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Keys look to take series lead against Blue Rocks

Last night the Keys tied the series at one game apiece after using a four-run rally in the seventh inning to win the game 5-1. Josh Hart hit a go-ahead three-run home run, which was only the second one of his professional career. Looking to take the series lead, Frederick will send out southpaw Wei-Yin Chen (0-0, – -) who is making his first appearance in the orange and black uniform. He will be countered by fellow lefty Eric Skoglund (6-2, 2.77) who is taking on the Keys for the third time this season. Tonight is also Monkey Cowboy Rodeo at Nymeo Field with the game starting at 6:00 PM

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco DH

Brenden Webb RF

Austin Wynns C

Adrian Marin SS

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Anthony Caronia 3B

Gregory Lorenzo LF

6/20 Game Notes

HART POWERS KEYS PAST ROCKS: Held off the board for 15.2 innings, the Frederick Keys busted out, scoring four times in the bottom of the seventh en route to a 5-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Friday night at Nymeo Field. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak. Down 1-0 heading into the seventh, the Keys scored four times with two outs. Adrian Marin triggered the inning with a double and advanced to third on a groundout by Wynston Sawyer. Anthony Caronia then followed with a single up the middle to tie the game. That ended Yender Caramo’s night, as the Blue Rocks turned to right-hander Ashton Goudeau. He would allow a single to Gregory Lorenzo, to move Caronia to third, before Hart clubbed Goudeau’s 1-0 pitch over the billboards in right. Dylan Rheault and Cody Wheeler combined on three innings of shutout relief to close things out.

SCORELESS STRING SNAPPED: Anthony Caronia’s RBI single in the seventh snapped a string of 15.2 scoreless innings. It was the club’s second-longest scoreless string of the season. The club’s longest stretch without a run came from April 21-23 when the orange and black went 17 innings without a marker. On Thursday, Frederick was shutout for the fourth time, as Alec Mills and Luis Rico combined on a three-hit shutout.

POWER SURGE: Josh Hart hit just his second professional home run on Friday, while it was his first Carolina League longball. His first longball in 308 days, Hart’s only other professional home run came on August 15, 2014 against Hickory when he was playing for Low-A Delmarva. As a team, Frederick has hit 34 deep flies this season, third-most in the Carolina League.

SLIDE SNAPPED: On Friday, the Keys avoided tying their longest losing streak of the season (four games). Previously the orange and black had lost five in-a-row from June 4-9. Meanwhile, the Keys snapped a six-game losing streak to the Blue Rocks dating back to April 26. Wilmington still holds a 9-5 advantage in the season-series.

TURNING THE CORNER: After giving up 27 runs, 34 hits and seven home runs in the recent series against Carolina (a Mudcats three-game sweep) Keys pitching has performed well in two games against Wilmington. During that time, Keys arms have given up just three runs in 18 frames (1.50 ERA) on 13 hits. That includes seven innings of shutout relief by the bullpen. Despite receiving a no-decision Friday, Chris Lee registered his first Advanced-A quality start and just the seventh by the Keys staff this year.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 20 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. During those bat-arounds, an opponent has posted four six-run innings, three five-run innings and two four-run innings. For the season, the Keys staff ERA is 4.78, 34 points higher than the next-closest team, while in the month of June, the team has a 4.77 staff ERA.

CHEN TO MAKE SATURDAY START: Orioles left-hander Wei-Yen Chen was optioned to Frederick on Tuesday and is scheduled to start for the Keys on Saturday night against Wilmington. One of the top pitchers in the American League this season, Chen is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts. His most recent outing came on Monday night against the Phillies. Earning the win, the Taiwan native tossed eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball and struck out nine.

SISCO KEEPS SWINGING: Chance Sisco turned in another multi-hit game on Friday, his seventh in 27 games with the Keys this year. On Friday he went 2-for-4, while it bumped his batting average up to .302 the highest it has been this season. Since returning from the disabled list on May 28, Sisco is batting .338 (22-for-65) with one home run, 11 RBIs, one triple, four doubles and 10 runs scored. The 20-year-old is batting a team-best .382 in August.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Left-hander Eric Skoglund makes his 13th start of the season and his fourth against the Keys. Ranked the No. 14 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system according to Baseball America, Skoglund’s most recent outing came on Monday against Salem. Earning the win, he tossed seven innings of four-hit baseball and gave up one unearned run. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter. A Carolina League All-Star selection, Skoglund is tied for sixth in ERA (2.77), tied for second in wins (six)  third in WHIP (0.99) tied for fourth in innings pitched (75.2) and fifth in batting average against (.236). This year against Frederick, Skoglund is 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA, while he has surrendered five runs (career-high) twice against the Keys. Last season, Skoglund went 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA over nine games (eight starts) at Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls in 2014. In his first foray into pro baseball, the 22-year-old saw hitters bat .316 against him, with left-handers clubbing at .407. Coming off a college season, Skoglund never worked more than three innings. Selected by Kansas City in the third round of the 2014 draft out of UCF, the 6-7 lefty earned AAC “Pitcher of the Year” honors as a junior. In 15 starts he went 9-3 with a 2.54 ERA, while opponents hit only .217 against him. Skoglund’s junior campaign was a considerable turnaround from his sophomore season where he had a 5.08 ERA in 10 starts. Royals Director of Scouting, Lonnie Goldberg told MLB.com, “he [Skoglund] pitches off deception and fastball command.” A 16th round pick by the Pirates in 2011 out of Sarasota (FL) High School, Skoglund did not sign. He throws a 90-91 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Pat Sajak on hand as Keys look to play spoiler

The Keys are now officially eliminated from a postseason berth in the first half after losing last night’s contest 2-0 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The orange and black pitching looked phenomenal, but the only mistake that was made, by starter Mikey O’Brien, cost them the game as a two-run home run off the bat of Cody Stubbs in the first inning proved to be the difference in the game. Wynston Sawyer came within a few feet of hitting a game-tying two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but was ultimately caught. Tonight the Keys have a chance to play spoilers as they will trot out southpaw Chris Lee (2-2, 5.79) who will be making his first appearance against Wilmington this season. Lee will be countered by Blue Rocks righty Yender Caramo (3-5, 3.49) whom is making his third appearance against Frederick. Tonight is also Game Show Night with Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak coming to the game.

 

Todays lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco C

Tucker Nathans LF

Austin Wynns

Adrian Marin SS

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Anthony Caronia 3B

Gregory Lorenzo RF

5/19 Game Notes

MILLS GEM ELIMINATES KEYS FROM PLAYOFF RACE: Wynston Sawyer came up just short of a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth, while Alec Mills turned in 8.1 innings of shutout baseball to give the Wilmington Blue Rocks a 2-0 win over Frederick Keys on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. The loss knocks the Keys out of playoff contention and trims the Blue Crew’s magic number to one. Mills allowed only three hits over a career-high 8.1 innings, extending his scoreless inning streak to 16.1 frames. Mills got a quick lift from his offense after Frederick starter Mikey O’Brien retired the first two batters he faced. Mauricio Ramos kept the inning alive with an infield single, to send up Cody Stubbs. An at-bat that lasted 10 pitches, Wilmington’s cleanup man capped it off with a two-run homer to right-center. Frederick’s two best opportunities came in the fourth and fifth, as the orange and black advanced runners to third in both innings, but Mills stranded both men. In the ninth, Mills retired Jeff Kemp, prompting Blue Rocks manager Brian Buchanan to go to his bullpen. Luis Rico retired Chance Sisco for the second out, but walked Tucker Nathans to send up Sawyer. Swinging first pitch, Sawyer hit a ball well to the warning track in left, but it came up several feet short to end the game.

A TOUGH FINISH:  The Keys suffered their fourth straight loss on Thursday, eliminating the team from CL North playoff contention. Since ending April a season-best five games over .500 (13-8) the Keys have gone 18-28 since. Frederick’s 31-36 record marks the most number of games the Keys have been below sea-level this year. In spite of Alec Mills’ performance, Wilmington was not able to clinch the division on Thursday, as Lynchburg was rained out in Myrtle Beach. Given that the scheduled doubleheader has been set for Saturday rather than Friday, Wilmington can wrap up the first-half title with a win or a Hillcats loss on Friday.

BLANKED: Thursday marked the fourth time this season that Frederick had been shutout and the first time it had occurred since May 1 at Carolina. On the season, the Keys shutout record is 3-4, a mark that is fourth in the Carolina League. Meanwhile the four shutout defeats are tied for the second-fewest in the Carolina League. This season, the orange and black have been blanked at home on only two occasions with the other instance taking place on opening night (13-0 loss to Winston-Salem).

THE BATS GO QUIET: In the series opener the Keys were limited to three hits, the third-fewest number of hits the Keys have recorded in a game this year. Previously, Frederick had been two-hit on April 22 at Lynchburg and on April 9 against Winston-Salem at Nymeo Field. Most of Frederick’s frustrations came against Alec Mills who tossed 8.1 shutout innings, the longest start by an opponent against the Keys this year. Entering Thursday Mills had gone 0-1 against the Keys with a 6.52 ERA over two starts. Friday also ended a string of six games for the Keys with nine hits or more. Frederick finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The team is 2-for-19 with men at second and third over the last two days.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 19 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. During those bat-arounds, an opponent has posted four six-run innings, three five-run innings and two four-run innings. For the season, the Keys staff ERA is 4.88, 45 points higher than the next-closest team, while in the month of June, the team has a 5.01 staff ERA.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Johnny Ruettiger saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close on Thursday, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. It was tied for his second-longest stretch of the season (his season-high is seven games from May 5-11). During the streak, Ruettiger hit .480 (12-for-25) with three doubles, two RBIs and five runs scored. That included four multi-hit games, while Ruettiger has seen his average climb from .243 to .277. Coming off a terrific May at the plate where he hit .309 in 24 games, the former Arizona State Sun Devil is still batting .350 over 12 June contests.

CHEN TO MAKE SATURDAY START: Orioles left-hander Wei-Yen Chen was optioned to Frederick on Tuesday and is scheduled to start for the Keys on Saturday night against Wilmington. One of the top pitchers in the American League this season, Chen is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts. His most recent outing came on Monday night against the Phillies. Earning the win, the Taiwan native tossed eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball and struck out nine.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Yender Caramo makes his 14th appearance of the season and his ninth start on Friday. He is currently 10th in the Carolina League in ERA (3.49) and is one of four Wilmington pitchers in the CL’s top 10 in that category. Loser of back-to-back starts (and three of his last four) Caramo last pitched on Sunday Salem. Tossing four innings, the righty allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one, struck out one and threw two wild pitches (he had only one through his first 12 games). Caramo has split the season between starting and relieving, working mostly in a piggyback role with Luis Rico. As a starter he is 2-4 with a 3.43 ERA and 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA as a relief pitcher. In two games against the Keys this year, Caramo is 0-0 with a 2.79 ERA (9.2 IP/4R/3ER/12H). In his fifth professional season and second with the Blue Rocks, Caramo went 3-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 2014 logging 52.2 innings. A pitcher who relies on outstanding command, Caramo has a career BB/9IP ratio of 1.0, while in 2014 he had the lowest BB/9IP ratio (1.01) of any CL reliever. Originally from San Felix, Bolivar, Venezuela, Caramo notes that Josh Beckett was a big influence on him. He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup.

Keys open up a four game series with Wilmington

The Keys did not fare well in their last series against the Carolina Mudcats as they were swept in the three-game set. Despite losing them all, the orange and black are still in the playoff hunt as their elimination number is only at one. The team they are chasing in the standings, Wilmington Blue Rocks, is conveniently coming to Nymeo Field for a four game series which could determine the playoff fate for each team as they have a four game advantage over the Keys in the standings. If the Blue Rocks win just one game in the series, then Frederick is eliminated. With the daunting task of staying alive for the postseason, the Keys will trot out Mikey O’Brien (0-0, 2.25) who is only making his second appearance for the team. Wilmington will counter with Alec Mills (4-3, 2.62) making his third outing against Frederick this season.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Chance Sisco C

Tucker Nathans DH

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Adrian Marin SS

Brenden Webb RF

Anthony Caronia 3B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

 

6/18 Game Notes

BIG INNING BLUES, THE SEQUEL: Another big inning spelled doom for the Frederick Keys, as the Carolina Mudcats scored five times in the eighth inning to earn a 9-3 win on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. The win allowed the Muddies to complete the three-game sweep, while it knocked the Keys elimination number to one. Ahead 4-2 after seven innings, the Mudcats batted around, scoring five times off Jimmy Yacabonis. Connor Lien opened the inning with a single and advanced to third on a steal and a wild pitch. A free pass put two aboard for Reed Harper who successfully laid down a bunt to advance the runner, but Logan Uxa could not handle the bunt, enabling Lien to score. Four batters later, Jacob Schrader landed the big blow with the bases loaded, clubbing a three-run triple to right, before an RBI double by Carlos Franco completed the scoring. Both Frederick runs came in the fourth, one on a homer by Tucker Nathans and the other on an RBI double by Austin Wynns.

HANGING ON BY A THREAD:  The Keys have now lost three straight, and are four games below .500 (31-35) for the first time this season. More importantly though, the club’s elimination number is at one, meaning the orange and black must sweep the four-game series against the Blue Rocks or be eliminated from playoff contention. Frederick stays alive following a 7-0 Blue Rocks loss to the Salem Red, where Wilmington did not record a hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning. The Blue Crew have lost eight of their last 10, but can wrap of the CL North on Thursday night with a win and a Lynchburg loss at Myrtle Beach.

SWEPT AWAY: On Thursday, the Keys were swept for the third time this year, while it marked the first time the club had been broomed in a four-game set since July 27, 2014 when Lynchburg won three straight on Stadium Drive. Two of the sweeps have come at the hands of the Carolina Mudcats, who also won four straight in Zebulon from May 1-4. This season, the orange and black have swept one series, taking three straight against Lynchburg from April 13-15. Four game sweeps though, have been tough to come by in recent years. Frederick has not swept a four-game home series since May 5-8, 2011, against…Wilmington.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: Over the last three weeks, the Keys have been victimized by the big inning. In the last 18 games, an opponent has batted around nine times. During those bat-arounds, an opponent has posted four six-run innings, three five-run innings and two four-run innings. For the season, the Keys staff ERA is 4.88, 49 points higher than the next-closest team, while in the month of June, the team has a 5.22 staff ERA (the bullpen’s ERA is 6.04).

GO JOHNNY GO!: Johnny Ruettiger has hit safely in six straight games, and is batting .480 (12-for-25) during that stretch with three doubles, two RBIs and five runs scored. That includes four multi-hit games, while Ruettiger has seen his average climb from .243 to .277, the second-highest his average has been this season. Coming off a terrific May at the plate where he hit .309 in 24 games, the former Arizona State Sun Devil is hitting .378 over 11 June contests.

CHEN TO MAKE SATURDAY START: Orioles left-hander Wei-Yen Chen was optioned to Frederick on Tuesday and is scheduled to start for the Keys on Saturday night against Wilmington. One of the top pitchers in the American League this season, Chen is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 13 starts. His most recent outing came on Monday night against the Phillies. Earning the win, the Taiwan native tossed eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball and struck out nine.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Chance Sisco saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end on Tuesday. The second-longest streak by a Keys player this year, Sisco hit .448 (13-for-29) with a triple, a double, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. Despite losing the streak, the 20-year-old has hit safely in 13 of his last 15 games. During that time he has seen his average climb 152 points. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (11) than strikeouts (six) in his first 25 games this year.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Alec Mills makes his 13th start on Thursday and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came against the Salem Red Sox last Saturday. Tying his career-high with eight innings pitched (the second time he had done it in three starts) Mills did not allow any runs, and scattered only four hits but received a no-decision. The Red Sox earned a 1-0 win on a walk-off single in the ninth by Mario Martinez. In 11 of his 12 trips to the mound, he has allowed three runs or less, with the lone exception coming against Frederick on April 17 where he allowed five runs (four earned) on a season-high 10 hits. This season he has struggled against the Keys. In two starts, Mills is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA (9.2 IP/7ER/15H). Strangely, Mills has a lower ERA in four road starts (1.59) than in six home starts (3.63). Mills spent 2014 between the Rookie-Advanced Pioneer League and Low-A Lexington. Making seven appearances at each stop (13 starts) he went a combined 4-3 with a 2.35 ERA over 57.1 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 47. He was a South-Atlantic League All-Star in 2013. Known for solid command, in his career he has only walked 2.1 batters per nine innings. Promoted to Low-A in late-July, he posted a 1.18 ERA in seven starts and did not allow any more than two runs in a start. Originally from Clarksville, TN, Mills was selected by Kansas City in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft out of Tennessee-Martin. He throws a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.

Keys look to salvage a game against Carolina in series finale

Despite losing the series to the Mudcats, the Keys look to salvage a game and keep their playoff hopes alive in the series finale tonight. Last night Carolina controlled the entire contest winning the game 10-2, but the bright spot of the game was Kevin Gausman, the Baltimore Orioles pitcher who came down to Frederick on a rehab assignment, pitched two innings allowing a run one one hit while striking out two and of his 29 pitches thrown, he threw 20 strikes. Tonight the Keys will send out southpaw Mitch Horacek (4-6, 3.98) as he will be making his second appearance against the Mudcats this year as he is 0-1 against them. Brandon Barker (2-1, 2.86) will counter for Carolina and will be making his first appearance against Frederick on the season. Tonight is also Greek Heritage Night at Nymeo Field.

 

Today’s Lineup

Josh Hart CF

Adrian Marin SS

Tucker Nathans 3B

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco DH

Austin Wynns C

Logan Uxa 1B

Anthony Caronia 2B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

6/17 Game Notes

KEYS DERAILED BY SIX-RUN FOURTH: Luis Gonzalez was tagged for seven runs (five earned) in 1.2 innings, while the Carolina Mudcats batted around in the fourth to earn a decisive 10-2 win over the Frederick Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field. Although the Blue Rocks suffered a loss themselves, Tuesday’s setback now means Frederick’s elimination number is at two. Trailing 2-1 after three frames, the Keys saw their deficit grow to seven in the fourth. Sending 10 men to bat, Carolina would get three consecutive doubles to open the inning, while the fourth batter, Joe Odom, hit a two-run home run. Sean Godfrey completed the scoring with a two-run single. That would be more than enough offense for Seth Webster, who fired off seven innings of two-run baseball. Wynston Sawyer accounted for both Keys RBIs.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL: With the loss on Tuesday, the Keys missed a chance to gain ground on the Blue Rocks who suffered a 4-3 loss to Salem at Frawley Stadium. Jordan Betts provided the decisive blow, with a solo homer in the top of the ninth off Matt Alvarez. In spite of the loss, Wilmington benefits from the Keys defeat, as the Blue Rock’s magic number to clinch is now down to two. Should the Keys be swept by the Mudcats and the Blue Rocks earn a win, Frederick would be eliminated from playoff contention.

BROOMS ARE MEANT FOR WITCHES TO RIDE ON: Besides trying to stay in the mix for a playoff berth, the Keys hope to avoid being swept for the third time this year. The first time the Keys were broomed it came at the hands of the Carolina Mudcats, who claimed four straight from May 1-4 in Zebulon. Wilmington also earned a four-game sweep of the Keys from June 4-7. Frederick has not been swept at home since July 27, 2014, when Lynchburg took three in-a-row.

VICTIMIZED BY THE BIG INNING: While the Keys have performed well of late (last 4G: 27R, 49H) the club has also been hurt by the big inning over the last two weeks. In the last 17 days, an opponent has batted around eight times. In half of those cases, Frederick’s opponent has scored six runs.

PITCHING PROBLEMS: Although the Keys offense has kept pace with their opponent of late, Frederick pitching has struggled in the last three days, surrendering a total of 25 runs (21 earned) in 27 innings, or a 7.00 ERA. Carolina and Potomac have also combined on 32 hits during that time and have received 10 walks. In the month of June, Frederick’s pitching staff has a 5.39 ERA in 15 games.

GAUSMAN MAKES SECOND REHAB START: Kevin Gausman made his second rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday and his third as part of a Major League rehab assignment. Pitching two innings, the Colorado native allowed one run on a hit and struck out two. He threw 29 total pitches, 20 for strikes. The lone run Gausman allowed came on a home run by Sean Godfrey on the first pitch of the game. Tuesday marked Gausman’s first Frederick start since August 18, 2012.

MOVING ON UP:  Just before Tuesday’s game, Drew Dosch was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. It marked the first time that the Ohio native had received a Double-A promotion, while he became the seventh member of the team to receive a call-up. Recently named a Carolina League All-Star, Dosch hit .275 over 55 games with the Keys to go with two home runs, 34 RBIs, three triples and eight doubles. At the time of the promotion Dosch was tied for fifth in the league in RBIs. Besides receiving an all-star nod, the third baseman was also named the Orioles Minor League “Player of the Month” for April. Taking Dosch’s place is the Orioles Minor League “Pitcher of the Month” for May, Donnie Hart. In 19 games with Delmarva, the Texan went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA with 10 saves, tied for second-most in the league.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Chance Sisco saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end on Tuesday. The second-longest streak by a Keys player this year, Sisco hit .448 (13-for-29) with a triple, a double, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. Despite losing the streak, the 20-year-old has hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games. During that time he has seen his average climb 141 points. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (11) than strikeouts (five) in his first 24 games this year.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart also saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close in the middle game of the series going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. During the six-gamer, he hit 481 (13-for-27) with three doubles, four RBIs and six runs, while he raised his batting average 56 points. It also snapped a string of multi-hit games for Hart, who was 8 for his previous 16 entering Tuesday. Still the Georgian has put together an outstanding June. This month he is batting .321 (18-for-56) with three doubles and four RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Thursday, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Brandon Barker makes his 13th overall appearance this season and his ninth as a member of the Mudcats. Winner of back-to-back outings, his most recent outing came last Friday against Winston-Salem. Tossing six innings, Barker allowed two runs on four to go along with four walks and three strikeouts. The right-hander has turned in back-to-back quality outings. Originally promoted to the Mudcats on May 14, Barker made one start before returning to Low-A Rome for two outings. His last three starts have come with the Mudcats. During his time at Low-A he went 3-4 with a 3.48 ERA in eight starts logging 41.1 innings. Three of those starts were quality outings while he held opponents to a .270 average. The right-hander split 2014 between Rome and Rookie-Danville. Barker was selected by the Braves out of Mercer in the 16th round of the 2014 draft. As a senior he went 4-4 with a 3.84 ERA to go along with 68 strikeouts in 68 innings.

Keys look to even series with Carolina

The Keys tried to rally back after falling into an early hole against the Carolina Mudcats, but Carolina was able to fend off the Orange and Black offense as Frederick fell 8-7. They look to even the series at one game apiece tonight and force a rubber match on Wednesday. Kevin Gausman (0-0, 0.00), the Baltimore Orioles pitcher who is on rehab assignment with the Keys, will take the mound as he will be countered by Seth Webster (2-2, 3.00) of the Mudcats. This will be Webster’s first appearance against Frederick this season.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Brenden Webb DH

Jeff Kemp 2B

Tucker Nathans 3B

Chance Sisco C

Adrian Marin SS

Wynston Sawyer 1B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

Gregory Lorenzo RF

6/16 Game Notes

LATE RALLY COMES UP SHORT: The Frederick Keys scored runs in each of their final five innings, while the team put the tying run aboard at third in ninth, but the rally fell short as the Carolina Mudcats escaped with an 8-7 win on Monday night at Nymeo Field. Although the Keys tied their season-high with 16 hits, the club left 15 men on base, also a season-high. Carolina hit for the cycle in the fourth inning, scoring three times off David Hess, before a solo home run by Carlos Franco in the fifth made it 6-0 Mudcats. From there, the orange and black would battle back. In the home-fifth the Keys scored three times, utilizing a wild pitch, an RBI single by Chance Sisco and a run-scoring double by Brenden Webb to make it a three-run contest. Both sides would exchange runs over the next three innings, moving Frederick within striking distance in the ninth. Logan Uxa opened the stanza with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on an RBI single by Josh Hart. Drew Dosch followed with a single to send up Jeff Kemp who nearly hit into a game-ending double play, but the relay throw to first was dropped by Joey Meneses. One batter later, Tucker Nathans would bounce out to end the game.

TWO STEPS BACK: Making matters worse for the Keys, the Wilmington Blue Rocks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Salem Red Sox. The Blue Crew were paced by Eric Skoglund who delivered seven innings and allowed one unearned run as well as Ramon Torres who finished with three RBIs. With a loss and a Wilmington win, Frederick is now four games back in the CL North standings with six games left to play. Following Monday’s results, the club’s elimination number has been pared down to three, while it could drop to one if Tuesday’s results mirror those of the previous night.

EVERYBODY HITS: Offensively, the Keys have been outstanding over the last three games. During that time, the club has combined to score 25 runs and has pounded out 40 hits. On Monday, the Keys reached their high-water mark in hits (16) for the fourth time as all nine members of the starting lineup came up with at least one base knock. Josh Hart and Adrian Marin led the charge with three hits each while six different players registered an RBI. Currently, the Keys lead the CL in batting average (.265). A team that has used the big inning a lot lately, Frederick has batted around twice in the last three games and has registered six multi-run frames during that time.

PITCHING PROBLEMS: Although the Keys offense has been excellent over the last two days, pitching has been a bit of a problem. 7ER/9IP, 7ER, 9IP. During that time, Keys arms have given up a total of 15 runs (14 earned) in 18 innings, or a 7.00 ERA. Carolina and Potomac have also combined on 21 hits during that time and have received eight walks. In the month of June, Frederick’s pitching staff has a 5.26 ERA in 14 games.

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to start for Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field, as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. He is expected to throw two-plus innings. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 56 points in his last six games. Hart has equaled his season-high for hits (three) in consecutive games, while he is the owner of a six-game hitting streak. During that time, he is hitting 481 (13-for-27) with three doubles, four RBIs and six runs scored during that time. Hart has multiple hits in five of those contests, while in 13 June games, Hart is batting .346 (18-for-52) with three doubles and four RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: Chance Sisco has been one of the Keys hottest hitters of late. Owner of a season-high nine-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder was 2-for-3 on Monday with an RBI, a run and two walks. Over the nine game streak, the 20-year-old is batting .448 (13-for-29) with a triple, a double, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. Sisco has also hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games. With a hit on Tuesday night, Sisco will equal the longest hitting streak by a Keys player in 2014 (10 games). Entering Tuesday, his batting average is at .300 for the first time, while he has seen his average jump 105 points. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (11) than strikeouts (five) in his first 23 games this year.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s group will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Seth Webster makes his seventh start of the season and his fifth as a member of the Mudcats. His most recent start came last Thursday against Potomac. Tossing six innings, the right-hander allowed five runs on a season-high nine hits over six innings and was tagged with the loss. He walked one and struck out four. The setback snapped a two-game winning streak for Webster as well as a streak of three seven-inning starts. In each of those outings he allowed three runs or less. Signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent on May 18, Webster made one start at Low-A Rome before joining the Mudcats. Prior to joining the Atlanta farm system, Webster pitched for the Schaumberg Boomers of the Frontier League from 2013 through this season. This year, he made one start with Schaumburg going seven shutout innings, while in his career with the Boomers he went 14-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 300 games while logging 200 innings. Last season, Webster helped guide Schaumburg to the Frontier League championship, going 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in postseason play. Originally from Alexandria, Louisiana, Webster played college baseball for the Louisiana College Wildcats, a Division III school.

 

Keys open seven game homestand with Carolina

The Keys are back at Nymeo Field tonight as they begin a a seven game homestand beginning with the first three contests against the Carolina Mudcats. Frederick’s spirits are riding high as they took two out of three from the Potomac Nationals over the weekend. The orange and black bats were booming in the last two games of the series against the Nationals by scoring a combined 18 runs (nine runs in both contests). The last time Frederick took on Carolina they were swept down in Zebulon, NC, but now they are home where they boast an 18-10 record and have the home-field advantage. David Hess (2-2, 5.37) gets the nod for the Keys as he will be taking on the Mudcats for the second time this season. In that outing he received a no-decision. Carolina will be countering with Andrew Waszak (3-4, 2.97) who is making his second appearance against Frederick.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Drew Dosch 3B

Jeff Kemp 2B

Tucker Nathans DH

Chance Sisco C

Adrian Marin SS

Brenden Webb RF

Logan Uxa 1B

Johnny Ruettiger LF

6/15 Game Notes

EARLY AMBUSH ENOUGH TO FEND OFF P-NATS: The Frederick Keys batted around in the first inning and finished with 14 hits, while the club held off a ninth inning Potomac rally to defeat the Nationals 9-7 on Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium. All nine of the Keys runs came in the first three innings, as the Keys earned their first road series win of the year against a CL North rival. Frederick is now within three games of Wilmington with seven to play in the first-half. Nationals starter Phillips Valdez threw 39 first inning pitches and allowed four runs (two unearned due to errors). Drew Dosch started the scoring with an RBI single three pitches into the game, while a bounce out by Chance Sisco, an RBI single by Adrian Marin and an error by Drew Ward made it 4-0. A two-run triple by Sisco stretched the lead in the second, before the P-Nats plated four in the home-half of the frame thanks to three walks by Chris Lee. With the lead paired down to two, the Keys stretched it back to five on a wild pitch and a two-run single by Jeff Kemp. Potomac chipped away, scoring twice in the seventh, before putting the tying run at second in the ninth thanks to two singles and two hit-by-pitches. However Cody Wheeler negotiated his way around trouble, getting Craig Manuel to groundout to end the game.

STILL ON THE RISE: The Keys gained additional ground in the CL North race thanks to a win over the P-Nats and a Blue Rocks loss at Salem. The Keys have now won back-to-back games (and three of the last four) while the Blue Rocks have lost four straight games and have been shutout in back-to-back days. With seven games remaining in the first-half, Frederick’s elimination number is at five, while any combination of Wilmington wins/Frederick losses will trim it. Trying to make their first playoff appearance since 2011, the Keys will play their final four first-half games against Wilmington.

ROAD WARRIORS:  On Sunday, the orange and black earned their third road series win of the season. However it was the club’s first against a CL North opponent since August 1-3, 2014 when the Keys claimed two of three at Wilmington. Frederick closes out the first-half with a 13-22 road record, but has made up for it with an 18-10 mark at Nymeo Field. Only the Blue Rocks (23-9) have fared better at their home ballpark. In spite of the Keys record on Stadium Drive though, the club has not won a home set in nearly a month (May 17) having lost or split each of its last three home series.

EVERYBODY HITS: Offensively, the Keys were outstanding on Sunday. The 14 hits were the third-most the club had registered in a game this year, and the most the team had posted since May 25 at Lynchburg, when Frederick tied its season-high with 16 hits, a feat that has occurred three times this year. In the season-finale at Potomac eight of the nine Frederick starters registered a hit and five finished with multi-hit games.

DO THE BAT AROUND: The Keys have batted around in back-to-back days and in four of their last five contests. On Sunday, the club sent nine to bat in the first inning scoring four times off Phillips Valdez after nine batted in the seventh inning on Saturday which yielded five runs. Frederick also batted around last Wednesday and Thursday against Myrtle Beach. Sunday’s first inning proved helpful, as the P-Nats batted around once themselves, scoring four in the second inning while sending 10 to bat. In the last 15 days, an opponent has batted around seven times.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 45 points in his last five games. On Sunday he tied his season-high for hits, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a walk. He has hit safely in five straight and is batting .476 (10-for-21) with three doubles, three RBIs and four runs scored during that time. Hart has multiple hits in four of those contests, while in 12 June games, Hart is batting .326 (15-for-46) with three doubles and three RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a season-high eight-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder went 1-for-3 on Sunday with a triple, and a season-high three RBIs. He also scored a run and walked twice. Sisco has also hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games. During that stretch he is batting .385 (15-for-39) with a home run, three doubles, a triple, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. A player who has seen the ball extremely well of late, Sisco has more walks (nine) than strikeouts (five) in his first 22 games this year.

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Andrew Waszak makes his 14th overall appearance of the season and his seventh start. Between Carolina, Double-A Mississippi and Low-A Rome he is 4-4 with a 3.60 ERA. With the Mudcats this season, Waszak is 3-4 with a 2.97 ERA. The righty will be making his seventh straight start and has turned in quality outings in two of his last three appearances. Pitching last Wednesday against Potomac, Waszak earned the win tossing six innings of two-run baseball while allowing two hits. The 24-year-old split 2014 between Rookie-Danville, Low-A Rome and Lynchburg, going 4-7 with a 5.52 ERA over 21 games (18 starts). With the Hillcats he went 0-0 with a 9.42 ERA in five games (four starts). Waszak’ s Carolina League debut came against the Keys on Opening Day 2014. In 1.1 innings, the Michigan native struck out one and did not allow any runs. A 22nd round selection by Atlanta in 2013, Waszak was a standout pitcher at Michigan State. The right-hander earned third team All-Big 10 honors as a senior, and ranked fifth in the conference in ERA (2.36). In his college career, he went 18-11 with a 3.82 ERA. As a member of the Spartans, he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss.

 

Last First Half Road Game In Potomac!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The Keys will play their final first-half road game against the Nationals on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Chris Lee makes the start for the Keys and will faceoff against Nationals hard-thrower Phillips Valdez. We’ll have the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Remember the Keys gained a full game last night thanks to a 9-3 win over the P-Nats and a Wilmington loss to Salem.

Today’s lineup and game notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Hart

2. 3B Dosch

3. 2B Kemp

4. RF Nathans

5. DH Sisco

6. SS Marin

7. C Wynns

8. 1B Sawyer

9. LF Ruettiger

Sunday, June 14, 2015 · Game #63 · Road Game #35

Frederick Keys (30-32) vs Potomac Nationals (28-34)

LHP Chris Lee (1-2, 5.40) vs. RHP Phillips Valdez (0-1, 5.02)

OFFENSE LANDS SEVENTH INNING KNOCKOUT: The Frederick Keys offense pounded out three runs on six hits in their first two innings, before putting things away with a five-run seventh as the orange and black defeated the Potomac Nationals 9-3 on Saturday night at Pftizner Stadium. With the win, the Keys snap a six-game road losing and move within four games of the Wilmington Blue Rocks for first in the CL North. Holding a 4-1 advantage through five innings, Frederick blew things open in the seventh. Beneficiaries of command issues by Jake Johansen, the Keys sent all nine men to bat. Johnny Ruettiger opened the inning with a single, moved to second after a walk by Brenden Webb, and got to third on an error by Nats third baseman Drew Ward on a sac-bunt try. Both Ruettiger and Webb would then score on walks to Tucker Nathans and Chance Sisco. P-Nats manager, Tripp Keister, would go to the bullpen, but Derek Self allowed a bases loaded double to Adrian Marin before a double play by Anthony Caronia capped things off. On Sunday, the Keys try for just their third road series win this year.

MOVING ON UP WITH A CAVEAT: Besides avoiding a backslide on Saturday, Frederick gained a full game in the CL North standings thanks to a 1-0 Wilmington loss at Salem. It was the Blue Rocks third straight road loss, as Mario Martinez won the game for Salem with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth. Unfortunately the Keys remain one game behind Lynchburg in the standings, as the Hillcats came away with a 14-5 win at Myrtle Beach on Saturday night. The Hillcats have won four straight and are three games back of Wilmington. Entering Sunday, Frederick’s elimination number is at five, a number that will drop with any combination of Blue Rocks wins/Keys losses.

EVERYBODY HITS!: Frederick received balanced production from its entire order on Saturday, as eight of nine starters recorded a hit and six finished with an RBI. Besides Johnny Ruettiger (3-for-5) though, the other seven finished with one hit. Adrian Marin and Tucker Nathans each posted two RBIs apiece. In Frederick’s last five games, the team is averaging 5.6 runs. Normally a good barometer for success, the Keys are 26-8 when scoring four or more runs and 4-26 when posting three or less. On the road, those trends have been nearly ironclad, with Frederick going 0-17 in road games when it scores three or fewer runs and 12-5 when eclipsing the four-run barrier). For the year, the Keys are averaging 4.34 runs per game, second-best in the league next to Lynchburg (4.81)

ONE LAST ROAD GAME (IN THE FIRST HALF): On Saturday, the Keys earned their first road win since May 24 to snap a six-game road losing streak and just their eighth road victory against an intra-division rival. This season the Keys are just 8-16 in road tilts against CL North clubs and will be trying for their first road series win over a division rival on Sunday. On the year, the Keys are 10 games below .500 away from home (12-22) tied with Winston-Salem for the worst road record in the league. The Keys actually hit for a higher average on the road (.263/.261) but the club’s ERA is also higher (4.89/4.71). Fortunately for the Keys the club they are chasing, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, have also faltered away from home. Wilmington is 11-19 when playing outside of the First State compared to 23-9 at home. Five of Wilmington’s last eight games will come on the road.

DO THE BAT AROUND: In three of their last four games, the Keys have batted around. On Saturday, the club sent all nine men to bat in the seventh inning against Jake Johansen and Derek Self. During that time, the Keys got only two hits, but utilized three walks and a hit-by-pitch to score five times.  On Thursday, the Keys scored five times while sending 10 men to bat in the fifth inning, while on Wednesday, the Keys plated four in the ninth, sending 10 to bat against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. It has been a nice reversal of fortunes for the Keys, who lately have been on the other side of a big inning. In the last 14 days, an opponent has batted around six times, racking up three six-run innings, two five-run innings, and two four-run innings.

A NATITUDINAL ADJUSTMENT: The Nationals have had no answer for Johnny Ruettiger this season who came up with his second straight three-hit game on Saturday (3-for-5, RBI, 2R). This year against Potomac, the Keys outfielder is batting a team-high .484 (15-for-31) with a triple, a double, five RBIs, six runs scored and two stolen bases. The 15 hits account for more than one-third of Ruettiger’s season-total, while his three best games at the plate have come at the Pfitz this year (two three-hit games and a four-hit game). Against the other CL North teams he is hitting .214 (7-for-26). A player who has fared well against the P-Nats before, Ruettiger recorded a career-high six hits (6-for-6) at Potomac on May 17, 2012.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 30 points in his last four games. During that time he is batting .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. On Friday, the Georgian went 2-for-5 with a double, his third multi-hit game in his last four contests. In 11 June games, Hart is batting .293 (12-for-41) with three doubles and three RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a season-high seven-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder went 1-for-3 on Saturday with an RBI, a run and two walks. Sisco has also hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. During that stretch he is batting .389 (14-for-36) with a home run, three doubles, seven RBIs and five runs scored. He has four two-hit games during that time, and has seen his average jump 138 points (.143-.281).

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Phillips Valdez makes his 12th start of the season and his fourth with Potomac. With the P-Nats this season he is 0-1 with a 5.02 ERA after going 5-2 with a 1.47 ERA in eight starts at Low-A Hagerstown. His most recent start came at Carolina on Tuesday. He received a no-decision, giving up four runs (two earned) over four innings on six hits. He walked three and struck out five. Promoted to the P-Nats from Hagerstown on May 28, Valdez allowed three runs or less in all eight Low-A starts before getting his first promotion to Advanced-A. His second-to-last outings was his best, as he threw seven shutout innings against Greensboro while the Suns came one strike away from a no-hitter. Currently with his third organization, Valdez opened his career with the Cleveland Indians, who signed him as an international free agent in 2009. From there, Valdez would be signed by Tampa Bay, but would not pitch in 2011, before the Nationals signed him in May 2012. In Valdez’s career walks have been his biggest issue, with the right-hander’s career BB/9IP ratio sitting at 4.5. This season though, he has shown some improvement walking a combined 2.2 through nine innings so far. Valdez hails from San Pedro de Macoris, a town which has been dubbed “the cradle of shortstops” more than 100 players from this town have gone on to play Major League Baseball since players from the Dominican began coming to play professional baseball in 1958. Among those from San Pedro who have gone on to the Major Leagues: Robinson Cano, Sammy Sosa, Alfonso Soriano, Tony Fernandez.

Mikey O’Brien Makes Keys Debut, Frederick Tries to Keep Pace with Wilmington

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black try and keep pace with the Blue Rocks and snap a six-game road losing streak on Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium. Right-hander Mikey O’Brien makes his Keys debut after being signed by the Orioles in late May and making two appearances with Double-A Bowie. He will be opposed by John Simms (also a righty) who has turned in two quality starts against the Keys but has been a loser both times.

First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Pregame show starts at 6:20.

One exciting piece of news, Kevin Gausman is scheduled make a SECOND rehab start with the Keys. This time at Nymeo Field on Tuesday night! Gausman will throw somewhere around two innings. That Tuesday game will be at 7:05 p.m.

Today’s lineup and notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

1. CF Ruettiger

2. RF Webb

3. 2B Kemp

4. DH Nathans

5. C Sisco

6. SS Marin

7. 1B Sawyer

8. 3B Caronia

9. LF Lorenzo

RHP O’Brien

Saturday, June 13, 2015 · Game #62 · Road Game #34

Frederick Keys (29-32) vs Potomac Nationals (28-33)

RHP Mikey O’Brien (0-0, –) vs. RHP John Simms (3-4, 3.80)

ROAD WOES CONTINUE: The Potomac Nationals scored three times off Mitch Horacek in the fifth inning, while Lucas Giolito limited the Frederick Keys to one run in 6.1 innings, as the P-Nats earned a 4-1 victory on Friday night at Pfitzner Stadium. It was Frederick’s sixth straight loss and keeps the Keys five games out of first place with nine games remaining before the all-star break. After missing on scoring chances in the third and fourth, the P-Nats capitalized in the fifth, sending seven men to bat. Estarlin Martinez opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a bunt by Christopher Bostick. Narcisco Mesa then coaxed a walk to put men at the corners for John Wooten. Horacek would keep a close eye on Mesa, but after a number of pickoff throws, the Nationals speedster would steal second and Martinez would take home as the throw to second was high and off line. Wooten followed with an RBI single, before coming home on an RBI triple by Stephen Perez. Frederick’s lone run came in the third off three singles by Johnny Ruettiger, Josh Hart and Jeff Kemp.

A MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Making the loss tougher to take, Wilmington suffered a 4-2 setback at Salem, while Lynchburg earned a 1-0 win at Myrtle Beach, as Hillcats pitchers Michael Peoples, Justin Brantley, Casey Weathers and Ben Heller combined on a two-hit shutout. That win moves Lynchburg a game in front of the Keys and drops the orange and black into third place for the first time this season. Additionally, the defeat drops Frederick’s elimination number to five. That number will continue to drop with any combination of Blue Rocks wins/Keys losses.

BUS TRAVEL BLUES: Frederick is in the midst of their longest road losing streak of the season. The Keys have dropped each of their last six road games, dating back to May 25 at Lynchburg. For the year, the club is 11-22 away from Nymeo Field. That is tied for the worst road record in the Carolina League with Winston-Salem. The Keys have dropped each of their last three games at Pfitzner Stadium, while in general the team has struggled mightily against division opponents on the road. Frederick is 7-16 in away tilts against intra-division and has not won a first-half series against a CL North team.  Fortunately for the Keys, Wilmington has also struggled on the road, as the Blue Crew are just 11-18 away from the friendly confines of Frawley Stadium (where they are a Carolina League-best 23-9).

A NATITUDINAL ADJUSTMENT: Johnny Ruettiger has played very well against the Nationals this year and the success continued on Friday, as the former Arizona State Sun Devil went 3-for-4 with a run scored. This year against Potomac, the Keys outfielder is batting a team-high .462 (12-for-26) with a triple, four RBIs, four runs scored and two stolen bases. The 12 hits account for roughly one-third of Ruettiger’s season-total, while he is batting a combined .214 against the other six Carolina League teams. He recorded season-highs in hits (4-for-4) and RBIs (three) on May 9 at Pfitzner Stadium. A player who has fared well against the P-Nats before, Ruettiger recorded a career-high six hits (6-for-6) at Potomac on May 17, 2012.

YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE HART: Josh Hart has raised his batting average 30 points in his last four games. During that time he is batting .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. On Friday, the Georgian went 2-for-5 with a double, his third multi-hit game in his last four contests. In 11 June games, Hart is batting .293 (12-for-41) with three doubles and three RBIs. He played only 11 games in May (.224) after missing more than a month due to a right shoulder sprain.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a season-high six-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder went 1-for-4 on Friday. Sisco has also hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. During that stretch he is batting .394 (13-for-33) with a home run, three doubles, six RBIs and four runs scored. He has four two-hit games during that time, and has seen his average jump 136 points (.143-.279).

GAUSMAN TO MAKE SECOND KEYS START: Kevin Gausman is scheduled to make a rehab start with the Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field as he works his way back from right shoulder tendinitis. This will be Gausman’s second rehab outing with Frederick this year. Pitching against Wilmington last Saturday at Frawley Stadium, Gausman threw three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and delivered a first pitch strike to all 11 batters he faced. His most recent rehab start did not go as well at Double-A Bowie, as the righty allowed four runs on four hits in 3.1 innings against Binghamton. Needing 61 pitches, Gausman allowed two home runs and was tagged with the loss.

DO THE BAT AROUND: In two of their last three games, the Keys have batted around. On Thursday, the Keys scored five times while sending 10 men to bat in the fifth inning, while on Wednesday, the Keys plated four in the ninth inning, sending 10 to bat against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. It has been a nice reversal of fortunes for the Keys, who lately have been on the other side of a big inning. In the last 13 days, an opponent has batted around six times, racking up three six-run innings, two five-run innings, and two four-run innings. The most recent instance came in game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader where Myrtle Beach scored six times off Keys pitching in the sixth innings.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. Additionally the four all-star selections are tied for the most in the Carolina League (Wilmington and Winston-Salem also have four representatives). This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

THE DOUBLE PLAY DILEMA:  Drew Dosch grounded into a first inning double play on Friday, the Keys ninth in their last eight games. In seven of the team’s last eight games they have hit into a twin-killing. For the year the Keys have hit into 50 double plays, while only Wilmington (55) has been victimized more. Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin and Brenden Webb have each bounced into five twin-killings to tie for the club lead.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander John Simms makes his ninth start on Sunday and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came on Monday at Carolina. Picking up the win, Simms tossed a season-high seven innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out four. Since lasting just 3.2 innings and two innings respectively in his first two starts this year, Simms has fired off quality starts of five of his last six games. During that time he has a 2.43 ERA (37IP/10ER) while two of his quality starts have come against the Keys. In his last outing at Frederick on May 15, the righty allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings in a tough-luck loss. Against the orange and black this year he is 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA (12 IP/4R/3ER/10H) this year. Assigned to the P-Nats from extended spring training on April 24, 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. A three-pitch pitcher, Simms throws a low-90s fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Back on the Road One Last Time/Next Homestand Promotions

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

For one last time in the first-half, the Keys hit the road, as the club visits it’s closest geographic rival, the Potomac Nationals, this weekend, Entering Friday, the Keys are five games out of first with 10 left to play. Last night, the team gained a game on Wilmington thanks to a terrific pitching performance by Winston-Salem’s Matt Heidenreich, who tossed eight innings of two-run baseball.

Head-to-head, Frederick holds a 4-3 edge in the season-series, while the Keys split a four-game set at Pfitzner Stadium over Mother’s Day weekend.

Don’t forget that the Keys return home on Monday, and will play the final seven first-half games at Nymeo Field. The baseball should be fun to watch, and there are a ton of great appearances and promotions in store.

On Monday, world-renowned chef, Bryan Voltaggio visits the ballpark. The Frederick native will offer his own unique taste on ballpark cuisine and will be on hand to sign autographs of his new book HOME. If you enjoy a good meal you won’t want to miss Monday night’s game.

Friday also features a fantastic guest. Pat Sajak pays a visit and will be honored with his own bobblehead. Gametime is at 7 p.m. The first 1,000 fans can pick up courtesy of Randy Scritchfield Retirement Planning. A big baseball fan, Sajak was one of the original investors in the Golden Baseball League, and for a time hosted “The Pat Sajak Baseball Hour” on mlb.com radio. Really excited to talk some baseball with him, and I’m sure many of you are excited to meet the longtime Wheel of Fortune host.

On Saturday, the Cowboy Monkey Rodeo returns! Team Ghostriders returns to Frederick, when the Keys and Blue Rocks meet for a 6 p.m. first pitch. There will be two mini-teasers before the game, while there will be a postgame show before fireworks.

The first-half concludes on Sunday with Father’s Day presented by Verizon Wireless at 2 p.m. And as always it is a Sunday Funday at the ballpark presented by Heartfields Assisted Living at Frederick. That means that fans can participate in a pre-game catch on the outfield and get autographs from two Keys players beforehand.

Until we return home though, we hope you’ll follow along this weekend on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Tonight the Keys send midseason all-star Mitch Horacek to the mound against Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito. Remember Frederick defeated Giolito in his Advanced-A debut.

We’ll have lineups a little bit later on, but for now some game notes are below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Friday, June 12, 2015 · Game #61 · Road Game #33

Frederick Keys (29-31) vs Potomac Nationals (27-33)

LHP Mitch Horacek (4-5, 3.86) vs. RHP Lucas Giolito (1-4, 4.59)

INCHING CLOSER: The Frederick Keys scored five times in the sixth thanks to three Myrtle Beach errors, while a strong outing by Luis Gonzalez gave the Keys a 7-4 victory on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. With the victory, Frederick earned a split of the four-game set, while a loss by Wilmington allowed the orange and black to move within five games of the Blue Crew with 10 games remaining in the first-half. After being retired nine in-a-row by Paul Blackburn to open the game, the Keys took the lead in the fourth on an RBI double by Jeff Kemp and a run-scoring single by Chance Sisco. In the sixth though, Frederick would break the game open, scoring five times while sending 10 to bat. Kemp opened the inning with a triple and came home on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Pelicans second baseman Daniel Lockhart. With men at the corners, Sisco then doubled in Tucker Nathans to make it 4-1, before a double-error by Jacob Rogers at first and a sac-fly by Josh Hart stretched Frederick’s lead to six. On the mound, Luis Gonzalez earned the win tossing 5.1 innings of one-run baseball. Myrtle Beach scored the final three runs of the game, including two in the ninth, but Cody Wheeler got a double-play and a strikeout to close things out.

THANKS FOR THE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY: In addition to the Keys win, the Keys got an assist from a southern ally, as Winston-Salem topped Wilmington 3-2 on Thursday night. Thanks to eight innings of two-run baseball from CL All-Star Matt Heidenreich, the Dash were able to claim three of four against the Rocks, to move the Keys within five games of the CL North division leader. Additionally, Frederick’s elimination number stayed put at six, with 10 games remaining in the first-half. This weekend the Blue Rocks visit Salem, a team they have yet to see this year. Although road games have been problematic for Wilmington this year (11-17), Frederick is tied with the Dash for the worst road record in the CL (11-21). Frederick has lost five consecutive road games, and was swept by Wilmington in a four-game set last weekend.

DO THE BAT AROUND: In each of their last two games, the Keys have batted around. On Thursday, the Keys scored five times while sending 10 men to bat in the fifth inning, while on Wednesday, the Keys plated four in the ninth inning, sending 10 to bat against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. It has been a nice reversal of fortunes for the Keys, who lately have been on the other side of a big inning. In the last 12 days, an opponent has batted around six times, racking up three six-run innings, two five-run innings, and two four-run innings. The most recent instance came in game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader where Myrtle Beach scored six times off Keys pitching in the sixth innings.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

THE DOUBLE PLAY DILEMA: After a pair of double-plays quashed run scoring chances in the seventh and eighth inning of Wednesday’s game against Myrtle Beach, Frederick did not hit into a double-play on Thursday. That snapped a string of six games where Keys bats had hit into at least one twin killing. Still, in the last seven games Keys bats have grounded into eight double play balls, to stretch their team total to 49. Only Wilmington (55) has been victimized more. Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin and Brenden Webb have each bounced into five twin-killings to tie for the club lead.

STARTING THINGS OFF BETTER: The Keys have gotten three good starts in a row from Dariel Delgado, David Hess and Luis Gonzalez. On Thursday, Gonzalez picked up his fourth win, tossing five strong innings and allowing one run, despite a 30-pitch second inning. One day prior, Hess equaled his career-high for innings pitched and posted his first Carolina League quality start, while Delgado worked a season-best four innings and allowed one run in the second game of a doubleheader. Those three starts have dropped Frederick’s June starting ERA to 3.88, though for the year, Frederick starters have posted a 5.02 staff mark (283.1 IP/158ER). Much of that can be due to a tough May, where Keys starters had a 5.88 ERA. On Friday, CL All-Star and the club’s leader in quality starts (four) Mitch Horacek takes the hill.

FINDING THE GROOVE: After missing more than a month with an oblique injury, Chance Sisco has started to come around over the last week. Owner of a five-game hitting streak, the O’s former second rounder has also hit safely in eight of his last night games. During that stretch he is batting .414 (12-for-29) with a home run, three doubles, six RBIs and four runs scored. He has four two-hit games during that time, and has seen his average jump 138 points (.143-.281).

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Brenden Webb equaled his season-long seven-game hit streak on Wednesday, but saw it come to a close on Thursday, going 0-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Over the seven-game jaunt, the Californian hit .364 (8-for-22) with two home runs, six RBIs, and four runs scored. Webb previously hit in seven straight from April 15-20.

DAY TRIPPIN: On Friday, the Keys begin their final roadtrip of the first-half, a three-game series to Potomac. This year, the orange and black hold a 4-3 record against the P-Nats, while the Keys are 2-2 in games at Pfitzner Stadium. This season, the Keys are batting .264 and boast a 3.38 staff ERA (the best against any CL team). Offensively, Frederick has been led by Johnny Ruettiger (6G/.409/9-for-22, 4RBI, 3R) and Anthony Caronia (5G/.389/7-for-18, 2RBI). Brandon Miller (6G/.412/7-for-17, 3HR, 5RBI), Stephen Perez (6G/.333/6-for-18, 4RBI) and Christopher Bostick (7G/.321/9-for-28, 3RBI) have done the most damage for Potomac.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Lucas Giolito makes his seventh Carolina League start and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Salem. Although Giolito tied his season-high with six innings pitched, he allowed career-highs in runs (six/five earned) and hits (11). He struck out eight. Prior to Sunday he had never allowed more than eight hits or five runs in a start. Those previous high-water marks came in his Advanced-A debut against the orange and black on May 8. Working 4.1 innings, he surrendered five runs on eight hits to go along with two walks and five strikeouts. Currently, Giolito sits just outside the top five in the league with four defeats (1-4). In his first month at the Advanced-A level, the Californian went 1-3 with a 4.84 ERA in four starts (22.1 IP/12R/25H). 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.

Series Finale with Myrtle Beach tonight

Last night the Keys made a valiant comeback in the ninth inning scoring four runs to tie the game at six a piece, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans plated three in the 11th inning  handing Frederick a 9-6 defeat. In tonight’s series finale, the Orange and Black look to get into the win column and evening the series at two games apiece before heading on the road. The Keys will trot out Luis Gonzalez (3-5, 8.31) who is making his second appearance against the Pelicans this season. In his outing against Myrtle Beach on 5/19, Gonzalez led his team to victory and also earned a win. The Pelicans are countering with Paul Blackburn (4-2, 4.15) making this his first outing against Frederick this year.

Also in other news, Drew Dosch, Jeff Kemp, Mitch Horacek, and Tucker Nathans were named to the Carolina Legaue All-Star squad today. These are the most All-Star selections since 2009 for the Orange and Black. The game will be the Carolina League All-Stars versus the California League All-Stars in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Kemp, Horacek, and Nathans are each making their first All-Star teams while Dosch is making his second.

Today’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Jeff Kemp 2B

Tucker Nathans LF

Brenden Webb RF

Chance Sisco C

Drew Dosch 3B

Adrian Marin SS

Austin Wynns C

Logan Uxa 1B

6/11 Game Notes

SPLITTSVILLE: The Frederick Keys scored four times in the bottom of the ninth inning to erase a 6-2 deficit, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans would have the final say in extra-innings, claiming a 9-6 victory in 11 frames on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. In the game, the Birds racked up 18 hits, the most allowed by Keys pitching this season. Coupled with a Wilmington win, the loss drops the Keys six games back in the CL North standings. With the game tied at six, Myrtle Beach sent eight to bat in the 11th inning. Loading the bases against Jarett Miller, the Pelicans grabbed the lead on a sac-fly by Caritini before RBI singles by Jacob Rogers and Daniel Lockhart gave the visitors additional insurance. In the ninth, the Keys batted around against Tyler Ihrig and Jasvir Rakkar. Following an RBI single by Chance Sisco, Adrian Marin grounded a ball back to the mound with men at the corners and no outs. Appearing to be a double-play ball, Rakkar threw wild into the outfield to score one run, before a double by Josh Hart made it a one-run game. Rakkar retired the next two batters, but fell behind Tucker Nathans 3-0. Electing to issue an intentional walk, Rakkar threw his pitch over the catcher’s head to force in the tying run. In the game the Keys recorded 10 hits, but went 3-for-13 with men in scoring position.

A SOUR TASTE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE: Trying to equal their largest comeback win of the season (the Keys came back from four-down at Salem on April 30) the Keys could not shut things down in extra-innings. With the loss and a win by the Wilmington Blue Rocks, the Keys are now six games out of first with 10 first-half games remaining. Additionally, the club’s elimination number was cut from eight to six. The Blue Rocks have caught fire at the right time, winning seven of their last 10, and earning a recent four-game sweep of the Keys at Frawley Stadium. In contrast, the Keys have gone ice cold, falling in seven of their last 10 contests.

THE EXTRA-INNING STREAK ENDS: Wednesday’s 11-inning loss also snapped the Keys five-game winning streak in extra-inning contests. It was Frederick’s first loss in a game stretching past regulation since August 22, 2014 at Potomac. In spite of the setback, Frederick’s 5-1 extra-inning record is tops in the Carolina League.

BUILDING EARLY HOLES: Lately, the Keys have been playing from behind early in home games. In eight of the last 10 contests at Nymeo Field, Frederick’s opponent has scored at least once in the first inning (that includes four multi-run innings). In those games, the Keys are just 2-6. On Wednesday, Myrtle Beach scored twice in the initial inning, the most laborious of the game for Keys starter David Hess (he needed 18 pitches to get through the initial frame).

THE DOUBLE PLAY DILEMA: After hitting into a pair of double-plays in the seventh and eighth innings which wiped away run scoring chances on Wednesday, the Keys have now hit into at least one twin-killing in each of their last six games. During that time, the Keys have grounded into eight double play balls, to stretch their team total to 49. Only Wilmington (54) has been victimized more. Johnny Ruettiger, Adrian Marin and Brenden Webb have each bounced into five twin-killings to tie for the club lead.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Thursday afternoon, four members of the Keys were named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Drew Dosch and Jeff Kemp were selected as reserve infielders, Tucker Nathans got the nod as a reserve outfielder and starting pitcher Mitch Horacek was named to the nine-man pitching staff. It marks the second time Dosch has been named to an all-star team, while Kemp, Nathans and Horacek make their first all-star appearances. The four all-star selections are the most the Keys have had since 2009, when Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Caleb Joseph, Pedro Florimon, Brandon Waring and Luis Lebron were all selected. This year’s quartet will take on the California League all-stars on Tuesday, June 23 in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

SNAKE BIT BY THE BIG INNING: Dating back to a 12-8 loss against Lynchburg on May 30, Keys pitching has repeatedly been plagued by the big inning. In the last 10 days, an opponent has batted around six times, and has racked up three six-run innings, two five-run innings and two four-run innings. The most recent instance came in game one on Tuesday, when orange and black pitching allowed six runs to score in the top of the sixth. Currently, Frederick is last in the league in ERA (4.91) as well as runs (309), earned runs (278), home runs allowed (36), walks (256), hit-by-pitches (35) and wild pitches (58).

SAWYER AND WYNNS RETURN: The Baltimore Orioles have made several roster moves in the last two days affecting the Frederick Keys. Right before Tuesday’s doubleheader, Austin Wynns was received from Double-A Bowie, while Phil Llewellyn was transferred to Low-A Delmarva. On Wednesday, the Keys activated another catcher, Wynston Sawyer from the seven-day DL and transferred Anthony Hewitt (left knee) to the disabled list retroactive to June 8. Sawyer was substituted for Logan Uxa at first in the eighth inning on Wednesday, Sawyer’s first action at first base since August 27, 2013 for Low-A Delmarva.

FINDING THE GROOVE: Chance Sisco has found his groove lately, hitting safely in seven of his last eight games. During that stretch he is batting .400 (10-for-25) with a home run, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. In the process, he has moved his batting average from .143 to .264, the highest it has been all season. In three of his last eight contests, Sisco has tallied multiple hits.

HEAT CHECK 2: Brenden Webb tied his longest hitting streak of the year on Wednesday night. The Californian has hit safely in seven straight twice this year, as he extended things in the bottom of the ninth with a single off Tyler Ihrig. Over his current seven-game streak, the Californian is batting .364 (8-for-22) with two home runs, six RBIs, and four runs scored. In the process, Webb has seen his average jump from .277 to .287. Webb previously hit in seven straight from April 15-20.

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Right-hander Paul Blackburn makes his 10th start of the season and his first against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Friday against Carolina. Pitching game two of a doubleheader, the right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings in a no-decision. He walked two, struck out two and threw a wild pitch. The no-decision snapped a two-game winning streak for Blackburn, who defeated Potomac in consecutive starts (May 23-30). In the month of May, the Californian went 3-1 with a 3.91 ERA in five games. This season, Blackburn has pitched into the sixth inning just once while six of his nine starts have last five innings. 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.

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