up Bostick to play hero. Despite the loss, the Keys can still take the series with a win on Monday night.

TOUGH PILL TO SWALLOW: Sunday’s loss was the Keys second walk-off defeat of the season. The first came at Wilmington on April 16, when Bubba Starling roped an RBI double to the left-center gap to score Jack Lopez from first. Adding insult to injury, Wilmington topped Lynchburg 4-2 on Sunday to pull the Keys back into a tie for first in the CL North. Victimized by eight walk-off losses in 2014, the Keys lost to the P-Nats once via walk-off in 2014, a defeat that also occurred during the club’s first trip to the Pfitz (May 7). A team that has often been on the other side of the coin, the Keys have five walk-off victories this year at Nymeo Field.

WHERE’S THE DOOR LOCK?: Following four shutout innings by Dennis Torres on Saturday, the Keys bullpen struggled again on Mother’s Day, with Dylan Rheault giving up a run for the sixth straight outing and Jon Keller suffering his second blown save in as many chances. Currently the Keys lead the Carolina League in blown saves (seven) three-more than the next-closest team. In save chances this month, the orange and black are just 2-for-5. Following a terrific April where the Keys bullpen tallied a 3.69 ERA, Frederick relievers have allowed 35 runs in 36 innings this month (8.75 ERA).

A ONE-RUN ROAD GAME? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT: Despite playing only 31 games this season, more than half (16) have been decided by one run. That includes Sunday’s 4-3 defeat, which was the team’s 10th one-run road game of the season (out of 17 they have played). In the three games the Keys have played against P-Nats, two have come down to a single marker (the orange and black won 8-7 on Friday) while in the previous two road series, every game in the set except one hinged on a run. In total, seven of the club’s last 10 road games have been one-run affairs. For the year, the Keys are 8-8 in one-run tilts (fourth-best in the league). No other Carolina League team has played more than 12 one-run games so far.

HERE’S JHONNY!!!!:: Other than a solo home run to Brandon Miller, Jhonathan Ramos was tremendous in his second Keys start. Needing only 66 pitches to get through five innings, the lefty allowed one run on three hits to go along with a walk and three strikeouts. In his first two Carolina League outings, Ramos is 0-0 with a 1.86 ERA. Prior to signing with the Orioles in late-March as a free agent, Ramos spent his first eight pro season with the Pirates organization, climbing as high as Triple-A Indianapolis.

LET’S PLAY LONGBALL: Trey Mancini’s home run on Sunday snapped a string of three straight games without a home run for the orange and black. This season, the team has hit 13 longballs, putting the Keys in a three-way tie for fourth in the CL. That number has been pretty concentrated among team members, with Mancini and Brenden Webb entering Monday with four apiece. Both individuals are tied for third in the league in deep flies behind Jacob Rogers of Myrtle Beach (five) and Luigi Rodriguez (five) of Lynchburg.

NEARLY A SURE THING: Sunday marked the first time in 2015 the Keys had lost a game when leading after seven innings. Before yesterday, the Keys were 12-0 in those spots, with only Carolina and Potomac holding undefeated records in the same situation. Despite leading the league in blown saves and some recent bullpen woes, the Keys remain unbeaten (10-0) when holding a lead through eight innings.

KEMP KEEPS IT GOING: Jeff Kemp waited until the eighth inning, but managed to extend his hitting streak to eight games with a single to left in the eighth inning off Wander Suero. The eight-game streak is the longest by a member of the Keys this year, and is currently the longest active streak in the Carolina League. During this time, the former Radford Highlander is batting .406 (13-for-32) with a homer, a double, a triple, three RBIs and eight runs scored. The hot stretch has boosted his batting average 59 points (.221-.280). It is Kemp’s longest streak since last June 14-27 when he hit safely in 10 straight with Low-A Delmarva.

CARONIA CRUSHER: Not far behind Kemp in regards to hitting streaks is Anthony Caronia, who has hit safely in seven straight ballgames and is arguably the club’s hottest hitter of late. On Sunday, the Orlando native posted his third straight multi-hit game and his fourth in six contests, going 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Tied for the second-longest active stretch in the CL, he is batting .458 (11-for-24) over that time with two doubles, a triple, six RBIs and six runs scored. In the process, he has seen his batting average climb by 115 points (.200-.315). Caronia’s longest pro hit streak is 10 games, a feat he accomplished in 2013 with Delmarva (August 16-September 2) Caronia would rank third in the league in batting average if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

HELLO POTOMAC: The Keys play their closest geographic rival, the Potomac Nationals, for the first time this season. In 2014, the P-Nats took the season-series 12-8. Frederick fared better at Pfitzner Stadium (5-5) than at Nymeo Field (3-7). Potomac has won the season-set in each of the last three years, while the Keys have finished above .500 against the Nats since 2010. With the new unbalanced schedule in the Carolina League this season, the orange and black will see the P-Nats 22 times in 2015 (which includes 13 games at the Pfitz).

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Dakota Bacus makes his seventh appearance of the season and his fourth start on Monday. His most recent outing came against Wilmington last Thursday, where he allowed one run on three hits over two innings to earn his third save of the year. The right-hander’s last start came at Winston-Salem on April 30, an outing where he tossed a season-high four shutout innings and struck out five while scattering five hits. Three of Bacus’ outings have been starts and three have been relief appearances. As a starter he has no record and a 3.60 ERA over 10 innings (he has not worked more than four innings in any start) and no record and a 3.00 ERA as a reliever (he is 3-for-3 in save chances). Bacus spent all of 2014 with Potomac, going 7-6 with a 4.41 ERA along with one save over 27 games (20 starts). He faced the Keys three times (two starts) and went 1-1 with a 9.26 over 11.2 innings (13R/12ER/17H). Despite those rough numbers, Bacus was partially responsible for knocking the Keys out of playoff contention last year, defeating his Monday night counterpart Mitch Horacek in a must-win game for the orange and black (won by the P-Nats 5-4). Originally drafted by Oakland in the ninth round of the 2012 amateur draft, Bacus advanced as high as Low-A with the A’s before being traded to Washington on August 23, 2013 for MLB catcher Kurt Suzuki. While pitching for the A’s Low-A Beloit Snappers, Bacus came up with an alter-ego know as the “Whitewall Ninja”, who would dress head-to-toe in all white camaflouge and attempt to blend in with white outfield signs during games.

Keys Try for a Series Win on Mother’s Day

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The orange and black try for a series win against the Potomac Nationals on Mother’s Day at Pfitzner Stadium, with first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m. The orange and black came away with a 4-0 shutout win last night, their second of the year (the first came on April 15 against Lynchburg). If you turn back the clock to 2014, the last two Keys shutouts have come against the P-Nats. Last August 25, Parker Bridwell carried a perfect game into the seventh, while the Texan and Brady Wager combined on a 6-0, two-hit shutout.

Johnny Ruettiger was the story of the game on Saturday, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base. It was his first four-hit game since 2012, and extended his hitting streak to five games. The Keys are batting over .280 as a team in the month of May, and four different players enter play on Sunday with active hitting streaks of four games or more.

A tip of the cap to Jarett Miller and Dennis Torres as well on Saturday. Miller tossed five more shutout innings and has given up just one run in his last 15 frames, while Torres put together the best relief outing by a Frederick pitcher this season. Working four shutout innings, he went 12 up and 12 down.

A happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s tuning in today and those who are with us in spirit. On a personal note, a happy Mother’s Day to my mom Sandy who has managed to put up with me for so long, and who is so understanding of my ridiculous schedule. This one’s for you.

Today’s broadcast kicks off at 12:50 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com with first pitch slated for 1:05 p.m. Ruettiger will be our pre-game guest.

Today’s lineup and notes are below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

LINEUP 

1. CF Johnny Ruettiger

2. DH Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. C Steel Russell

8. 2B Anthony Caronia

9. LF Gregory Lorenzo

LHP Jhonathan Ramos

Sunday, May 10, 2015 · Game #31 · Road Game #17

Frederick Keys (17-13) vs Potomac Nationals (11-18)

LHP Jhonathan Ramos (0-0, 1.93) vs. LHP Matthew Spann (0-4, 5.87)

FIRING BLANKS: The Frederick Keys earned their second shutout win of the season on Saturday, thanks to a big night from Johnny Ruettiger and terrific pitching by Jarett Miller and Dennis Torres. Topping the P-Nats 4-0, the Keys utilized two multi-run innings both triggered by Ruettiger. In the third, the former Arizona State Sun Devil drove in Anthony Caronia with an RBI triple down the first baseline and scored on a sacrifice fly by Gregory Lorenzo. In the seventh, the Keys would benefit from two Potomac errors and more clutch hitting from Ruettiger. After Austin Wynns reached on a throwing error by shortstop Stephen Perez, Caronia doubled to put men at the corners for Ruettiger. With the infield drawn in, he squibbed a single to center to complete the scoring. On the mound, Jarett Miller and Dennis Torres held the P-Nats to four hits, the second-fewest allowed by Keys pitching in a game this season. The duo combined to retire the final 13 Potomac hitters of the game.

GO JOHNNY GO!: Johnny Ruettiger enjoyed his best offensive night of the season on Saturday, going 4-for-4 with a triple, three RBIs a run scored and a stolen base. It was his first four-hit game since July 16, 2012, when he went 4-for-5 against Salem in Frederick. In his career, Ruettiger has four, four-hit games, but his career-high is a 6-for-6 showing at Potomac on May 17, 2012. Thanks to Saturday’s performance, the 25-year-old moved his batting average over the Mendoza line for the first time in 2015. After beginning the year in a 2-for-24 slump, the 25-year-old has hit safely in five straight and is batting .563 over that time (9-for-16) with a triple, a double, four RBIs and two runs scored.

LOOK AT THOSE DOGHNUT HOLES: Saturday’s shutout win was the Keys first on the road this season, and their first since last August 25, when Parker Bridwell tossed eight shutout innings of one-hit baseball at Potomac en route to a 6-0 Frederick victory. He and Brady Wager allowed only two hits in that effort. For the year, Frederick’s shutout record is 2-3, with Keys going without a run against Winston-Salem on April 9 (13-0), at Lynchburg on April 22 (9-0) and at Carolina on May 1 (1-0). The 2-3 mark puts the Keys sixth out of eight CL teams.

ARMS RACE: Entering Saturday with a 6.52 staff ERA in the month of May, the Keys got outstanding pitching during the second game of the set, with Jarett Miller tossing five shutout frames and Dennis Torres firing blanks over the final four stanzas. Working around a bases loaded jam in the first thanks to three strikeouts, Miller punched out a season-high seven and has now allowed just one run in his last 15 innings pitched. Torres’ performance was the best by a Keys reliever in 2015. Over four frames, he retired 12 straight batters to equal the longest outing of his career. It also cut the bullpen’s relief ERA from 10.04 to 8.82 in the month of May.

LET’S GO STREAKING!: As a team, the Keys have been swinging the bat very well in the month of May, batting .281 collectively (a major step up from April where the team hit only .243). Ending with 10 hits or more in three of the last five games, the Keys have gotten balanced production from their entire lineup, and a number of players own hitting streaks. Entering Sunday, Jeff Kemp (seven) Anthony Caronia (six) Johnny Ruettiger (five) and Trey Mancini (four) have active streaks of four games or more, while Tucker Nathans (five) and Austin Wynns (four) saw their streaks come to an end on Saturday.

TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, THE PARTY’S OVER: When the Keys have carried a lead through seven or eight innings, the team has been unbeatable this season. When the orange and black lead going into the eighth inning, the Keys are 12-0, while the club is 10-0 when holding the upper hand through eight stanzas. Around the league, only the Carolina Mudcats (15-0) and the Potomac Nationals are undefeated when leading after seven, while the Muddies (13-0), Nationals (6-0) and Winston-Salem Dash (10-0) are unbeaten when leading after eight.

CARONIA CRUSHER: Johnny Ruettiger may have received a bulk of the attention on Saturday, but Anthony Caronia posted his second straight multi-hit game on Saturday and his third in five ballgames. Owner of a six-game hitting streak, the Orlando native is batting .450 (9-for-20) over that stretch with two doubles, five RBIs and six runs scored. In the process, he has seen his batting average climb by exactly 100 points (.200-.300).

KEMP KEEPS IT GOING: Thanks to an RBI double in the eighth inning, Jeff Kemp was able to extend his hitting streak to seven games on Friday night. The seven-gamer equals the longest by a member of the Keys this year, as Kemp joins Drew Dosch (who wrapped up his streak on Wednesday) and Brenden Webb. Over the week-long stretch, the former Radford Highlander is batting .429 (12-for-28) with a homer, a double, a triple, three RBIs and eight runs scored. The hot stretch has boosted his batting average 60 points (.221-.281).

WHAT A TANGLED WEBB HE WEAVES: Brenden Webb may have gone hitless on Saturday, but has still been red-hot of late. In his last five games, the Californian is batting .400 (8-for-20) with two homers and four RBIs to go along with five runs scored. Entering Sunday, Webb ranks fifth in the league in hitting (.306), paces the league in total bases (53) is tied for second in runs scored (22) and extra-base hits (12), is third in hits (33) and tied for third in doubles (eight). He is also tied for the league lead in games played (30).

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Despite losing an 19-game on-base streak on Thursday, it has still been a good week for Drew Dosch who was named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” on Tuesday. It is the second time in his professional career that Dosch had received an organizational player of the month honor. He received the award last July, after hitting .364 with 15 RBIs in 25 games for Low-A Delmarva. In the month of April, the 22-year-old hit .291 with a home run, 18 RBIs, five doubles and two triples over 21 games. He was named the Carolina League’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26.

HELLO POTOMAC: The Keys play their closest geographic rival, the Potomac Nationals, for the first time this season. In 2014, the P-Nats took the season-series 12-8. Frederick fared better at Pfitzner Stadium (5-5) than at Nymeo Field (3-7). Potomac has won the season-set in each of the last three years, while the Keys have finished above .500 against the Nats since 2010. With the new unbalanced schedule in the Carolina League this season, the orange and black will see the P-Nats 22 times in 2015 (which includes 13 games at the Pfitz).

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Left-hander Matthew Spann makes his fifth start of the 2015 season and his first against Frederick on Sunday. In his most recent start last Friday, he suffered the loss at Salem, giving up four runs on nine hits over six innings. Spann has lost all four of his starts this season, and is tied for second in the Carolina league in defeats. Only Yean Carlos Gil of Carolina has suffered more (five). In each of his four starts, Spann has allowed four runs, while opponents are batting .343 against him, with righties (.347) faring slightly better than lefties (.333). The 24-year-old split the 2014 campaign between Potomac (23G/18GS) and Hagerstown (4G) going a combined 11-5 with a 3.50 ERA. Promoted to the P-Nats last May 1, Spann went 9-5 with a 3.82 ERA and finished tied for fifth in the CL in wins. Outstanding in the month of August, the lefty went 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his final four games (22IP/3R/10H). During that time, he tossed nine shutout innings over two games against the Keys, while for the season against Frederick, Spann went 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA in five games (three starts). Selected by Tampa Bay in the 25th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of Columbia Central (TN) High School, Spann was acquired by Washington in late-August 2013, as part of a trade which sent veteran MLB outfielder David DeJesus from Washington to Tampa Bay. A native of Columbia, Tennessee, Spann’s hometown is known as the “Mule Capital of the World.” Every year the town holds “Mule Day” an annual celebration of all things Mules (it took place from April 6-12 this year). Originally a one-day livestock show which started in 1840, the event has turned into a multi-day festival featuring mules, Appalachian food, music, dancing and more.

Game Two Notes: Frederick v Potomac

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys captured their second one-run road win on Friday night, winning an 8-7 thriller against Potomac at Pftizner Stadium. In the game, the Keys batted around against Nationals No. 1 pitching prospect Lucas Giolito, scoring four times in the third inning. The entire offense was very productive and from a situational perspective, it was one of the Keys best games of the season, with the team going 6-for-15 with men at second or third.

Tonight, the orange and black will try for their 17th win of the campaign, when the team sends Jarett Miller to the hill. No stranger to the Nationals, the South Carolinian has seen them seven times. He will be opposed by right-hander John Simms.

First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. from the “antique” Pfitzner Stadium and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source starting at 6:20 p.m. So take a load off in your favorite easy chair and enjoy some baseball. I’ll do my best to keep you company.

Lineup and game notes can be found below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. LF Tucker Nathans

2. SS Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. DH Adrian Marin

7. C Austin Wynns

8. 2B Anthony Caronia

9. CF Johnny Ruettiger

RHP Jarett Miller

Saturday, May 9, 2015 · Game #30 · Road Game #16

Frederick Keys (16-13) vs Potomac Nationals (11-17)

RHP Jarett Miller (1-0, 4.30) vs. RHP John Simms (0-2, 12.71)

TAKING DOWN GIOLITO: The Frederick Keys recorded 15 hits, batted around in the third inning and were stellar with runners in scoring position, as the orange and black defeated the Potomac Nationals 8-7 on Friday night at Pfitzner Stadium. In the process, the team handed Nationals No. 1 pitching prospect just his fourth professional defeat in 33 games. Frederick did a bulk of its damage in the third inning, batting around against Giolito. Three straight singles brought in the team’s first run, while a fielder’s choice and RBI base knocks by Trey Mancini and Adrian Marin made it 4-2 Keys. Potomac evened the game in the fourth thanks to a run-scoring base hit by Isaac Ballou, but the Keys plated to in the fifth to take the lead for good. A one-out double by Brenden Webb knocked Giolito out of the game, while he scored on Marin’s second RBI single of the night. Two batters later, Anthony Caronia doubled Marin home. Austin Wynns (single) and Jeff Kemp (double) played big insurance runs in the seventh and eighth, as the Nationals pulled within a run in the ninth. However, Cody Wheeler worked around a two-out jam with men at first and second to close things out.

ATTACK OF THE BATS: For the third time in four games, the orange and black finished with 10 or more hits in a game, while the 15 base knocks ranks as the second-most the Keys have had in a game this year. On Friday, eight different starters recorded one hit, five tallied multiple hits and seven had an RBI. Brenden Webb and Tucker Nathans each led the way with three hits (both went 3-for-5) while Adrian Marin had two RBIs, going 2-for-5. Equally as impressive was the team’s performance with runners in scoring position. On the night, the team batted .400 (6-for-15) with men at second or third base to bump the team’s average from .250 to .258 in that department this year.

DOING THE BAT AROUND: For the second time this week, the Keys batted around on Friday, sending nine men up against Lucas Giolito in the third inning. Frederick scored a total of four runs on five hits, in one the club’s most productive innings of the year. Monday’s bat-around against Winston-Salem was even more impressive, as the team scored five runs on six hits, both season-highs for an inning this year. Surprisingly, in both instances where the Keys hit around this week, the team did not record an extra-base hit in either inning. Thanks to a couple of big frames though, the team’s batting average for May is at .288 through the first eight games in May.

A ONE-RUN ROAD FINISH? GET OUTTA HERE: One-run road games (and one-run games in general) have become the norm for the Keys this season. Of the 15 road games Frederick has played this season, nine have hinged on a single tally. Most have those have gone the way of the team’s opponent, as the Keys are just 2-7 in one-run road tilts (in contrast to being 6-0 at home in those spots). Friday’s win ended a string of three one-run road losses, and moved the Keys to 8-7 overall in those games this year. Out eight CL teams, the 8-7 record places the Keys fourth in one-run contests.

KEMP KEEPS IT GOING: Thanks to an RBI double in the eighth inning, Jeff Kemp was able to extend his hitting streak to seven games on Friday night. The seven-gamer equals the longest by a member of the Keys this year, as Kemp joins Drew Dosch (who wrapped up his streak on Wednesday) and Brenden Webb. Over the week-long stretch, the former Radford Highlander is batting .429 (12-for-28) with a homer, a double, a triple, three RBIs and eight runs scored. The hot stretch has boosted his batting average 60 points (.221-.281).

WHAT A TANGLED WEBB HE WEAVES: Brenden Webb continued his hot stretch of hitting on Friday, going 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. It was his second three-hit game in three days, and pushed his average up to .317, good for fourth-best in the league and the highest it has been since April 12. In his last 10 games, the Californian is hitting .410 (16-for-39) with two homers, seven RBIs and nine runs. Entering Saturday, Webb paces the league in total bases (53) is second in runs scored (22), tied for second in hits (33) and extra-base hits (12), and is tied for third in doubles (eight). He is also tied for the league lead in games played (29).

BULLPEN WOES: The Keys bullpen fared a little better on Friday after giving up 14 runs on 16 hits over its previous eight innings. In the series opener at Potomac, the bullpen allowed three runs in four innings, but Cody Wheeler was able to pick up his third save in as many tries. After a good April (3.69 ERA) Frederick’s bullpen has a 10.04 ERA (28.2 IP/32R) over eight May contests.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Despite losing an 19-game on-base streak on Thursday, it has still been a good week for Drew Dosch who was named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” on Tuesday. It is the second time in his professional career that Dosch had received an organizational player of the month honor. He received the award last July, after hitting .364 with 15 RBIs in 25 games for Low-A Delmarva. In the month of April, the 22-year-old hit .291 with a home run, 18 RBIs, five doubles and two triples over 21 games. He was named the Carolina League’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26.

HELLO POTOMAC: The Keys play their closest geographic rival, the Potomac Nationals, for the first time this season. In 2014, the P-Nats took the season-series 12-8. Frederick fared better at Pfitzner Stadium (5-5) than at Nymeo Field (3-7). Potomac has won the season-set in each of the last three years, while the Keys have finished above .500 against the Nats since 2010.

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander John Simms makes his third start with the Nationals on Saturday. Assigned to the team from extended spring training on April 24, Simms has give up eight run in his first 5.2 innings this year on eight hits. His most recent start came at Salem last Sunday. Lasting just two innings, the Texan gave up five runs on six hits in just two innings. Simms split 2014 between three different teams, going 4-10 with a 4.19 ERA over 26 games (21 starts). That included 10 starts with Potomac where he went 2-4 with a 4.36 ERA. His best performance came on June 7 against Wilmington, where he struck out 14, the most by any P-Nats pitcher last year. At Double-A Harrisburg he went 2-6 with a 5.03 ERA 11 starts, while at Low-A Hagerstown he was 0-0 with a 0.98 ERA in five relief outings (18.2 IP/2ER). An 11th round pick by Washington out of Rice University, Simms was also selected by Washington in the 39th round of the 2010 draft but he did not sign. Before enrolling at Rice, he spent the summer of 2010 pitching for USA U-18 National Team, going 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA against international competition. Originally from Woodlands, TX (a suburb of Houston) the city is the hometown of NFL stars Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster as well as former MLB pitcher Doug Drabek. A three-pitch pitcher, Simms throws a low-90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

The Keys are off to Potomac

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After winning their fourth home series of the year, the Keys are back on the road. Tonight they will get their first look at the Potomac Nationals, the Keys closest geographic rival. After four against the P-Nats it is then back to Lynchburg for three more against the Hillcats.

If you are making the short drive to the Pfitz, make sure to drop by and say hello. If not, I’ll have the broadcast starting at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Lefty Luis Gonzalez goes for the Keys against highly-touted Nationals righty Lucas Giolito, who makes his Advanced-A debut.

Some game notes are below, we’ll have lineups later.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, May 8, 2015 · Game #29 · Road Game #15

Frederick Keys (15-13) vs Potomac Nationals (11-16)

LHP Luis Gonzalez (1-2, 5.64) vs. RHP Lucas Giolito (0-0, –)

LET’S PLAY ONE AND A HALF: The Frederick Keys and the Winston-Salem Dash split a quasi-doubleheader on Thursday afternoon at Nymeo Field after Wednesday’s game was suspended due to rain. In game one, the orange and black earned a 7-6 win in 10 innings, thanks to a walk-off RBI single by Trey Mancini to left. Down in the count 0-2, Mancini’s single was the third straight with two outs, as the Keys managed to hang on after a three-run rally by the Dash in the top of the ninth to force extras. Winston-Salem got plenty of payback in game two, punishing the Keys 14-2 thanks to a nine-run seventh. In the frame 13 Dash players came to bat, with Adam Engel (double), Trey Michalczewski (double) and Keon Barnum (home run) each recording two-RBI hits. The nine-run inning was the largest in the Dash era and was the worst inning by a Keys pitching staff since August 23, 2007 at Salem when Frederick gave up nine fifth inning runs. On Friday, Frederick begins its third seven-game roadtrip of the season, and gets its first look at the Potomac Nationals.

SOUR FINISH, BUT A SUCCESFUL SERIES: Playing their third quasi-doubleheader against the Dash in last two years, the orange and black managed to get a series win by splitting Thursday’s affair. It was Frederick’s fourth straight series win at Nymeo Field, and moved the club to 11-3 in home tilts. That mark is tied for the best in the CL with the Carolina Mudcats (13-5). On the road, it has been a different story, with the Keys 4-10 record ranking as the worst in the circuit. Despite the appearance, Frederick has been competitive in every road game with the exception of a 9-0 loss at Lynchburg and a 13-3 defeat at Carolina. Eight of the 14 road tilts have come down to one run and 11 have been decided by three runs or less.

COMEBACK KIDS: After winning only three games via walk-off in 2014, the Keys have earned five walk-off victories with the season still less than a month old. Accounting for a little less than half of the club’s home wins, all five walk-offs have come from a different player each time (Brenden Webb, Drew Dosch, Anthony Caronia, Austin Wynns, Trey Mancini).This year  Frederick has victimized Winston-Salem with a walk-off twice.

NOT A BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE: Brenden Webb became the first Keys player to hit two home runs in a game in 2015, socking one in the fourth inning and one in the fifth inning during the front-end of the quasi-twinbill. It was the second multi-homer game of his career and first since August 8, 2012 when he was playing for Low-A Delmarva. He finished the game 3-for-4 with a three RBIs and three runs scored, setting new season-highs in the first two departments and tying a season-best in the later department. One of the club’s hottest hitters of late, Webb is hitting .378 (14-for-37) with two homers, seven RBIs and nine runs scored in his last 10 games to move his batting average from .258 to .303. He is eighth in the league in batting average, but has fared well across a host of statistical categories. Entering Friday, Webb is tied for the CL lead in homers (four), runs scored (21) and total bases (49), is third in hits (30), is tied for third in extra-base hits (11) and is fourth in slugging (.495).

BULLPEN WOES: The Keys bullpen struggles continued into Thursday, after the relief corps allowed eight runs over 4.1 innings in the series opener against Winston-Salem. In the last two games, Keys relief arms allowed 14 runs over eight innings on 16 hits. Nine of those runs came in the seventh inning of the series finale. After putting together a strong April (3.69 ERA) Frederick’s bullpen has a 10.58 ERA (24.2 IP/29R) over seven May contests.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Drew Dosch saw his on-base streak come to an end at 19 games on Thursday, after finishing 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. The longest streak of its kind in the Carolina League this year, Dosch hit .414 over the 19 games, to go along with a homer, six doubles, two triples and 18 RBIs. One of the league’s top hitters this season, Dosch leads the circuit in hits (33) and RBIs (22), is third in batting average (.314) and fourth in total bases (47). Additionally, he is tied for most games played (28).

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Despite losing the on-base streak, it has still been a good week for Drew Dosch who was named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” on Tuesday. It is the second time in his professional career that Dosch had received an organizational player of the month honor. He received the award last July, after hitting .364 with 15 RBIs in 25 games for Low-A Delmarva. In the month of April, the 22-year-old hit .291 with a home run, 18 RBIs, five doubles and two triples over 21 games. He was named the Carolina League’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26.

HELLO POTOMAC: The Keys play their closest geographic rival, the Potomac Nationals, for the first time on Friday. In 2014, the P-Nats took the season-series 12-8. Frederick fared better at Pfitzner Stadium (5-5) than at Nymeo Field (3-7). Potomac has won the season-set in each of the last three years, while the Keys have finished above .500 against the Nats since 2010.

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Lucas Giolito makes his much-anticipated debut against the Keys on Friday night. Rated the No. 1 overall prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America, the Californian rates as the No. 7 prospect in minor league baseball according to the same publication and the No.6 prospect by MLB.com. Giolito opened the season at Extended Spring Training along with teammate Reynaldo Lopez as a precautionary measure, since both hit their innings limits in 2014. In his first year of full-season baseball, the right-hander was outstanding at Low-A Hagerstown, going 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA over 98 innings (20 starts) to go along with 110 strikeouts and just 28 walks. He never allowed any more than four runs in any given start, and won six straight outings to end the year. From last April-August his ERA monthly ERA was never higher than 2.95. Opponents hit .195 off Giolito, with righties struggling mightily at .175 and lefties not faring much better at .220. Named the Nationals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2014, this season the 20-year-old is expected to log close to 100 innings again. Considered a potential No. 1 overall selection as a senior at Harvard-Westlake (CA) High School just outside of Los Angeles, Giolito sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow as a senior and was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2012. Washington selected the righty with the 16th overall pick and signed him for a reported $2.925 million. The son of Hollywood actor/producer Rick Giolito, the younger Giolito throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

It’s a Doubleheader Thursday! (Sort of)

Good Morning Keys Fans!

We’ve got a baseball game and a half to be played today! In broadcasting/media parlance, today’s pair of games is a “quasi” or “pseudo” doubleheader. We’ve started one game already, but we’re not beginning from scratch. When Wednesday night game resumes at 11 a.m. the Keys will be coming to bat trailing 3-2.

Mitch Horacek and Jake Cose (last night’s starting pitchers) are both done, meaning that the two teams will be using their bullpens to wrap up game 1. In game two, Keys righty David Hess will make the start against Dash righty Matt Heidenreich. Off to a stellar start, the experienced Heidenreich has won all four of his starts so far and is second in the league in ERA.

Both teams will be playing in front of a throng of youngsters on Thursday, because it is STEM Day at the ballpark. Many schools come to this event, and all the students fill out a packet, learning about the role of STEM in baseball and in the community.

You don’t need to be a student to come to the game though, and if you decide to take the day off or play hookey from work, we promise not to tell.

For those who can’t make it, Doug Raftery will have you covered on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Today’s game notes are below, while the game one lineup (with the exception of the pitchers) is the same as last night and can be seen by scrolling down.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Thursday, May 7, 2015 · Game #27/28 · Home Game #13/14

Frederick Keys (14-12) vs Winston-Salem Dash (11-14)

G2: RHP David Hess (1-2, 4.39) vs. RHP Matt Heidenreich (4-0, 0.76)

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: On Wednesday night, the Keys and the Winston-Salem Dash were suspended in the bottom of the fifth inning due to rain, with the visitors ahead 3-2. The two sides will complete all nine innings starting at 11 a.m, followed by a seven-inning game afterwards. Before play was halted, Winston-Salem grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first, thanks to a two-run triple by Chris Jacobs which scored Trey Michalczewski and Jake Peter who both reached via walk. In the third, the Dash added their third run on a solo homer by Adam Engel. Mitch Horacek tossed the first five innings for the orange and black and struck out a career-high 11 batters. Winston-Salem starter Jake Cose allowed one run in three innings in his first start in 613 days (he missed all of 2014 due to a back injury). The Keys scored once in the third with runners at the corners and two outs, after Trey Mancini got caught in a rundown between first and second, allowing Tucker Nathans to score. Brenden Webb then added a solo home run in the fourth to complete the scoring.

IT’S A DOUBLEHEADER…SORT OF: The Keys are no strangers to quasi-doubleheaders, having played three in 2014. Two of those pseudo-twinbills came against Winston-Salem, with the two sides splitting one (May 11-12) and the Dash sweeping the other (June 25-26). Last June 6, the Keys also played a quasi-doubleheader at Salem, winning the completed game 9-8 in 12 innings and falling in the regularly scheduled affair 4-0.

HERE COME THE BATS: The Keys offense enjoyed its best night of the 2015 campaign on Tuesday, posting season-highs in runs (12) and hits (16). It was the first time the club had scored 10 or more runs in a game since last August 28 against Salem. Additionally, Frederick put together its best individual inning of the year in the series opener. Sending 10 men to bat in the first, the Keys scored five runs on six hits. Thanks to the strong offensive showing, the team’s batting average jumped from .240 to .247.

BRING ME IN!: In addition to the nice bump in team batting average, the Keys collective average with runners in scoring position also improved. On the night, the orange and black went 9-for-20 (.450 AVG) with men at second and third to bump the team’s average from .238 to .255. Tuesday was the club’s second-best showing with men in scoring position all year (the Keys went 5-for-9 against the Dash on April 11) and offered the most run scoring chances. Over the last two nights, the Keys are batting .433 (13-for-30) with runners closest to home.

BULLPEN WOES: Although the bats were hot on Tuesday, the Keys bullpen struggled mightily. Over 4.1 innings, Keys relief allowed eight runs on eight hits to go along with seven walks. In the month of May, Frederick relievers have posted a 8.10 ERA (16.2 IP/25R/15ER) to go along with 14 walks. This comes on the heels of a strong April, where Keys relievers posted a 3.69 ERA.

HOTTER THAN A BLOWTORCH: Drew Dosch was one of two Keys to record a four-hit game on Tuesday. On the night, the former Youngstown State product went 4-for-5 and led the team with three RBIs. The four hits tied Dosch’s career-high which he set on April 17 at Wilmington, while the three RBIs came one short of his personal-best. Additionally, Dosch was able to extend his on-base streak to 18 games, the longest streak of its kind in the Carolina League this year. Since April 17, he has hit .424 with a home run, two triples, six doubles and 18 RBIs. Currently, Dosch leads the league in hitting (.323) RBIs (22), hits (32) and is tied for tops in total bases (46). He has also hit safely in his last six games.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: If the 18-game on-base streak was not enough, Drew Dosch was named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” on Tuesday. It is the second time in his professional career that Dosch had received an organizational player of the month honor. He received the award last July, after hitting .364 with 15 RBIs in 25 games for Low-A Delmarva. In the month of April, the 22-year-old hit .291 with a home run, 18 RBIs, five doubles and two triples over 21 games. He was named the Carolina League’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26.

BACK IN THE SWING: Following an up-and-down April, Jeff Kemp has gotten off to a red-hot start in May. In his first five games he is batting .429 (9-for-21) with a home run, two RBIs and six runs scored. In the series opener against Winston-Salem, the Bowie, MD native went 4-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. The four hits were the most Kemp had ever recorded in a Carolina League game, while he finished one short of his career-high (set last June 24 at Low-A Delmarva).

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team features plenty of exciting players. Seven of the Orioles top 30 prospects according to Baseball America will begin the year at Nymeo Field, the most on any Baltimore farm club. Catcher Chance Sisco (No. 4) highlights this group, which also includes infielders Drew Dosch (No. 15), Adrian Marin (No. 21) and Trey Mancini (No. 30), outfielders Josh Hart (No. 25) and pitchers Jon Keller (No. 13) and David Hess (No. 20). Additionally, Sisco is ranked as the “best hitter for average” in the O’s minor league system and Dosch as having the best “strike zone discipline” according to the publication’s “best tools” survey.

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER (GAME 2): Right-hander Matt Heidenreich makes his fifth start of the season and his first against the Keys. Owner of the league’s second-best ERA (0.76) the right-hander became the first Carolina League pitcher to four wins on Saturday, tossing a season-high seven shutout innings at Wilmington. He scattered five hits, walked one and struck out four. Heidenreich’s ERA is 10th-best in minor league baseball among qualifiers. A fourth round pick by Chicago in 2009 out of Temescal Canyon (CA) High School, Heidenreich was traded to the Astros in July 2012 along with Blair Walters for big leaguer Brett Myers. The 2014 season was a struggle for the Californian, who went a combined 4-4 with a 6.41 ERA over 28 games (11 starts). He re-signed with the White Sox in December, and rejoins the Dash for the first time since 2012. That season he went 8-2 with a 3.57 ERA and was tabbed as the starting pitcher for that year’s Carolina League-California League All-Star Game. Heidenreich throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Keys look to make it 5 straight against Dash

The Keys came close to losing last night’s game after getting off to a 10-2 lead, but the Winston-Salem Dash were only able to come within a run as Frederick held off for a 12-10 victory. Jeff Kemp and Drew Dosch went for a combined 8-for-9 with five RBIs as Kemp scored four runs pacing the offense. Last night’s contest was the most the team has scored thus far in the season and it improved their home record to 10-2, the best in the Carolina League as well as vaulting themselves back into first place in the North Division. However, today is a brand new day as both teams can forget about last night’s ugly game. The Keys will likely trot out left hander Mitch Horacek (2-2, 2.40) as he will be countered by Winston-Salem’s Jake Cose (0-0, –). If they are victorious tonight, it will be the fifth straight game they have won against the Dash.

Lineup

Tucker Nathans LF

Jeff Kemp SS

Drew Dosch 3B

Trey Mancini 1B

Brenden Webb RF

Austin Wynns C

Anthony Caronia 2B

Johnny Ruettiger CF

Gregory Lorenzo DH

Games notes are below

5/6 Game Notes

HANGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE: The Frederick Keys saw an eight-run lead shrink to one in the seventh inning on Tuesday night, but managed to hang for a 12-10 victory over Winston-Salem at Nymeo Field. It was Frederick’s 10th home win of the year and snapped a four-game losing streak. It did not take long for the orange and black to get the offense started. Utilizing six singles and an error, the orange and black plated five in the first inning, the club’s most productive frame of the year. After three innings, the lead was 9-1 following a solo homer and an RBI single by Kemp and a two-run double by Drew Dosch. From there, Winston-Salem scored eight of the next nine runs thanks to five walks and two big swings. Trey Michalczewski provided the first blow, with a grand slam off Dylan Rheault and Nick Basto added a three-run blast off Williams Louico to cap off the seven-run seventh. The Keys rebuilt their lead to three after plating a pair in the seventh, while Cody Wheeler stranded the tying run aboard at first in the eighth and struck out the side in the ninth to close things out.   

 

HERE COME THE BATS: The Keys offense enjoyed its best night of the 2015 campaign on Tuesday, posting season-highs in runs (12) and hits (16). It was the first time the club had scored 10 or more runs in a game since last August 28 against Salem. Additionally, Frederick put together its best individual inning of the year in the series opener. Sending 10 men to bat in the first, the Keys scored five runs on six hits. Thanks to the strong offensive showing, the team’s batting average jumped from .240 to .247.

 

BRING ME IN!: In addition to the nice bump in team batting average, the Keys collective average with runners in scoring position also improved. On the night, the orange and black went 9-for-20 (.450 AVG) with men at second and third to bump the team’s average from .238 to .255. Tuesday was the club’s second-best showing with men in scoring position all year (the Keys went 5-for-9 against the Dash on April 11) and offered the most run scoring chances. Over the last two nights, the Keys are batting .433 (13-for-30) with runners closest to home.

 

BULLPEN WOES: Although the bats were hot on Tuesday, the Keys bullpen struggled mightily. Over 4.1 innings, Keys relief allowed eight runs on eight hits to go along with seven walks. In the month of May, Frederick relievers have posted a 8.10 ERA (16.2 IP/25R/15ER) to go along with 14 walks. This comes on the heels of a strong April, where Keys relievers posted a 3.69 ERA.

 

HOTTER THAN A BLOWTORCH: Drew Dosch was one of two Keys to record a four-hit game on Tuesday. On the night, the former Youngstown State product went 4-for-5 and led the team with three RBIs. The four hits tied Dosch’s career-high which he set on April 17 at Wilmington, while the three RBIs came one short of his personal-best. Additionally, Dosch was able to extend his on-base streak to 18 games, the longest streak of its kind in the Carolina League this year. Since April 17, he has hit .424 with a home run, two triples, six doubles and 18 RBIs. Currently, Dosch leads the league in RBIs (22), hits (32) and is tied for tops in total bases (46). Owner of a six-game hitting streak, the 22-year-old is batting a season-best .327, good for the third-highest average among CL qualifiers.

 

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: If the 18-game on-base streak was not enough, Drew Dosch was named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” on Tuesday. It is the second time in his professional career that Dosch had received an organizational player of the month honor. He received the award last July, after hitting .364 with 15 RBIs in 25 games for Low-A Delmarva. In the month of April, the 22-year-old hit .291 with a home run, 18 RBIs, five doubles and two triples over 21 games. He was named the Carolina League’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26.

 

BACK IN THE SWING: Following an up-and-down April, Jeff Kemp has gotten off to a red-hot start in May. In his first five games he is batting .429 (9-for-21) with a home run, two RBIs and six runs scored. In the series opener against Winston-Salem, the Bowie, MD native went 4-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. The four hits were the most Kemp had ever recorded in a Carolina League game, while he finished one short of his career-high (set last June 24 at Low-A Delmarva).

 

RAMOS ADDED, TAYLOR TO DL: Right before Tuesday’s game, left-hander Jhonathan Ramos was added to the Keys roster, taking the spot of Matt Taylor who was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion. Making his first start in a Keys uniform, the southpaw allowed two runs on five hits over 4.2 innings.

 

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team features plenty of exciting players. Seven of the Orioles top 30 prospects according to Baseball America will begin the year at Nymeo Field, the most on any Baltimore farm club. Catcher Chance Sisco (No. 4) highlights this group, which also includes infielders Drew Dosch (No. 15), Adrian Marin (No. 21) and Trey Mancini (No. 30), outfielders Josh Hart (No. 25) and pitchers Jon Keller (No. 13) and David Hess (No. 20). Additionally, Sisco is ranked as the “best hitter for average” in the O’s minor league system and Dosch as having the best “strike zone discipline” according to the publication’s “best tools” survey.

 

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Jake Cose makes his first start of the 2015 season on Wednesday night. It is his first start in 613 days, after the right-hander missed all of 2014 due to a serious back injury. He takes the rotation spot of Tony Bucciferro who was promoted to Double-A Birmingham on Tuesday. Cose last pitched on August 31, 2013 against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The right-hander split the 2013 season between Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem going a combined 11-8 with a 3.28 ERA in 27 games (all starts). A workhorse that season, Cose logged 159.1 innings, the fourth-most in all of Class-A baseball. The last month he pitched in the Carolina League (August 2013) was outstanding, as Cose went 4-1 with a 2.35 ERA in six games and was named the CL’s “Topps Player of the Month.” A 27th round selection by the White Sox in 2011, the Californian played his college baseball at San Joaquin Delta (CA) Junior College. A first baseman until his sophomore year, Cose converted to pitcher after throwing 94 miles per hour during a practice early in the season. A three-pitch pitcher, he throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Previewing game one of the Winston-Salem Series

Playing on the road this year for the Keys has been a huge downfall for the team as they only took two out of seven games against the Salem Red Sox and Carolina Mudcats, including getting swept by Carolina in their recent roadtrip. They are 4-10 away from Nymeo Field thus far coming into the season. However, they are coming home for a three game set with the Winston-Salem Dash, where they are 9-2 at home and are 3-1 against the Dash on the year. The struggles on the road has dropped the team out of first place and their record to 13-12. Tonight Frederick will be sending out Jhonathan Ramos who is making his first start of the season. He will be countered by Robinson Leyer as he is 0-3 with a 3.60 ERA for Winston-Salem. Last time Leyer faced the Keys on 4/11 he went five innings giving up five runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out seven and allowing one walk earning the loss.

 

Keys lineup

 

Tucker Nathans LF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Drew Dosch 3B

Trey Mancini 1B

Brenden Webb CF

Adrian Marin SS

Steel Russell C

Anthony Hewitt LF

Anthony Caronia DH

Below are the game notes for tonight’s contest

5/5 Game Notes

ONE RUN SHORT: The Frederick Keys got the tying run 90 feet from home with two outs in the ninth inning, but could not score as the Carolina Mudcats completed the four-game sweep with a 6-5 win on Monday night at Five County Stadium. It was the first time the Keys had been swept in a series this year, and extended the club’s longest losing streak of the year. Carolina tied the game in the sixth on an RBI double by Joe Odom, before plating four in the eighth to take the lead for good. With men at first and second and one out, Levi Hyams brought home the go-ahead run with a single to center. Odom then laid down a sac-bunt, but a fielding error by Dennis Torres brought in another run. Another sacrifice moved Mudcats runners to second and third, before a Sean Godfrey two-run base hit made it 6-2. In the ninth, the Keys put five of the first six on base. Brenden Webb started things with a one out single and later scored after back-to-back base knocks by Adrian Marin and Austin Wynns. Anthony Caronia then reached on a fielding error by Hyams at second to score Marin, while pinch hitter Tucker Nathans added an RBI single to left to put the tying run at second. After a lineout by Johnny Ruettiger, Caronia stole third, but was left hanging as David Peterson struck out Jeff Kemp to end the game.

FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME: Monday night marked the first time the Keys had been swept in a four-game road series since May 26-29, 2008, when the orange and black were playing the now-defunct Kinston Indians. Meanwhile, the four-game slide is the longest since August 6-9, 2014, when the Keys dropped four in-a-row to Carolina and Wilmington. Over the seven-game roadtrip to Salem and Carolina, Frederick went just 2-5 and is a Carolina League-worst 4-10 in road tilts this year.

BREAKING THE TREND: In addition to the Keys suffering a four-game sweep on Monday, the club also suffered its first loss when scoring four or more runs in a game. Prior to last night’s finale at Carolina, the orange and black had gone 12-0 when reaching the four-run barrier. One trend that did not change though, were the Keys struggles in one-run road games. In those contests, Frederick is just 1-7.

OUSTED: With Monday’s loss, the Keys dropped out of first place for the first time since April 10, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks used a series win to move into the top spot in the CL North. Still, the Keys are just a half-game off Wilmington’s pace. Helping matters, the Keys claimed three of four in their first series against Winston-Salem back in April. The Dash enter Tuesday’s action having dropped back-to-back games.

THE STREAK IS ALIVE!: Drew Dosch extended his on-base streak to 17 games on Monday with a third inning single off Lucas Sims. The 17-gamer is the longest active streak in the league, and tied for the longest by a Carolina Leaguer this season. Previously, Myrtle Beach’s Billy McKinney and Salem’s Jordan Weems had 17-game streaks. Over the course of the on-base streak Dosch is hitting .393 with one homer, 15 RBIs, two triples, five doubles and 10 runs scored. The Ohio native has reached in every game since April 17.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: If the 17-game on-base streak was not enough, Drew Dosch was named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” on Tuesday. It is the second time in his professional career that Dosch had received an organizational player of the month honor. He received the award last July, after hitting .364 with 15 RBIs in 25 games for Low-A Delmarva. In the month of April, the 22-year-old hit .291 with a home run, 18 RBIs, five doubles and two triples over 21 games. He was named the Carolina League’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26. Dosch currently leads the CL in RBIs (19) and is tied for the circuit lead in hits (28) and games played (25). He also ranks third in hits (28) and games played (25).

ROAD IS HOME TO ME: Brenden Webb wrapped up a strong roadtrip, batting .346 (9-for-26) with two doubles, three RBIs and five RBIs over seven games. In the process, he saw his average climb from .258 to .284. A player who has fared well away from the confines of Nymeo Field, Webb is batting .306 in 14 road games (50 pts higher than in home games). Webb is tied for second in the Carolina League with 17 runs scored. His lone bugaboo has been strikeouts, with Webb having gone down 29 times in 88 at-bats (25 games) on strikes.

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team features plenty of exciting players. Seven of the Orioles top 30 prospects according to Baseball America will begin the year at Nymeo Field, the most on any Baltimore farm club. Catcher Chance Sisco (No. 4) highlights this group, which also includes infielders Drew Dosch (No. 15), Adrian Marin (No. 21) and Trey Mancini (No. 30), outfielders Josh Hart (No. 25) and pitchers Jon Keller (No. 13) and David Hess (No. 20). Additionally, Sisco is ranked as the “best hitter for average” in the O’s minor league system and Dosch as having the best “strike zone discipline” according to the publication’s “best tools” survey.

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Robinson Leyer makes his fifth start of the season and his second against Frederick on Tuesday night. In his most recent outing against Potomac last Thursday, the right-hander suffered the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out three. Leyer has lost three of his first four starts, and is tied for fourth in the Carolina League in defeats. Facing Frederick on April 11, Leyer also suffered the loss, giving up a season-high five runs on six hits in five frames to go along with seven strikeouts and one walk. Let down by his defense, Winston-Salem committed two errors behind Leyer which resulted in three unearned runs. The 22-year-old spent all of 2014 at Low-A Kannapolis. In 25 games (all starts) for the Intimidators, Leyer went 5-9 with a 3.81 ERA over 134.2 innings pitched.  At Kannapolis he led his team in games started and innings pitcher and placed second in strikeouts (86). One of the league’s toughest arms in May and June, the Dominican recorded a 1.95 ERA in five May starts and a 1.16 ERA in five June outings. He did not allow any more than three runs in any of those trips. Signed by the White Sox as an international free agent in 2011, Leyer is the second member of his family to play for the Dash in as many years. In 2014, his brother, Euclides went 1-3 with a 4.53 ERA for Winston-Salem in 34 games. Euclides was selected by Cincinnati in the Triple-A phase of this past winter’s Rule 5 Draft.

Final Day of the Roadtrip is Here!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

Well the seven-game roadtrip is almost in the books! The Keys will be back at Nymeo Field tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. against Winston-Salem. It should be a jam-packed night. Of course we’ll be celebrating Cinco de Mayo, plus it is Strike out Stroke Night. The Keys and Frederick Memorial Hospital invite fans to come out and learn about warning signs of a stroke and how you can prevent one from happening.

Strike Out Stroke

 

It is also “Unleash the Pack” night. Flying Dog Brewery will be on hand for a beer tasting from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and includes a reserved ticket, four 6oz. beer samples and a Flying Dog glass. And if all that wasn’t enough it is a Guaranteed Win night. If the name isn’t a total giveaway, the Keys are promising a victory. However if the team loses, you can redeem your ticket at the box office for another Monday-Thursday home game.

Unleash the Pack

 

On Wednesday at 7, fans can come and learn sign language with the Keys! It is Deaf and Hard of Hearing Night, and we’ll be educating fans about Frederick’s Deaf Community. Then on Thursday morning at 11 am it’s STEM Day! Come and learn about Science, Technology, Education and Math, and see see cool stuff like robots on the concourse! The game is presented by AstraZeneca.

Stem Day

It is only a short homestand so call and get your tickets now! If you don’t have it on speed dial, the box office phone number is 301-815-9939 or you can visit frederickkeys.com.

Before the club returns home though, they’ll try and avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Carolina Mudcats. Yesterday, the Keys lost 13-3. Although the score sounds lopsided, in truth the game was decided by a tough seventh inning and an even rockier eighth, where Carolina scored seven times.

The good news (and you can read more in the notes below) is that the Keys have not been swept in a four-game road set in a VERY long time.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. And today’s game notes and lineup are below. Doug will gladly keep you company on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. LF Johnny Ruettiger

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. DH Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. C Austin Wynns

8. 3B Anthony Caronia

9. CF Gregory Lorenzo

RHP Jarett Miller

Monday, May 4, 2015 · Game #25 · Road Game #14

Frederick Keys (13-11) vs Carolina Mudcats (11-10)

RHP Jarett Miller (1-0, 5.00) vs. RHP Lucas Sims (1-3, 8.59)

GETTING HIT BY A WALKING STICK: The Carolina Mudcats scored seven times in the eighth inning to pull away for a 13-3 victory on Sunday afternoon at Five County Stadium. It was the Keys third straight defeat, and marks the club’s longest slide of the season. Frederick held a 3-2 lead through six innings thanks to an RBI triple by Trey Mancini in the first and an RBI double by Mancini in the sixth as well as a run-scoring single by Brenden Webb. From there, the Muddies scored 11 unanswered runs. In the seventh, Carolina grabbed the lead for good, scoring four times off Jon Keller and Nik Nowottnick. With one out and runners at second and third, Dustin Pederson singled in Sean Godfrey and Eric Garcia to give the home team the lead for good, while Keller allowed a single and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Coming out of the bullpen, Nowottnick allowed a sac-fly and an RBI single by Carlos Franco to close out the inning. Now ahead 6-3, Carolina would send 10 men to bat in the eighth. All seven runs would be unearned after a two-out error by Drew Dosch at third which scored a pair of runs. Connor Lien provided the big blow with a three-run homer to left and Joey Meneses drove in a pair with a single to center.

BAD MEMORIES: Sunday’s 13-3 loss ranks as the Keys second-worst of the year, with only opening night going down as more lopsided (13-0 loss to Winston-Salem). The 13 runs equals the most allowed by the Frederick pitching staff this season and the seven runs given up in the eighth inning also ties a season-high. A team that is no stranger to close road games, the Keys loss on Sunday snapped a string of three games in-a-row decided by one run.

KEEP THE BROOMS IN THE CLOSET: The Keys will try and salvage a win on Monday night to avoid a four-game sweep. Frederick has yet to be broomed in a set this year, and have not suffered four straight losses since last August 6-9. In 2014, the Keys were never swept in a four-game series and were broomed only once in a road set (May 27-29 at Lynchburg). A club that is tough to sweep over four games, the orange and black have not been held without a win in a four-game series since June 14-17, 2012, and have not endured a four-game road sweep since May 26-29, 2008 (at Kinston).

ROAD WOES: The 2015 season has been a complete turnaround of the 2014 campaign in regards to home-road record. Last season, the orange and black boasted the third-best away mark in the Carolina League (36-34) and the second-worst home record (29-38). This year, Frederick sports the top home mark (9-2) but the worst road ledger (4-9). In spite of the nine losses away from Nymeo Field, a majority of the team’s road tilts have been close. Out of 13 games, 10 have come down to three runs or less  and seven have been one-run games.

GET ME FOUR RUNS: The magic number for the offense continues to be four, as the squad has not lost when scoring four or more runs this year, going 12-0. However, when the Keys score less than four runs, they are 1-11. On this road trip, that has held true, as the Keys are 2-0 when scoring four or more, and 0-4 when scoring less than four.

SHOW ME THE LUCKY CHARMS!: Trey Mancini paced the Keys offense on Sunday, as the former Notre Dame star went 3-for-3 with a triple, a double, two RBIs, a run scored and two walks. Over the last two days, he is 4-for-6 with four RBIs and has boosted his batting average from .233 to .260. Sunday also marked just the second time in his career that Mancini had reached in every plate appearance. The other instance occurred on July 3, 2013 when the first baseman went 5-for-5 at Short-Season Aberdeen. Currently, Mancini leads the CL in extra-base hits (12) and total bases (46). He is also tied for the lead in triples (three) and games played (24) and is fourth in RBIs (15).

BASECLOGGER: Drew Dosch extended his on-base streak to 16 games on Sunday with a fifth inning single off Yean Carlos Gil. That is the longest active streak in the league, and the third-longest in the Carolina League this year. Previously, Myrtle Beach’s Billy McKinney and Salem’s Jordan Weems had 17-game streaks. Over the 16-game jaunt, Dosch is batting .379 with a home run and 14 RBIs, as well as two triples and five doubles. The Ohio native has reached in every game since April 17.

MARIN ONE: Adrian Marin has been on fire at the plate, hitting 15-for-47 (.319) in his last 12 games. The 21-year-old has finished with multiple hits in five of his last nine games to raise his batting average by 42 points (.231-.273). In the month of April he hit .286, his second-best month ever at Advanced-A (he batted .289 in 27 games in May 2014).

CAROLINA ON MY MIND: This series will be the first the Keys have played against the Carolina Mudcats this season. Last season’s series was claimed by the Muddies, who took 12 of the 18 meetings. That included wins in six of 10 games in Zebulon. It is important to note though, that the Mudcats changed affiliations during the offseason and are now an Atlanta Braves affiliate (after they were previously an Indians farm team). In 2014, the Keys hit a collective .248 against Carolina and recorded a 4.84 ERA. Individually, Johnny Ruettiger (.375) and Trey Mancini (.341) fared the best at the plate.

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team features plenty of exciting players. Seven of the Orioles top 30 prospects according to Baseball America will begin the year at Nymeo Field, the most on any Baltimore farm club. Catcher Chance Sisco (No. 4) highlights this group, which also includes infielders Drew Dosch (No. 15), Adrian Marin (No. 21) and Trey Mancini (No. 30), outfielders Josh Hart (No. 25) and pitchers Jon Keller (No. 13) and David Hess (No. 20). Additionally, Sisco is ranked as the “best hitter for average” in the O’s minor league system and Dosch as having the best “strike zone discipline” according to the publication’s “best tools” survey.

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Lucas Sims makes the start for Carolina on Monday night and is the No. 2 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America. Loser of three straight starts (which ties him for third in the CL), Sims allowed five runs on five hits in just 2.2 innings last Tuesday at Lynchburg. A big issue for Sims has been walks. He is fourth in the circuit with 13, and has walked four in back-to-back starts. A 1st round pick by the Braves in 2012, Sims went 8-11 with a 4.19 ERA with Lynchburg last season, logging a career-high 156.7 innings. A three-pitch pitcher, Sims throws a fastball, a curveball (rated best in Atlanta system) and a changeup.

 

It’s Off to Carolina!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys are coming off an exhilarating 9-8 win on Thursday night to earn their first win in a rubber game this year. Battling down from as many as four runs, the Keys also registered their biggest come-from-behind victory in 2015. Frederick currently leads the Carolina League with a 13-8 record, three more victories than the next-closest team. That mark is the Keys best since 2008, and ranks as only the second time in the last decade that the orange and black have gone into May five games over sea-level.

Last night’s win did not come without a scary moment, as starting pitcher Matt Taylor was hospitalized  after being hit by a line drive just off the side of the head. Fortunately, Matt’s CT scan came back negative, and he was released from the hospital earlier today.

Here is a tweet he sent out last night:

MASN’s Steve Melewski has some more details about Taylor here as well as the progress of Keys on the disabled list including Chance Sisco and Josh Hart and others.

Tonight’s game against Carolina will be the first meeting of the 2015 season between the two clubs. The Muddies took the season-series in 2014, but don’t forget, Carolina has changed its affiliation from the Indians to the Braves.

Lefty Mitch Horacek toes the slab tonight for the Keys and will be opposed by Muddies right-hander Steve Janas.

First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the broadcast as always can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. My pal Doug Raftery will have the call for the four-game set. One final reminder, don’t forget to join us for the Keys Corner tomorrow from 1:05-1:30! Doug and I will bring you the week that was and have a number of interviews with members of the club. If you are not close to a radio to listen on The Source, you can hear us on frederickkeys.com.

Below are today’s game notes. Enjoy your weekend and shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, May 1, 2015 · Game #22 · Road Game #11

Frederick Keys (13-8) vs Carolina Mudcats (8-10)

LHP Mitch Horacek (2-1, 2.63) vs. RHP Steve Janas (2-0, 1.00)

EYE OF THE TIGER: The Frederick Keys trailed by as many as four runs and trailed after eight innings, but a three-run ninth inning rally lifted the club to a 9-8 win on Thursday night at LewisGale Field. It was the club’s largest comeback win of the season, and gave the team its first victory in a rubber game this season. Down 8-5 going to the ninth, Johnny Ruettiger walked to open the inning. He moved to second on a single by Jeff Kemp, before an error by Red Sox second baseman Wendell Rijo loaded the bases. Trey Mancini and Tucker Nathans then brought both men home on sac-flies, while Adrian Marin gave the team the lead for good with an RBI double to left. Cody Wheeler finished the job in the ninth to preserve the 9-8 win. Frederick ends the month of April with a 13-8 record, just the second time in the last decade the team has entered May five games above sea-level.

APRIL, DON’T LEAVE US: Thursday’s triumph marks the club’s best start to a season since 2008, when the orange and black went 15-10. Entering this season, the Keys had finished only four Aprils over the .500 mark in the previous 10 years (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013). The strong start can be attributed to good home play and success in tight games. Frederick has gone 9-2 in contests at Nymeo Field this season, while the club is a combined 10-4 in games decided by two runs or less. Last season, the Keys were 10-13 after one month of play.

WINNING IS NOT ALWAYS EASY: It may not have been the cleanest win, but the Keys managed to hold on for a one-run escape on Thursday night. In the game, Frederick committed a season-high five errors, the most the team has made since April 26, 2013 against the Carolina Mudcats. Additionally Salem stole eight bases, one-short of a Red Sox franchise record (previously set in 2007 against the Keys). Thanks to the late comeback though, the orange and black came away with their largest come-from-behind win since last August 29, when the team rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat…the Red Sox in Frederick.

BASECLOGGER: Thanks to a two-hit game on Thursday, Drew Dosch extended his on-base streak to 13 games. That stretch is tied for the second-longest active streak in the league. Along with Dosch, Potomac’s Wilmer Difo has reached in 13 straight games, while Myrtle Beach’s Billy McKinney has a 17-gamer which ranks as longest active streak and is tied for the longest overall this season. Coming off a recent five-game hitting streak (snapped Wednesday) Dosch paces the Keys with a .291 average and is second on the team with a .360 on-base percentage.

CAROLINA ON MY MIND: This series will be the first the Keys have played against the Carolina Mudcats this season. Last season’s series was claimed by the Muddies, who took 12 of the 18 meetings. That included wins in six of 10 games in Zebulon. It is important to note though, that the Mudcats changed affiliations during the offseason and are now an Atlanta Braves affiliate (after they were previously an Indians farm team). In 2014, the Keys hit a collective .248 against Carolina and recorded a 4.84 ERA. Individually, Johnny Ruettiger (.375) and Trey Mancini (.341) fared the best at the plate.

MARIN ONE: Adrian Marin has been on fire at the plate, posting another two-hit game on Thursday. Going 2-for-3, the Miami native finished with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored, which included a go-ahead two-bagger in the ninth off Salem’s Austin Maddox. The 21-year-old has finished with multiple hits in five of his last six games to raise his batting average by 55 points (.231-.286). Marin’s .286 average is the highest it has ever been at the Advanced-A level, while he is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with five doubles, five runs scored in three RBIs in his last six contests. The six two-baggers by Marin are tied for third-most in the Carolina League.

DOSCH NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Drew Dosch became the first member of the Keys to earn a weekly award this season. Named the CL’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26, Dosch hit .400 (10-for-25) over seven games with a home run, a double, two triples, eight RBIs and five runs scored. The eight RBIs were tied for fifth-most at the Advanced-A level last week. It was the first time that Dosch had won a weekly award in his professional career.

PROSPECTING: This year’s Keys team features plenty of exciting players. Seven of the Orioles top 30 prospects according to Baseball America will begin the year at Nymeo Field, the most on any Baltimore farm club. Catcher Chance Sisco (No. 4) highlights this group, which also includes infielders Drew Dosch (No. 15), Adrian Marin (No. 21) and Trey Mancini (No. 30), outfielders Josh Hart (No. 25) and pitchers Jon Keller (No. 13) and David Hess (No. 20). Additionally, Sisco is ranked as the “best hitter for average” in the O’s minor league system and Dosch as having the best “strike zone discipline” according to the publication’s “best tools” survey.

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Steve Janas makes his fourth start of the season and his first against the Keys on Friday. In his most recent start last Friday against Salem, he allowed one run on five hits over five innings in a no-decision. The right-hander ranks third in the circuit in ERA (1.00) and third in WHIP (0.67). He is also second among starters in fewest walks/nine innings (0.50). In all three starts, Janas has worked five innings or more and given up one run or less. Additionally, the Georgian has walked only one batter in his first 18 innings and is holding opponents to a .175 average (with right-handers hitting only .114 against him). Janas spent all of 2014 at Low-A Rome, going 2-6 with a 4.52 ERA over 18 games (17 starts). Last year, he logged a career-high 97.2 innings. Selected by Atlanta in the sixth round of the 2013 draft out of Kennesaw State, Janas was outstanding during his junior season, going 9-1 with a 1.14 ERA, while his only loss of the year came in the Atlantic Sun championship game. As a sophomore, he underwent “Tommy John” surgery but returned in just 10 months to put together a fantastic junior campaign. A four-pitch pitcher, Janas throws a fastball, a slider, a cutter and a changeup.

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