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Monday’s Game Notes are Up!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

And for the first time this year, we are in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Keys and the Lynchburg Hillcats begin the first of three-game set tonight from historic City Stadium, with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. We’ll have the pre-game show starting at 6:15 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Today’s game notes are below!

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Tonight’s Lineup

1. CF Gregory Lorenzo

2. SS Jeff Kemp

3. RF Tucker Nathans

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. DH Brenden Webb

6. 3B Drew Dosch

7. C Austin Wynns

8. 2B Anthony Caronia

9. LF Johnny Ruettiger

LHP Mitch Horacek

Monday, Apr. 20, 2015 · Game #12 · Road Game #5

Frederick Keys (7-4) at Lynchburg Hillcats (3-8)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-1, 1.50) vs. RHP Michael Peoples (0-0, 0.00)

BLUE ROCKS COMEBACK PART 2: For the second straight day, the Wilmington Blue Rocks rallied back to top the Keys 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. It marked the first time all season that Frederick had suffered back-to-back losses. Following a two-run double by Tucker Nathans in the sixth inning, Wilmington scored the final three runs of the game. In the sixth, the Blue Rocks scored only once despite loading the bases with nobody out. Daniel Rockett brought home Zane Evans on a double play, while Jon Keller got a groundout to end the inning. In the seventh, Bubba Starling tied the game with a solo homer off Williams Louico before the Blue Rocks manufactured a run in the eighth. After Louico hit Evans to open the inning, Dominique Taylor came in to pinch run and moved to second on a wild pitch. Maurico Ramos bunted his teammate down to third, while Robert Pehl hit a sac-fly to right to put the home team ahead to stay.

FEELING SHORTCHANGED: For the third time in four days, the Keys grabbed a lead only to lose it eventually. In the series opener, the Blue Rocks won on a walk-off double in the ninth inning by Bubba Starling after Frederick held a 2-1 from the second through the fifth innings. Saturday night was a similar story, with the Blue Rocks scoring four unanswered runs after the orange and black jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, while on Sunday the Blue Crew scored three unanswered to earn a series victory. Back-to-back blown leads can be due to bullpen struggles over the last two nights. In the last two days, Keys relievers have posted a 5.00 ERA (9IP/5R/11H).

CLOSE CALLS: Although the Keys are only 11 games into the season, eight of the Keys 11 contests have been decided by two runs or less. That includes each of the last five ballgames, with each of the last two coming down to a single marker. In one-run contests, Frederick is 3-3, tied for third in the CL (while the Keys are 2-0 in two-run games, the best figure in the league. In 2014, Frederick was 19-21 in one-run games (fourth overall) and 13-10 in two-run games (third overall)

NOT A BAD START: Despite recording back-to-back losses for the first time since a doubleheader against Potomac last August 31, the Keys still hold the top mark in the CL North standings (7-4) and lead the Blue Rocks by half a game. Frederick has had first place to itself for nine straight days (thanks in large part to a 6-1 start) after the team never had sole control of the division’s top spot in 2014 (and only was tied for first after the first and fourth days of the season). The seven wins also rank as the most in the circuit and are tied for the third-most at the Advanced-A level. Frederick faces off against a Lynchburg team with the CL’s worst record (3-8) and a club that snapped a seven-game losing streak on Sunday.

GET YOUR NATHANS RIGHT HERE!: Tucker Nathans enjoyed a nice Sunday at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, a run scored and a stolen base, while his two-bagger in the top of the sixth gave Frederick its only lead of the game. The three hits are the second-most by a Keys player in a game this year (Drew Dosch registered four on Friday night). Over his first seven games, Nathans is batting .444 (8-for-18) with five RBIs and has posted three multi-hit efforts. Entering his third season in Frederick, Nathans hit better than .270 in each of his first two years with the Keys.

THE WHIFF: On Sunday, the Keys struck out eight times as a team, making it the fourth straight game where the club had whiffed eight times or more. That included a season-worst 12 strikeouts on Thursday and then 10 more on Saturday. As a team, the Keys have struck out 77 times tied for second-most in the CL with Wilmington. Only Lynchburg (80) has struck out more as a team. Individually, Brenden Webb (13) is fourth in strikeouts and has gone down via strikes at least once in six of his last seven games.

LET’S GO STREAKING: In spite of the strikeouts, Brenden Webb extended his hitting streak to six games on Saturday, going 1-for-4. Over the course of the streak he is batting .300 (6-for-20) with a home run, two doubles and two RBIs. In all six games Webb has recorded one hit. The Californian paces the circuit in games played (11), is tied for second in extra-base hits (five). The six-game streak is the longest by any Keys player this season.

HART AND SISCO HEAD TO THE DISABLED LIST: On Thursday afternoon, Chance Sisco (retroactive to April 14) and Josh Hart (retroactive to April 16) were both placed on the seven-day DL. To fill their roster spots, Steel Russell and Anthony Hewitt were both received from Aberdeen. The Keys primary back-up catcher last year, Russell hit .181 in 25 games with a home run and three RBIs. Hewitt was acquired this offseason as a minor league free agent. A former Phillies farmhand and high school teammate of Tucker Nathans, Hewitt is a career .223 hitter with 124 games of experience at Double-A. Last season between Double-A Reading and Advanced-a Clearwater he hit .137 in 42 games.

THE MAGIC NUMBER: Offensively, the Keys have been a different ballclub when scoring four or more runs. When they accomplish the feat, the Keys are 6-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-4 when scoring three or less. Through nine games, Frederick is second in the Carolina League in runs per game (44) despite hitting only .238 as a team.

WE PLAY THE ROAD: The Keys will see if they can continue their success against the Hillcats, when they embark on a seven-game roadtrip to Wilmington and Lynchburg. Last year, the club went 36-34 in road tilts, good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League. The 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster included 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (222 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (212) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller, Steel Russell, Matt Taylor, Anthony Hewitt, Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler, 20 of the Keys 25 players have Advanced-A experience.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHERS: Right-hander Michael Peoples makes his second start of the season on Monday night and his second against the Keys. Pitching the backend of the doubleheader last Thursday, Peoples tossed five shutout innings of two-hit baseball and retired the final 11 batters he faced, but received a no-decision after the Keys batted around and scored four times off Robbie Aviles with two outs. Entering his second year in the Carolina League, Peoples went 7-8 with a 4.34 over 26 games (17 starts). He fared better as a reliever (3.20 ERA/9G) than as a starter going 6-6 with a 4.61 ERA in 17 outings (82 innings). Against the Keys, Peoples struggled going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA (13.1 IP/10ER). His best month of the season came in June, when he went 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA over five games (two starts). Peoples spent the 2013 season at Low-A Lake County and did not give up a run in 13.1 innings (working out of the bullpen) and was called up to Carolina at the end of May. He went 1-4 with a 5.27 ERA in eight starts before going on the disabled list on July 8 and missing the rest of the year with a shoulder injury. Drafted in the 14th round of 2012 out of Western Oklahoma State College, Peoples registered a 3.33 ERA in his college career and had a 3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The same alma mater of Andrelton Simmons, WOSC was forced to forfeit all of its baseball games last year after it was found six players on the team did not complete high school. Peoples throws a fastball, slider and a changeup.

Sunday’s Game Notes are Here!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The Keys wrap up their four-game series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Sunday, and are looking for a split of the series after the Blue Rocks battled from three runs down to win 4-3 last night. The Keys will bus to Lynchburg after the game to begin the back-end of their seven-game roadtrip. Today’s starting lineups are below as well as some Sunday game notes. Dylan Rheault makes his first start for the Keys and will matchup with righty Yender Caramo. Caramo will be followed by southpaw piggybacker Luis Rico. As always, tune into the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source or on frederickkeys.com, and we’ll have some fun. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m. and airtime is at 1:20.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Keys Lineup

1. Johnny Ruettiger CF

2. Adrian Marin SS

3. Brenden Webb DH

4. Trey Mancini 1B

5. Drew Dosch 3B

6. Tucker Nathans LF

7. Anthony Hewitt RF

8. Steel Russell C

9. Anthony Caronia 2B

RHP Dylan Rheault

Sunday, Apr. 19, 2015 · Game #11 · Road Game #4

Frederick Keys (7-3) at Wilmington Blue Rocks (5-4)

RHP Dylan Rheault (0-0, 6.35) vs. RHP Yender Caramo (0-1, 3.38)

BLUE ROCKS BOUNCE BACK: The Wilmington Blue Rocks scored the final four runs of the game, while the Frederick Keys were limited to just three hits in their final seven trips to bat, as the orange and black fell 4-3 on Saturday night at Frawley Stadium. Ahead 3-0 after 3.5 innings, Wilmington pulled within a run thanks to a two-run double by Frank Schwindel in the fourth, before taking the lead for good in the sixth. Cam Gallagher provided a two-out double to deep right which scored Bubba Starling from second to tie things up before Robert Pehl gave Wilmington the lead with a single through the right side. Blue Rocks relievers Benino Pruneda and Robinson Yambati closed the door from there, combining on 3.2 innings of shutout baseball. Frederick needs a win on Sunday to avoid its first series loss of the year.

DR. DREW: Drew Dosch was back at work on Saturday, following a career-night where he equaled his career-high in hits (four) and RBIs (three). Driving in all three Keys runs, Dosch went 2-for-3 with a double. At one point, Dosch tallied six straight hits dating back to Friday and six RBIs in as many plate appearances. In the process, the former Youngstown State product has seen his batting average skyrocket 131 points (.125-.258) in the last 48 hours. Rated the No. 15 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America, Dosch is tied for the Carolina League lead in RBI (10) with Winston-Salem’s Keon Barnum.

CLOSE CALLS: Although the Keys are only 10 games into the season, seven of the Keys 10 games have been decided by two runs or less. That includes each of the last four ballgames. In one-run contests, Frederick is 3-2, tied for the second-best mark in the CL (only Myrtle Beach is better at 2-0) while the Keys are 2-0 in two-run games, the best figure in the league. In 2014, Frederick was 19-21 in one-run games (fourth overall) and 13-10 in two-run games (third overall)

NOT A BAD START: The Keys 7-3 record still ranks as the best in the Carolina League, with no other team having reached seven victories. At the Advanced-A level, the Keys record is tied for second-best along with the Phillies Advanced-A team in Clearwater (7-3). Only the Visalia Rawhide (7-2) sport a better record. As a franchise, the Keys 7-3 start is the best since the 2008, when the Keys got off to an 8-3 start.

THE WHIFF: For the second time in three games, the Keys struck out 10 times or more. On Friday the orange and black were punched out a season-high 12 times and then 10 more times on Saturday. In the series, Frederick has gone down 30 times on strikes. As a team, the Keys have struck out 69 times, third-most in the CL. Only Wilmington (76) and Lynchburg (75) have fared worse.  

HOW FORTUNES TURN: Since wrapping up a four-game hitting streak on Thursday, Trey Mancini has gone hitless in his last two games. Ending Saturday 0-for-4, the former Notre Dame star is 0 for his last 11, dating back to Thursday night where he doubled in the fourth inning. That has sent his average from .314 down to .250. In spite of the mini-slump, Mancini is still tied for the CL lead in extra-base hits (five) and is tied for third in total bases.

LET’S GO STREAKING: Brenden Webb extended his hitting streak to five on Saturday, going 1-for-3 with a run score. Over the course of the streak he is batting .313 (5-for-16) with a home run, two doubles and two RBIs. He paces the circuit in games played (11), is tied for the CL lead in extra-base hits (five) and is fifth in total bases (19). The five-game streak is the longest by any active Keys player, and equals the longest by any team member this year.

HART AND SISCO HEAD TO THE DISABLED LIST: On Thursday afternoon, Chance Sisco (retroactive to April 14) and Josh Hart (retroactive to April 16) were both placed on the seven-day DL. To fill their roster spots, Steel Russell and Anthony Hewitt were both received from Aberdeen. The Keys primary back-up catcher last year, Russell hit .181 in 25 games with a home run and three RBIs. Hewitt was acquired this offseason as a minor league free agent. A former Phillies farmhand and high school teammate of Tucker Nathans, Hewitt is a career .223 hitter with 124 games of experience at Double-A. Last season between Double-A Reading and Advanced-a Clearwater he hit .137 in 42 games.

THE MAGIC NUMBER: Offensively, the Keys have been a different ballclub when scoring four or more runs. When they accomplish the feat, the Keys are 6-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-3 when scoring three or less. Through nine games, Frederick is second in the Carolina League in runs per game (41) despite ranking sixth in batting average (.237).

WE PLAY THE ROAD: The Keys will see if they can continue their success against the Blue Rocks, when they embark on a seven-game roadtrip to Wilmington and Lynchburg. Last year, the club went 36-34 in road tilts, good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League. The 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster included 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (222 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (212) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller, Steel Russell, Matt Taylor, Anthony Hewitt, Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler, 20 of the Keys 25 players have Advanced-A experience.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHERS: Right-hander Yender Caramo makes his third appearance of the year on Sunday afternoon and his first start. In his last outing on Monday night at Carolina he was tagged with the loss, allowing one run on four hits over 4.1 innings. Working out of the piggyback with left-hander Luis Rico Caramo makes his first start with the club since May 7, 2014, when he tossed five innings of one-run baseball at Salem and was tagged with the loss. In five starts with the Blue Rocks last season, Caramo went 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA, compared to his 3-5 record with a 3.30 ERA over 31 contests as a reliever. One of the league’s top relievers in 2014, Caramo had the lowest walk/9IP ratio of any CL bullpen hand (1.01) and allowed the fifth-fewest baserunners per nine frames (11.49).  Entering the 2015 campaign, Caramo had made 76 total appearances and 35 starts. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in November 2010, Caramo hails from San Felix, Bolivar, Venezuela. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup. Luis Rico follows Caramo after the former started Monday’s game against Carolina. Over four innings in his CL debut, Rico allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits to go along with a walk and nine strikeouts. The nine strikeouts were the most by Rico since August 20, 2013 as a member of the AZL Royals. He spent all of last season at Low-A Lexington going 3-8 with a 4.38 ERA over 25 games (16 starts) and logged a career-high 109 innings. Acquired by the Royals via trade from the Pirates prior to the 2013 season, Rico pitched for the Venezuelan Summer League in 2011 before pitching for a Pirates Dominican Summer League team in 2012. The southpaw throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Keys Try for Win #8 on Saturday! (Keys Lineup Included)

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Hope you got to listen to the Keys Corner earlier today with myself and Doug Raftery. Really enjoyed the insights from Orlando Gomez about the first week, Mitch Horacek discussing why he chose Dartmouth College and Jeff Kemp on his favorite team growing up. As always, we really appreciate Orlando and the rest of the guys taking a little bit of time to talk with us each day. They’ve all got important stuff to do, but it’s great to hear their insights about how things are going. We look forward to getting to know more about this year’s Keys as the season goes on.

Today the Keys will try and pick up their eighth win of the season. Right now their 7-2 record is tops at the High-A classification and among the best in minor league baseball. I’ll be with you on 1450 AM The Source starting at 6:50 p.m, with first pitch slated for 7:05. Tonight’s lineup as well as today’s game notes are below!

Talk soon and shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Gregory Lorenzo

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 1B Trey Mancini

4. DH Brenden Webb

5. RF Anthony Hewitt

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. 3B Drew Dosch

8. C Austin Wynns

9. LF Johnny Ruettiger

LHP Matt Taylor

Saturday, Apr. 18, 2015 · Game #10 · Road Game #3

Frederick Keys (7-2) at Wilmington Blue Rocks (4-4)

LHP Matt Taylor (0-0, –) vs. LHP Eric Skoglund (1-0, 0.00)

BACK ON TRACK: Drew Dosch went 4-for-4 with three RBIs, while the Frederick Keys used a three-run fifth inning to top the Wilmington Blue Rocks 6-4 on Friday night at Frawley Stadium. On the mound, Dennis Torres and Jimmy Yacabonis combined on six innings of two-hit shutout relief to guide the Keys to their seventh win of the season and their first road win of 2015. After a home run by Brenden Webb and an RBI single by Dosch gave the Keys a 2-1 lead in the second, the Blue Rocks answered with a three-run third. Ramon Torres became the first man to score after a walk, an error, a single and a wild pitch by Jarett Miller. Later in the frame, Mauricio Ramos drove home a pair with a double to deep right-center. Down 4-2, Frederick retook the lead for good in the fifth with two outs. Following a walk to Webb and singles by Tucker Nathans and Adrian Marin, Dosch plugged the right-center gap, bringing home all three men (Marin scored after Zane Evans dropped the relay throw at the plate).

DR DREW: Following one of his toughest nights at the plate as a professional (0-for-4, four strikeouts) Drew Dosch paced the Keys offense on Friday. The four hits by the former Youngstown State product were a season-high by a Keys player (no Key had more than two hits in a game entering Friday) and equaled a career-best for Dosch, who went 4-for-5 at Hickory last July 27 while playing for Low-A Delmarva. Meanwhile, the three RBIs tied a personal-best set last May 24 against Kannapolis, and moved him into a tie for second in the CL in RBIs (seven). Thanks to a big night, Dosch saw his average jump by almost 100 points to .222, the highest it has been this season.

NOT A BAD START: The Keys 7-2 record is by far the best in the Carolina League, with the orange and black holding two more wins than the next-best team (Potomac is 5-4). It is also the top overall record at Advanced-A entering Saturday. Across professional baseball, Frederick’s seven wins are tied for the most among full-season clubs. Other teams with seven wins include Triple-A Oklahoma City (7-2), Double-A Corpus Christi (7-1), Low-A Lansing (7-2) and Low-A Cedar Rapids (7-2). Meanwhile, the Keys 7-2 start is the best in more than a decade for the team (dating back to 2005, when MiLB started keeping more stringent records). Frederick’s next-best start was a 6-3 beginning to the 2008 season.

HIT PARADE: Friday night saw the Keys equal their season-high for hits in a game with 12. The orange and black also accomplished that feat in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader. Receiving balanced production, seven of the Keys nine starters recorded one hit, while Austin Wynns added an RBI double off the bench. That bumped up the Keys batting average from .234 to .245. Frederick also made some strides with runners in scoring position on Friday, going 4-for-14 (.285) in that department after a 1-for-9 showing in the series opener.

BULLPEN BULLYING: Dennis Torres and Jimmy Yacabonis each put together their best outings of the season on Friday night. After struggling with command on Monday night, Torres returned to 2014 form, tossing three-innings of one-hit baseball. It was the right-hander’s longest outing of the year, while Yacabonis’ three innings were a career-high and his four strikeouts tied a career-high. At one stretch, Torres and Yacabonis combined to retire 12 straight. One of the club’s early strengths, the Keys bullpen has a 3.29 ERA to begin the year.   

ONE STREAK ENDS: One of the Carolina League’s toughest outs to open the year, Trey Mancini was held hitless on Friday, going 0-for-5. That ended a four-game hitting streak, where the former Notre Dame star hit .389 (7-for-18) with a triple, two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. Despite not recording a base knock, Mancini is still tops in the CL in total bases (21), is tied for the CL lead in hits (11), extra-base hits (five) and is tied for second in home runs (two).

ANOTHER CONTINUES: Mancini’s teammate, Brenden Webb, will try to extend his hitting streak to five. Following a home run on Friday, he is batting .308 in his last four games (4-for-13) with a home run and two doubles. He paces the circuit in games played (10), is tied for the CL lead in extra-base hits (five), is fourth in total bases (18) and fifth in slugging percentage (.545).

HART AND SISCO HEAD TO THE DISABLED LIST: On Thursday afternoon, Chance Sisco (retroactive to April 14) and Josh Hart (retroactive to April 16) were both placed on the seven-day DL. To fill their roster spots, Steel Russell and Anthony Hewitt were both received from Aberdeen. The Keys primary back-up catcher last year, Russell hit .181 in 25 games with a home run and three RBIs. Hewitt was acquired this offseason as a minor league free agent. A former Phillies farmhand and high school teammate of Tucker Nathans, Hewitt is a career .223 hitter with 124 games of experience at Double-A. Last season between Double-A Reading and Advanced-a Clearwater he hit .137 in 42 games.

THE MAGIC NUMBER: Offensively, the Keys have been a different ballclub when scoring four or more runs. When they accomplish the feat, the Keys are 6-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-2 when scoring three or less. Through nine games, Frederick is second in the Carolina League in runs per game (38).

WE PLAY THE ROAD: The Keys will see if they can continue their success against the Blue Rocks, when they embark on a seven-game roadtrip to Wilmington and Lynchburg. Last year, the club went 36-34 in road tilts, good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League. The 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster included 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (222 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (212) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller, Steel Russell, Matt Taylor, Anthony Hewitt, Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler, 20 of the Keys 25 players have Advanced-A experience.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Eric Skoglund makes his second start of the season for the Blue Rocks on Saturday night, and is the No. 14 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system according to Baseball America. In his Carolina League debut last Sunday, the southpaw earned the win at Myrtle Beach, tossing 5.2 innings of three-hit shutout baseball. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Only the 10th appearance of his career, Skoglund went 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA over nine games (eight starts) at Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls. 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.

Keys and Blue Rocks set to play game two!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try and bounce back on Friday night in Wilmington after Bubba Starling connected on a walk-off two-run double in the bottom of the ninth inning. Although it snapped the Keys six-game winning streak (equaling last season’s career-high) Frederick still holds the best record in the Carolina League 6-2 (1.5 games ahead of Wilmington). Tonight they’ll try and keep the momentum going with Jarett Miller on the mound. He will face-off against Alec Mills a Wilmington right-handed pitcher.

We’ll have our second manager’s show of the season with Orlando Gomez as well as the rest of the pre-game show at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source. Yours truly will be on the call. And don’t miss the first edition of the Keys Corner tomorrow afternoon! Doug Raftery and I will bring you the latest Keys news, while you’ll hear from a couple of different Keys this week. Show goes from 1:05-1:30 p.m on 1450 AM The Source.

Frederick will return home next Thursday night for a four-game series against these Blue Rocks and there is a TON of fun stuff to look forward to! We’ll kickoff the fun with Italian Heritage night, before Going Green night next Friday, which will include a reusable bag giveaway.

Italian Heritage NighgtjpgSaturday is one of my favorite days, as we remember the George Lucas brainchild with Star Wars Day! There will be light saber battles between inning, as the Rebel Legion makes another appearance at Nymeo Field. Then on Sunday we celebrate halfway to Halloween Night with the second annual Keys Candy Drop. We’ll be dumping more than 150 pounds of candy out a helicopter and youngsters are welcome to go trick-or-treating in the outfield.

Candy DropIn other words, get your tickets by calling 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.

A look at today’s lineup as well as today’s batch of game notes are below. Talk soon Keys fans!

Shake’em!

Geoff

1. Gregory Lorenzo CF

2. Jeff Kemp 2B

3. Trey Mancini 1B

4. Brenden Webb DH

5. Tucker Nathans RF

6. Adrian Marin SS

7. Drew Dosch 3B

8. Steel Russell C

9. Johnny Ruettiger LF

RHP Jarett Miller

Friday, Apr. 17, 2015 · Game #9 · Home Game #9

Frederick Keys (6-2) at Wilmington Blue Rocks (4-3)

RHP Jarett Miller (0-0, 5.06) vs. RHP Alec Mills (1-0, 1.69)

ON THE OTHER END OF THE STICK: After earning walk-off wins on Sunday and Monday, the Keys were not able to force extra-innings in their first road game of the year. With the game tied at two and a runner aboard at first, Bubba Starling doubled to the left-centerfield gap off Jon Keller to score Jack Lopez from first and give Wilmington a 3-2 walk-off win. Armed with several opportunities to tie the game or take the lead, the Keys stranded nine on the basepaths and were held off the scoreboard after plating two runs in the second on a steal of home by Trey Mancini and an RBI single by Anthony Hewitt.

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Thursday’s loss snapped the Keys six-game winning streak, equaling the club’s high-water mark from 2014, when Frederick took six at Lynchburg and Salem from July 5-10. A win on Thursday would have given the Keys their first seven-game win streak since June 1-8, 2011, when the Keys took eight straight against Myrtle Beach, Salem and Potomac. It may come as little surprise that the Blue Rocks were the team to wreck the Keys winning streak. In less than a year, Wilmington has earned three walk-off victories at Frederick’s expense. Last August 13, Frederick lost on a walk-off wild pitch by Gene Escat in the bottom of the seventh, while last May 23, Kenny Diekroeger (a member of this year’s Wilmington team) stroked an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th to top the Keys. Like on Thursday, that game was Frederick’s first at Frawley Stadium that year.

A LITTLE HELP!: Following a 7-for-22 (.318) showing in Wednesday’s twinbill, the Keys problems with runners in scoring position resurfaced Thursday. On the game, the Keys went 1-for-9 with men at second or third base. That dropped the Keys team total from .209 to .203. In spite of the struggles early on, Lynchburg (.193) and Potomac (.184) have both fared worse. With men closest to home, Tucker Nathans is batting .400 (2-for-5) while Adrian Marin hits at .375 (3-for-8).

EN FUEGO: Trey Mancini has been red hot to start the year. In his first eight games, Mancini is hitting .314 (11-for-35) and paces the Carolina League in hits (11). Owner of five multi-hit games already, the former Notre Dame product also leads the circuit in total bases (21) and at-bats (35), is tied for the CL lead in extra-base hits (five) and home runs (two) and is third in RBIs (five).

THE WHIFF: On Thursday night, the Keys struck out a season-high 12 times. Entering Thursday, the Keys previous season-high mark for strikeouts was 10, which occurred during the 16-inning win over Lynchburg on Monday. The 12 strikeouts were the most by the Keys since August 8, 2014, when the duo of Glenn Sparkman and Daniel Stumpf struck out 12 in an 8-1 Blue Rocks win.

HART AND SISCO HEAD TO THE DISABLED LIST: On Thursday afternoon, Chance Sisco (retroactive to April 14) and Josh Hart (retroactive to April 16) were both placed on the seven-day DL. To fill their roster spots, Steel Russell and Anthony Hewitt were both received from Aberdeen. The Keys primary back-up catcher last year, Russell hit .181 in 25 games with a home run and three RBIs. Hewitt was acquired this offseason as a minor league free agent. A former Phillies farmhand and high school teammate of Tucker Nathans, Hewitt is a career .223 hitter with 124 games of experience at Double-A. Last season between Double-A Reading and Advanced-a Clearwater he hit .137 in 42 games.

THE MAGIC NUMBER: Offensively, the Keys have been a different ballclub when scoring four or more runs. When they accomplish the feat, the Keys are 5-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-2 when scoring three or less. Through eight games, Frederick leads the Carolina League in runs per game (32) despite being in the bottom-fourth in the league in hitting.

WE PLAY THE ROAD: The Keys will see if they can continue their success against the Blue Rocks, when they embark on a seven-game roadtrip to Wilmington and Lynchburg. Last year, the club went 36-34 in road tilts, good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League. The 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

BULLPEN CHANGES : On Tuesday, the Keys added pitchers Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler to their roster while Nik Nowottnick was transferred to Low-A Delmarva. The Keys opening day starter in 2013, Jones returns to the Orioles after spending last year with the Padres Double-A club in San Antonio. Wheeler comes to the Orioles after beginning his pro career with the Diamondbacks. Last year he split time between Advanced-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile, going a combined 5-4 with a 1.63 ERA in 45 games.

WELCOME BACK ORLANDO!: After spending the last two seasons with the Rookie-Level GCL Orioles, the Keys all-time winningest manager, Orlando Gomez returns to Frederick in 2015. The 68-year-old begins his 51st season in professional baseball and 11th with the Orioles. The Keys manager from 2010-12, Gomez is the only skipper in club history to eclipse 200 wins. He is the last manager to lead Frederick to the playoffs and a Mills Cup title (2011). Since his departure, the Keys have not finished higher than third in any half of a season. His staff includes pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, hitting coach Paco Figueroa and infield coach Justin Viele.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster includes 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (212 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (208) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller, Steel Russell, Anthony Hewitt, Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler, 19 of the Keys 25 players have Advanced-A experience.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Alec Mills makes his second start of the year for Wilmington on Friday night. In his Carolina League debut last Saturday at Myrtle Beach, the right-hander worked 5.1 innings of one-run four hit baseball. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. 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 2.3 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, slurve and changeup.

Breakfast with the Keys!

Rise and shine everybody, you ready for some morning Keys baseball? Our first game is scheduled at 11 AM this morning and will play a second game for a doubleheader because of yesterday’s postponement. Mother Nature seemingly decided to give the Keys a well deserved day off after going through a grueling 16 inning contest with Lynchburg on Monday night. They came out victorious as infielder Tucker Nathans, who came into pitch, picked up an odd victory. Frederick came within an out of losing the game, but a wild pitch allowed Adrian Marin to tie it in the 13th inning. Drew Dosch was the hero as he hit a walk off sac fly to end the long 16 inning affair. Below are the two plays mentioned above and today’s game notes.

 

 

Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2015 · Game #6/#7 · Home Game #6/7

Frederick Keys (4-1) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (2-3)

(G1) LHP Mitch Horacek (0-0, 3.60) vs. LHP Mike Rayl (0-0, –)

(G2)RHP David Hess (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Michael Peoples (0-0, –)

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The Keys and the Hillcats were postponed on Tuesday night on account of rain and will play a doubleheader today, starting at 11 a.m. Frederick’s rotation will stay on schedule with left-hander Mitch Horacek pitching game one and right-hander David Hess throwing in game two. Lynchburg counters with left-hander Mike Rayl in game one and righty Michael Peoples in game two.  

OH WHAT A NIGHT: On Monday, the Keys needed 16 innings and four hours and 57 minutes, but managed to defeat the Lynchburg Hillcats 5-4 on a sacrifice fly by Drew Dosch. It was the Keys fourth straight victory, since the club’s opening night loss to Winston-Salem. Utilizing lights-out relief pitching from Dennis Torres, Jon Keller, Austin Urban and Jimmy Yacabonis as well as position players Brenden Webb and Tucker Nathans, the Frederick bullpen combined to throw 12.1 innings of one-run baseball.

WHERE IT RANKS: Frederick’s 16-inning win came up one inning shy of tying the Keys longest game in franchise history. Several times, the orange and black have played 17 frames, with the most recent coming on July 18, 1993 against Prince William. Meanwhile, Monday’s 16-inning contest was the club’s longest game since July 26, 2013, when Frederick defeated the Salem Red Sox 3-2 at LewisGale Field.

ROLAIDS RELIEF: For the second straight game, the Keys bullpen stood on its head. Following 5.2 innings of shutout baseball on Sunday afternoon, the Keys gave up only eight hits in 12.1 innings to go along with one run. This included a scoreless inning streak of 14.1 frames. Right in the middle of this effort were position players Brenden Webb and Tucker Nathans, neither of whom had ever pitched in a professional game. Over four innings, the duo gave up only one run on four hits, while Nathans worked a 1-2-3 16th against the top three hitters in the Hillcats order. In the last two days, Frederick’s bullpen ERA has gone from 9.00 to 3.90.

WAITING FOR DUCK HUNTING SEASON: One point of emphasis for the Keys in the early going is hitting with runners in scoring position. This proved to be a challenge for the orange and black on Monday, with the team going 1-for-15 with runners at second and third base and stranding 14. This came a day after the club went 1-for-8 with men in scoring position against Winston-Salem. On the year, the Keys are hitting only .156 (7-for-45) with men closest to home.

MOVING AND SHAKING: On Tuesday, the Keys added pitchers Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler to their roster while Nik Nowottnick was transferred to Low-A Delmarva. The Keys opening day starter in 2013, Jones returns to the Orioles after spending last year with the Padres Double-A club in San Antonio. Wheeler comes to the Orioles after beginning his pro career with the Diamondbacks. Last year he split time between Advanced-A Visalia and Double-A Mobile, going a combined 5-4 with a 1.63 ERA in 45 games.

REMEMBERING KEITH LUPTON: Former Keys General Manager Keith Lupton passed away on Sunday at 73 years old. Instrumental in the start-up of the Keys, the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Bowie Baysox, Lupton served as Frederick’s GM from 1989-93 and was twice named the league’s GM of the year.

2014 SEASON IN REVIEW: The Keys tied for third with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the overall Carolina League North standings. Ending the year with a 65-72 record, the orange and black finished in fourth place in the first-half (32-35) and in third place in the second stanza. Despite posting a losing record after the all-star break, Frederick stayed in the playoff hunt until the penultimate day of the season. Taking on the eventual CL champions, the Potomac Nationals, Frederick dropped both ends of a doubleheader, while a Lynchburg win sealed the Keys fate. The 65 overall wins were the most the club had accrued since 2011, when then-manager Orlando Gomez led the club to an 80-59 record (the best in team history) and a Mills Cup title.

2014 TOP-PERFORMERS: At the plate, Michael Burgess proved to be one of the league’s toughest outs until a July promotion to Double-A Bowie. The CL’s “Player of the Month” for June, the Tampa native hit .315 in 83 games. Despite missing the last month-and-a-half of the season, he placed second in extra-base hits (51), fourth in doubles (32) and tied for fourth in home runs (15) and fifth in RBIs (68). Glynn Davis was also called up to Double-A Bowie, but had enough plate appearances to qualify for fourth in the league in batting average (.295). On the mound, Mark Blackmar had a fantastic season. Opening the year in the bullpen, the righty moved to the rotation in mid-May and flourished, ending the year 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He finished tied for second in wins and fifth in ERA before a late-season trade to the White Sox for Alejandro de Aza. Frederick native, Branden Kline, also had a nice 2014, going 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA with the Keys. A midseason all-star, he received a promotion to Double-A in August.

WELCOME BACK ORLANDO!: After spending the last two seasons with the Rookie-Level GCL Orioles, the Keys all-time winningest manager, Orlando Gomez returns to Frederick in 2015. The 68-year-old begins his 51st season in professional baseball and 11th with the Orioles. The Keys manager from 2010-12, Gomez is the only skipper in club history to eclipse 200 wins. He is the last manager to lead Frederick to the playoffs and a Mills Cup title (2011). Since his departure, the Keys have not finished higher than third in any half of a season. His staff includes pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, hitting coach Paco Figueroa and infield coach Justin Viele.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster includes 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (212 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (208) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller and Ronan Pacheco, 16 Keys have Advanced-A experience.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Mike Rayl makes his first start of the year on Wednesday morning after missing the majority of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery. Pitching in only three games last year, he gave up three runs over five innings in three Arizona League games. Not his first stint in the Carolina League, Rayl made 27 starts for then-Indians affiliate Carolina in 2012, going 10-9 with a 4.28 ERA over 149.1 innings. He finished tied for the CL lead in total starts, and also tied for fourth in the CL in wins and was fourth in innings pitched. Rayl made only one start in 2013 at Double-A Akron before going on the DL for the rest of the season with a left elbow strain. Originally drafted by Washington in the 45th round of the 2008 draft, Rayl elected to attend Palm Beach Community College. In 2009, he was selected by the Indians in the 15th round and signed for a reported $125,000, Ranked as having the “best control” in Cleveland’s system according to Baseball America after the 2011 season, Rayl’s career walk/9IP ratio is 2.84. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Previewing the Lynchburg Series

The Keys have started this season off with a bang after Brenden Webb hit a walk off home run in yesterdays contest in extra innings against the Winston-Salem Dash to clinch the series three games to one and to extend their winning streak to three games. Frederick kept crawling back after falling into a 3-1 hole getting David Lough, who was playing on a rehab assignment, to hit a sac fly to make it a one-run game, then Drew Dosch lined a base hit to left field to tie it at three a piece. With two outs in the 11th inning, Webb hit a ball over the fence for a two-run game winning shot in dramatic fashion. Below is the call brought to you in part by our very own Geoff Arnold.

The Keys will take on the Lynchburg Hillcats for a three-game set which concludes the seven game homestand. Fredrick will be sending out Sebastian Vader who is making his first start this season and is countered by Lynchburg’s southpaw Luis Lugo. The Hillcats trail Fredrick by one game in the Carolina League North division standings after splitting a four game series with the defending Carolina League champions, Potomac Nationals.

Here are the lineups for April 13:

The Keys

1. CF Josh Hart

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. RF Brenden Webb

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. C Austin Wynns

8. LF Gregory Lorenzo

9. DH Anthony Caronia

 

Lynchburg lineup

1. LF Mike Papi

2. CF Clint Frazier

3. RF Bradley Zimmer

4. 1B Nellie Rodriguez

5. 3B Paul Hendrix

6. C Alex Monsalve

7. 2B James Roberts

8. DH Yhoxian Medina

9. SS Ivan Castillo

 

Monday, Apr. 13, 2015 · Game #5 · Home Game #5

Frederick Keys (3-1) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (2-2)

RHP Sebastian Vader (0-0, –) vs. LHP Luis Lugo (0-0, –)

WALK-IT OFF, WALK-IT OFF: Brenden Webb hit a two-run walk off home run off Winston-Salem reliever Brad Goldberg in the bottom of the 11th on Sunday, to lift the Frederick Keys to a 5-3 victory on Sunday at Nymeo Field. It was the club’s first walk-off win since June 13, 2014, when the orange and black defeated Myrtle Beach 7-6 thanks to a three-run bottom of the ninth. In Sunday’s tilt, Drew Dosch tied the game at three in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI double down the third baseline which scored Anthony Caronia. The Dash held the lead through seven innings, but were shut down in their final five trips to bat. Relievers Nik Nowottnick, Dylan Rheault and Jimmy Yacabonis combined on 5.2 innings of shutout, three-hit relief, while the visitors finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

A WEBB WINNER: Sunday was capped off with fireworks, thanks to Webb’s first longball of the season. It was his 43rd career home run, the most by any active Frederick player (the next closest is Trey Mancini who has hit 15). Webb has been responsible for two of the Keys last three walk-off wins dating back to last season. In 2014, he was also responsible for Frederick’s first walk-off thanks to an RBI single off Euclides Leyer of….Winston-Salem. It was not the first walk-off blast of Webb’s career either. Playing for the Bluefield Orioles in 2010, he exited the yard against former Key, Matt Bischoff, who served up the walk-off while playing for the Pulaski Mariners.

ROLAIDS RELIEF: The Keys utilized outstanding relief from Nik Nowottnick, Dylan Rheault and Jimmy Yacabonis to shut down the Winston-Salem. That trio combined to allow only two hits over the final five innings, while the Dash were set down 13 in-a-row at one point. Rheault led the way tossing three innings, where he retired all nine batters he faced. It equaled his personal-high at the Advanced-A level. Thanks to Sunday’s sterling performance, the club’s bullpen ERA was trimmed from 9.00 to 6.12.

WAITING FOR DUCK HUNTING SEASON: On Sunday, the Keys had only one hit with a runner in scoring position all game. That came when Drew Dosch doubled home Anthony Caronia in the bottom of the eighth. Although it was a turning point in the game, Frederick is hitting just .200 (6-for-30) with men in scoring position this year. Both of Dosch’s CL hits have come with men at second or third (2-for-5, 2B, RBI) while Brenden Webb and Austin Wynns are both 1-for-2.

ONE AND DONE: David Lough played six innings for the Keys on an MLB rehab assignment Sunday. Hitting leadoff and starting the left, the former Blue Rocks star went 0-for-2 with an RBI on a sac-fly. He was lifted in the seventh for Gregory Lorenzo, and was reinstated by the Orioles earlier today.

REMEMBERING KEITH LUPTON: Former Keys General Manager Keith Lupton passed away on Sunday at 73 years old. Instrumental in the start-up of the Keys, the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Bowie Baysox, Lupton served as Frederick’s GM from 1989-93 and was twice named the league’s GM of the year.

EARLY MOVEMENT: Before Friday’s game against the Dash, Keys reliever Ronan Pacheco was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hand. He was replaced on the roster by Nik Nowottnick who was transferred from Aberdeen. Growing up in Washington, D.C, Nowottnick split the 2014 campaign between Short-Season Aberdeen and Low-A Delmarva. Between the two stops, he went 3-2 with a 3.32 ERA over 21 games (all relief appearances).

2014 SEASON IN REVIEW: The Keys tied for third with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the overall Carolina League North standings. Ending the year with a 65-72 record, the orange and black finished in fourth place in the first-half (32-35) and in third place in the second stanza. Despite posting a losing record after the all-star break, Frederick stayed in the playoff hunt until the penultimate day of the season. Taking on the eventual CL champions, the Potomac Nationals, Frederick dropped both ends of a doubleheader, while a Lynchburg win sealed the Keys fate. The 65 overall wins were the most the club had accrued since 2011, when then-manager Orlando Gomez led the club to an 80-59 record (the best in team history) and a Mills Cup title.

2014 TOP-PERFORMERS: At the plate, Michael Burgess proved to be one of the league’s toughest outs until a July promotion to Double-A Bowie. The CL’s “Player of the Month” for June, the Tampa native hit .315 in 83 games. Despite missing the last month-and-a-half of the season, he placed second in extra-base hits (51), fourth in doubles (32) and tied for fourth in home runs (15) and fifth in RBIs (68). Glynn Davis was also called up to Double-A Bowie, but had enough plate appearances to qualify for fourth in the league in batting average (.295). On the mound, Mark Blackmar had a fantastic season. Opening the year in the bullpen, the righty moved to the rotation in mid-May and flourished, ending the year 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He finished tied for second in wins and fifth in ERA before a late-season trade to the White Sox for Alejandro de Aza. Frederick native, Branden Kline, also had a nice 2014, going 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA with the Keys. A midseason all-star, he received a promotion to Double-A in August.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: Chance Sisco makes the jump to Advanced-A after claiming the 2014 South Atlantic League batting title. The Orioles top catching prospect according to Baseball America, Sisco set a single-season franchise record at Low-A Delmarva, batting .340 in 114 games with five homers and 63 RBIs. His best month came in June, when he hit .404 with 19 RBIs over 24 games and earned organizational “Player of the Month” honors. A SAL midseason and postseason all-star, Sisco was selected by the Orioles with the 61st overall pick in the 2013 draft. Only 20 years old, Sisco is the youngest player on the Keys active roster by almost five months.

WELCOME BACK ORLANDO!: After spending the last two seasons with the Rookie-Level GCL Orioles, the Keys all-time winningest manager, Orlando Gomez returns to Frederick in 2015. The 68-year-old begins his 51st season in professional baseball and 11th with the Orioles. The Keys manager from 2010-12, Gomez is the only skipper in club history to eclipse 200 wins. He is the last manager to lead Frederick to the playoffs and a Mills Cup title (2011). Since his departure, the Keys have not finished higher than third in any half of a season. His staff includes pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, hitting coach Paco Figueroa and infield coach Justin Viele.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster includes 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (212 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (208) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller and Ronan Pacheco, 16 Keys have Advanced-A experience.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Luis Lugo makes his Advanced-A debut for the Hillcats on Monday. He is the No. 21 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America. Originally from Barquisimeto, Venezuela, the 21-year-old spent all of 2014 at Low-A Lake County. In 27 games (22 starts) Lugo went 10-9 with a 4.92 ERA in 126.1 innings. Finishing third in the Midwest League in strikeouts (146) he racked up 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Ending the year strong, the southpaw registered a 2.14 ERA in August after a disastrous July (9.12 ERA 30R/26ER/25.2 IP). Signed as an international free agent for a reported $415,000, Lugo had a bevy of control issues during his first pro season in 2011 (5.9 BB/9IP) before improving the consistency of his mechanics (according to Baseball America). A four pitch pitcher, Lugo throws a fastball in the low 90s, a curveball, a slider and a changeup, with his changeup receiving high marks. An avid fisherman, Lugo enjoyed bass fishing in the Grand River and Lake Erie while playing for Lake County.

Keys get an MLB Rehabber, Plus a Recap from Yesterday

Lough Rehab

After a tough loss on opening night, the Keys have played better the past two games showing glimmers of potential. The bullpen, which struggled in the 13-0 defeat, has locked down on the Dash offense only allowing three earned runs (four total) and the offense has produced nine runs after managing only two hits Thursday night, including two home runs from first baseman Trey Mancini, the last two contests. The starting pitching thus far has been phenomenal only allowing three earned runs in 15 innings pitched which could be the strongest suit for the team.

Looking to continue this great play, Frederick will be receiving a Major League player, Baltimore Orioles outfielder David Lough, for a rehab assignment starting today. Lough will be bringing depth and experience for a few games which will help the Keys tremendously.

If the past two games show any indication of what the team will play like for the duration of the season, we could be seeing some playoff baseball come mid-September.

Today the Keys will send out Jarett Miller who is making his team debut and looking to continue the winning streak. Having pitched in the Carolina League last season with Lynchburg, Miller was 8-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 29 games. He will be countered by Winston-Salem hurler Tony Bucciferro, who was the Dash’s best pitcher last season going 7-10 with a 3.90 ERA in 21 appearances.

Down below is the game notes for today’s contest.

Sunday, Apr. 12, 2015 · Game #4 · Home Game #4

Frederick Keys (2-1) vs Winston-Salem Dash (1-2)

RHP Jarett Miller (0-0, –) vs. RHP Tony Bucciferro (0-0, –)

TAKE WHAT YOU’RE GIVEN: The Frederick Keys used two Winston-Salem errors in the third inning to seize control of the game, while the team received a strong start from Luis Gonzalez to top the Dash 6-3 on Saturday afternoon at Nymeo Field. Trey Mancini paced the offense, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and his second longball in as many nights. On Sunday, the Keys will go for their first series win of the year.

BOOMER: Occasionally a nickname for Trey Mancini, the Keys first baseman has posted back-to-back multi-hit games. That includes a pair of home runs, both of which have come on the first pitch of an inning (he opened the sixth with a homer on Friday and then did the same thing in the second stanza on Saturday). Although all teams have only played three games, Mancini leads all of Advanced-A in longballs.

STARTING OFF STRONG: Over the last two days, the Keys have received strong starting pitching. On Friday night, David Hess earned a win in his Advanced-A debut tossing five innings of one-hit baseball en route to his first win, while Luis Gonzalez followed suit on Saturday. Having never pitched above Low-A in any of his five previous pro seasons, Gonzalez kept Dash hitters off balance over five frames. He gave up only one run on two hits and struck out four. All Keys starters have worked five innings so far and allowed two earned runs or less. The only issue has been walks, with Gonzalez, Hess and Mitch Horacek handing out nine free rides in 15 stanzas. Over the last two days though, the Dash are 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position and have left 18 on base.

MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT: After going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Friday, the Keys went 5-for-9 with men at second and third on Saturday. The Keys did their best work in the third, when all three runners who reached scoring position came home. In the first three games, the Keys are batting .227 (5-for-22) with men closest to home, with Adrian Marin, Brenden Webb and Austin Wynns all going 1-for-2 in those spots.   

LOUGH BEGINS REHAB WITH KEYS: David Lough is set to begin a Major League rehab with the Keys on Sunday afternoon. He is scheduled to leadoff and play leftfield. Lough is rehabbing from a left hamstring injury. In 2014 with the Orioles, Lough hit .247 with four home runs and 16 RBIs over 112 games (a career-high). Additionally, Lough set personal MLB high-water marks in stolen bases (eight) and walks (15). No stranger to the Carolina League, Lough was originally selected by the Royals in the 11th round of the 2007 draft and played for the Wilmington Blue Rocks in 2009. In 65 games, he hit .320 with five home runs and 30 RBIs before a promotion to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Not kind to Keys pitching during his time in the Carolina League, Lough hit .333 (6-for-18) with three runs scored in five games.

EARLY MOVEMENT: Before Friday’s game against the Dash, Keys reliever Ronan Pacheco was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hand. He was replaced on the roster by Nik Nowottnick who was transferred from Aberdeen. Growing up in Washington, D.C, Nowottnick split the 2014 campaign between Short-Season Aberdeen and Low-A Delmarva. Between the two stops, he went 3-2 with a 3.32 ERA over 21 games (all relief appearances).

2014 SEASON IN REVIEW: The Keys tied for third with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the overall Carolina League North standings. Ending the year with a 65-72 record, the orange and black finished in fourth place in the first-half (32-35) and in third place in the second stanza. Despite posting a losing record after the all-star break, Frederick stayed in the playoff hunt until the penultimate day of the season. Taking on the eventual CL champions, the Potomac Nationals, Frederick dropped both ends of a doubleheader, while a Lynchburg win sealed the Keys fate. The 65 overall wins were the most the club had accrued since 2011, when then-manager Orlando Gomez led the club to an 80-59 record (the best in team history) and a Mills Cup title.

2014 TOP-PERFORMERS: At the plate, Michael Burgess proved to be one of the league’s toughest outs until a July promotion to Double-A Bowie. The CL’s “Player of the Month” for June, the Tampa native hit .315 in 83 games. Despite missing the last month-and-a-half of the season, he placed second in extra-base hits (51), fourth in doubles (32) and tied for fourth in home runs (15) and fifth in RBIs (68). Glynn Davis was also called up to Double-A Bowie, but had enough plate appearances to qualify for fourth in the league in batting average (.295). On the mound, Mark Blackmar had a fantastic season. Opening the year in the bullpen, the righty moved to the rotation in mid-May and flourished, ending the year 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He finished tied for second in wins and fifth in ERA before a late-season trade to the White Sox for Alejandro de Aza. Frederick native, Branden Kline, also had a nice 2014, going 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA with the Keys. A midseason all-star, he received a promotion to Double-A in August.

WHAT HOME COOKIN?: In 2014, the Keys did their best work away from Frederick. In games played on Stadium Drive, Frederick went just 29-38, the worst home mark in the CL North and the second-worst figure in the Carolina League (Carolina was 28-40). That included an 0-5 first-half start, a 3-9 April and a 1-10 second-half kickoff. In contrast, the Keys were a strong road team, going 36-34. Good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League, the 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: Chance Sisco makes the jump to Advanced-A after claiming the 2014 South Atlantic League batting title. The Orioles top catching prospect according to Baseball America, Sisco set a single-season franchise record at Low-A Delmarva, batting .340 in 114 games with five homers and 63 RBIs. His best month came in June, when he hit .404 with 19 RBIs over 24 games and earned organizational “Player of the Month” honors. A SAL midseason and postseason all-star, Sisco was selected by the Orioles with the 61st overall pick in the 2013 draft. Only 20 years old, Sisco is the youngest player on the Keys active roster by almost five months.

WELCOME BACK ORLANDO!: After spending the last two seasons with the Rookie-Level GCL Orioles, the Keys all-time winningest manager, Orlando Gomez returns to Frederick in 2015. The 68-year-old begins his 51st season in professional baseball and 11th with the Orioles. The Keys manager from 2010-12, Gomez is the only skipper in club history to eclipse 200 wins. He is the last manager to lead Frederick to the playoffs and a Mills Cup title (2011). Since his departure, the Keys have not finished higher than third in any half of a season. His staff includes pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, hitting coach Paco Figueroa and infield coach Justin Viele.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster includes 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (212 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (208) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller and Ronan Pacheco, 16 Keys have Advanced-A experience.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Tony Bucciferro makes his 2015 debut against the Keys on Sunday. Splitting time between Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, he want 9-12 with a 4.14 ERA over 27 games (all starts). With the Dash, he went 7-10 with a 3.90 ERA in 21 appearances. Bucciferro tied for the league lead in complete games (two) and shutouts (one) and was fifth in the circuit in WHIP (1.20). Known for his pinpoint command, Bucciferro walked only 16 in 129.1 innings and walked only more than one on a single occasion (he gave out three free passes on July 14). Author of one of the league’s most dominant pitching performances last season, Bucciferro carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Keys on July 20, before a Glynn Davis single broke it up with one out. A 14th round selection by Chicago out of Michigan State in 2012, Bucciferro throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup.

It’s Hockey Day at the Ballpark!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

It’s time to drop the puck on Hockey Day! Former Washington Capital and 60-goal scorer, Dennis Maruk is in attendance so stop on by and say hello! He will also be signing autographs throughout the game. As one aside, best of luck to the Capitals on the final day of the NHL regular season. Fortunately, Maruk’s old team will be heading back to the playoffs, after posting the second-best record in the Metropolitan Division. As one final reminder, gates open at 1 p.m. and first pitch is at 2.

On Sunday, the Keys will conclude their first series of the season against Winston-Salem. Like on Saturday, gates will open at 1 p.m. and there will be plenty of fun. It’s the first Sunday Funday of the year presented by Heartfields Assisted Living at Frederick, and will include a pre-game catch in the outfield. Additionally, it is the first of three “Meet the Team Events” this season. From 1-1:30, fans are invited onto the field to meet their favorite Keys players and coaches and get autographs. There will also be a magnet schedule giveaway sponsored by Precision Heating and Cooling.

Finally, Sunday concludes our first Keys for Reading Weekend this year. So students from Frederick, Carroll, Loudoun and Clark counties bring in those signed bookmarks! Those that do will get a free ticket to that days’ game.

On Friday, the Keys earned their first win, defeating Winston-Salem 3-2. Both teams went a combined 0-for-18 with runners in scoring position, but the Keys got a couple of breaks on offense, great starting pitching from David Hess, one tremendous fielding play by Drew Dosch and gritty relief pitching from Dennis Torres and Jon Keller. All three pitchers were pitching on considerable rest, but found a way to minimize three Winston-Salem opportunities with the bases loaded (the Dash got only two runs in these spots all night).

For those that missed the game or want to go back and relive it, last night’s recap can be found here. Additionally here are a couple of highlights.

1. Mancini hits solo home run in 6th to put the Keys ahead 2-0:

2. Drew Dosch with a game-saving stop at third in the 9th:

3. Keller polishes off Trey Michaelczewski to wrap up the 3-2 win:

Additionally, here are a couple of interviews:

1. Opening Night chat with Keys manager Orlando Gomez:

2. Talk with Keys second baseman Jeff Kemp:

We’ll be adding more interviews on here throughout the season so stay tuned!

Here is a look at today’s Keys lineup:

1. LF Gregory Lorenzo

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. DH Chance Sisco

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. RF Brenden Webb

8. LF Tucker Nathans

9. C Austin Wins

Today’s game  notes are below! LHP Luis Gonzalez makes his Keys debut against RHP Robinson Leyer. Talk soon and shake your Keys!

Geoff

Saturday, Apr. 11, 2015 · Game #3 · Home Game #3

Frederick Keys (1-1) vs Winston-Salem Dash (1-1)

LHP Luis Gonzalez (0-0, –) vs. RHP Robinson Leyer (0-0, –)

SQUEAKING BY: Jon Keller worked around a no-out bases inning jam in the ninth inning on Friday night to hang on for a 3-2 win on at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium. The Dash had two chances with the bases loaded in their last three at-bats but scored only one time. The Keys also struggled with runners in scoring position, but snaked across three runs after a first inning error and wild pitch, a solo home run by Trey Mancini and a sac-fly by Brenden Webb, both coming in the sixth inning. In his Carolina League debut, David Hess held Winston-Salem to one hit over five shutout innings.

DUCKS LEFT ON THE POND: Hitting with runners in scoring position was not a strength of either team on Friday night. In the game, the Keys and the Dash combined to go 0-for-18 with runners at second or third base. Frederick finished the game 0-for-10 and left seven on base, while the Dash went 0-for-8 and left 10 stranded. In their first two games, the Keys are 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position and the Dash are 6-for-24.

A DEBUT TO REMEMBER: David Hess endured a bumpy first inning in his Carolina League debut, but quickly got back on track. In the first inning, Hess needed 25 pitches to escape a bases loaded jam, and only threw 12 strikes. From there, the righty shut down the Dash, facing only one over the minimum in his last four innings and setting down 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. Working five innings, Hess equaled his career-high for innings. He walked three and struck out three. A fifth round selection by the Orioles in the 2014 draft, the Tennessean is ranked as the Orioles No. 20 prospect according to Baseball America.

SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT: It has been adventurous first two days for the Keys bullpen. Over seven innings, the relief corps has allowed 11 earned runs in eight innings (12.38 ERA) to go along with 12 walks. On Friday, the duo of Dennis Torres and Jon Keller allowed two runs in four innings to go along with four walks. Half of the Keys bullpen free passes belong to Jimmy Yacabonis, who issued six walks in one-plus innings on Thursday.

EARLY MOVEMENT: Before Friday’s game against the Dash, Keys reliever Ronan Pacheco was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hand. He was replaced on the roster by Nik Nowottnick who was transferred from Aberdeen. Growing up in Washington, D.C, Nowottnick split the 2014 campaign between Short-Season Aberdeen and Low-A Delmarva. Between the two stops, he went 3-2 with a 3.32 ERA over 21 games (all relief appearances).

2014 SEASON IN REVIEW: The Keys tied for third with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the overall Carolina League North standings. Ending the year with a 65-72 record, the orange and black finished in fourth place in the first-half (32-35) and in third place in the second stanza. Despite posting a losing record after the all-star break, Frederick stayed in the playoff hunt until the penultimate day of the season. Taking on the eventual CL champions, the Potomac Nationals, Frederick dropped both ends of a doubleheader, while a Lynchburg win sealed the Keys fate. The 65 overall wins were the most the club had accrued since 2011, when then-manager Orlando Gomez led the club to an 80-59 record (the best in team history) and a Mills Cup title.

2014 TOP-PERFORMERS: At the plate, Michael Burgess proved to be one of the league’s toughest outs until a July promotion to Double-A Bowie. The CL’s “Player of the Month” for June, the Tampa native hit .315 in 83 games. Despite missing the last month-and-a-half of the season, he placed second in extra-base hits (51), fourth in doubles (32) and tied for fourth in home runs (15) and fifth in RBIs (68). Glynn Davis was also called up to Double-A Bowie, but had enough plate appearances to qualify for fourth in the league in batting average (.295). On the mound, Mark Blackmar had a fantastic season. Opening the year in the bullpen, the righty moved to the rotation in mid-May and flourished, ending the year 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He finished tied for second in wins and fifth in ERA before a late-season trade to the White Sox for Alejandro de Aza. Frederick native, Branden Kline, also had a nice 2014, going 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA with the Keys. A midseason all-star, he received a promotion to Double-A in August.

WHAT HOME COOKIN?: In 2014, the Keys did their best work away from Frederick. In games played on Stadium Drive, Frederick went just 29-38, the worst home mark in the CL North and the second-worst figure in the Carolina League (Carolina was 28-40). That included an 0-5 first-half start, a 3-9 April and a 1-10 second-half kickoff. In contrast, the Keys were a strong road team, going 36-34. Good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League, the 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: Chance Sisco makes the jump to Advanced-A after claiming the 2014 South Atlantic League batting title. The Orioles top catching prospect according to Baseball America, Sisco set a single-season franchise record at Low-A Delmarva, batting .340 in 114 games with five homers and 63 RBIs. His best month came in June, when he hit .404 with 19 RBIs over 24 games and earned organizational “Player of the Month” honors. A SAL midseason and postseason all-star, Sisco was selected by the Orioles with the 61st overall pick in the 2013 draft. Only 20 years old, Sisco is the youngest player on the Keys active roster by almost five months.

WELCOME BACK ORLANDO!: After spending the last two seasons with the Rookie-Level GCL Orioles, the Keys all-time winningest manager, Orlando Gomez returns to Frederick in 2015. The 68-year-old begins his 51st season in professional baseball and 11th with the Orioles. The Keys manager from 2010-12, Gomez is the only skipper in club history to eclipse 200 wins. He is the last manager to lead Frederick to the playoffs and a Mills Cup title (2011). Since his departure, the Keys have not finished higher than third in any half of a season. His staff includes pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, hitting coach Paco Figueroa and infield coach Justin Viele.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster includes 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (212 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (208) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller and Ronan Pacheco, 16 Keys have Advanced-A experience.

SAME PARK WITH A TWIST: In February, the Keys announced a naming rights partnership with Nymeo Federal Credit Union. Beginning with the 2015 season, the Keys Ballpark will be known as “Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.” With approximately 23,000 members, Nymeo is a not-for-profit financial institution based in Frederick County, with branches in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. The seven-year partnership will run through the club’s lease with the city of Frederick.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Robinson Leyer makes his Carolina League debut on Saturday after spending all of 2014 at Low-A Kannapolis. In 25 games (all starts) for the Intimidators, the 22-yeayear-old went 5-9 with a 3.81 ERA over 134.2 innings pitched. His first year of full-season baseball, Leyer fared better in the first-half, tallying a 3.01 ERA over 13 games, compared to a 4.64 mark in the second-half. 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.

 

 

Looking Back at Opening Night, Plus Tonight’s Game Notes!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

My name is James Rowe and I’m entering my first season with the Frederick Keys and my third overall in professional baseball after spending the 2014 season with the Tennessee Smokies and the Birmingham Barons in 2013. I was born and raised in Washington, DC and have been a baseball fan for as long as I can remember. Despite growing up in DC, I was raised a Chicago White Sox fan because of my father who hails from the south side of Chicago. I attended many Orioles games at Camden Yards where I idolized players like Cal Ripken Jr and Mike Bordick. When I played baseball back in my youth, I tried to emulate the defensive prowess of both Ripken and Bordick. I attended the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland for high school and Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina where I got my degree in History. In college I broadcasted many sports, but most importantly I broadcasted baseball

My top five baseball moments:

5. Attending last season’s Southern League All-Star game

4. Attending the 2003 MLB All Star game in Chicago

3. Winning the 2013 Southern League Championship as a member of the Birmingham Barons front office

2. Attending the 2005 World Series in Chicago

1. Witnessing the White Sox win the World Series in 2005

 

4/9 Recap

Last night’s contest was an unfortunate start to the 2015 season for the Keys as they lost their season and home opener 13-0 to Carolina League foe, Winston-Salem Dash. Frederick starter Mitch Horacek, pitched brilliantly going five strong innings allowing two earned runs (four overall) on three hits while striking out eight and giving up three walks. Despite Horacek’s strong start, the offense was stifled all night as they were only able to muster two hits and not scoring any runs on Dash hurler James Dykstra and the rest of the Winston-Salem bullpen. The Key’s bullpen struggled in their four innings of work as they allowed nine earned runs on eight hits and giving up eight free passes.

The Dash’s offense packed quite a punch in last night’s contest as they scored 13 runs on 11 hits. Winston-Salem skipper Tim Esmay showed he was very aggressive on the basepaths as the Dash stole seven total bases and proved that his hitters were to be patient at the plate racking up 11 walks. Every player on Winston Salem’s roster scored at least once in the game. Dysktra proved to be stronger than Horacek as he pitched six innings not allowing a run on one hit and struck out three. His great effort was supported by the bullpen as Sean Hagen and Michael Ynoa combined for three innings allowing only a hit and giving up two walks.

The Keys look to righty David Hess (NR) to get Frederick back on track as he will be countered by Dash southpaw Jace Fry (NR) who will try to keep Winston-Salem undefeated.

Lineups

Winston-Salem Lineup

1. CF Adam Engel

2. 2B Jake Peter

3. 3B Trey Michalzewski

4. 1B Keon Barnum

5. LF Nick Basto

6. DH Chris Jacobs

7. C Omar Narvaez

8. SS Cleuluis Rodon

9. RF Keenyn Walker

 

Frederick Lineup

1. CF Josh Hart

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. C Chance Sisco

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. RF Brenden Webb

8. DH Johnny Ruettiger

9. LF Gregory Lorenzo

Here are today’s game notes:

TODAY’S GAME: The Winston-Salem Dash used a seven-run seventh inning and six shutout innings of one-hit baseball by James Dykstra en route to a 13-0 romp of the Frederick Keys on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. Limited to two total hits on the game, the Keys only had seven  baserunners on the night. Walks and stolen bases were also problematic. In the game, the Dash stole seven times, with Adam Engel racking up three. On the mound, Frederick pitching combined to walk 11. Seven of those free rides came between the sixth and seventh innings, while Jimmy Yacabonis walked a career-high six batters in one-plus frames.

MORE OPENING DAY NOTES:  Thursday’s 13-0 defeat was the Keys worst loss since April 23, 2014, when the club fell to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 21-6. The seven stolen bases by the Dash on opening night eclipsed last year’s season-high by a Keys opponent. On two occasions last year, a team stole six bases against the orange and black. Additionally, the seven steals are the most by Winston-Salem since August 24, 2012. The two hits were the fewest the Keys had posted in a game since August 24 of last season at Potomac, and were the fewest at home since July 20, 2014, In that game. Dash starter, Tony Bucciferro, carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning and allowed only one hit. Following back-to-back wins on opening day in 2013-14, the Keys suffered their worst loss to begin a season in franchise history.

BATS QUIET UNDER BRIGHT LIGHTS: Opposing starters have carved up Keys hitters in the last two home openers. On Thursday, James Dykstra gave up only a single to Brenden Webb in six shutout innings, permitted only two baserunners (one via error) and retired the final eight men he faced. Still it was a better result than in 2014, when Frederick took on Dylan Baker. Making his Carolina League debut, he retired 18 Keys in a row, before leaving due to pitch count. Around the rest of the Carolina League, the two hits were not the fewest by a CL team last night. Facing Salem righties Jake Dahlstrand and Joe Gunkel, the Carolina Mudcats were no-hit over seven innings (the game was called due to rain). It was the 11th no-hitter in Red Sox history, and the first since July 17, 2013, when the trio of Henry Owens, Matty Ott and Matt Price no-hit the Keys.

2014 SEASON IN REVIEW: The Keys tied for third with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the overall Carolina League North standings. Ending the year with a 65-72 record, the orange and black finished in fourth place in the first-half (32-35) and in third place in the second stanza. Despite posting a losing record after the all-star break, Frederick stayed in the playoff hunt until the penultimate day of the season. Taking on the eventual CL champions, the Potomac Nationals, Frederick dropped both ends of a doubleheader, while a Lynchburg win sealed the Keys fate. The 65 overall wins were the most the club had accrued since 2011, when then-manager Orlando Gomez led the club to an 80-59 record (the best in team history) and a Mills Cup title.

2014 TOP-PERFORMERS: At the plate, Michael Burgess proved to be one of the league’s toughest outs until a July promotion to Double-A Bowie. The CL’s “Player of the Month” for June, the Tampa native hit .315 in 83 games. Despite missing the last month-and-a-half of the season, he placed second in extra-base hits (51), fourth in doubles (32) and tied for fourth in home runs (15) and fifth in RBIs (68). Glynn Davis was also called up to Double-A Bowie, but had enough plate appearances to qualify for fourth in the league in batting average (.295). On the mound, Mark Blackmar had a fantastic season. Opening the year in the bullpen, the righty moved to the rotation in mid-May and flourished, ending the year 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He finished tied for second in wins and fifth in ERA before a late-season trade to the White Sox for Alejandro de Aza. Frederick native, Branden Kline, also had a nice 2014, going 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA with the Keys. A midseason all-star, he received a promotion to Double-A in August.

WHAT HOME COOKIN?: In 2014, the Keys did their best work away from Frederick. In games played on Stadium Drive, Frederick went just 29-38, the worst home mark in the CL North and the second-worst figure in the Carolina League (Carolina was 28-40). That included an 0-5 first-half start, a 3-9 April and a 1-10 second-half kickoff. In contrast, the Keys were a strong road team, going 36-34. Good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League, the 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: Chance Sisco makes the jump to Advanced-A after claiming the 2014 South Atlantic League batting title. The Orioles top catching prospect according to Baseball America, Sisco set a single-season franchise record at Low-A Delmarva, batting .340 in 114 games with five homers and 63 RBIs. His best month came in June, when he hit .404 with 19 RBIs over 24 games and earned organizational “Player of the Month” honors. A SAL midseason and postseason all-star, Sisco was selected by the Orioles with the 61st overall pick in the 2013 draft. Only 20 years old, Sisco is the youngest player on the Keys active roster by almost five months.

WELCOME BACK ORLANDO!: After spending the last two seasons with the Rookie-Level GCL Orioles, the Keys all-time winningest manager, Orlando Gomez returns to Frederick in 2015. The 68-year-old begins his 51st season in professional baseball and 11th with the Orioles. The Keys manager from 2010-12, Gomez is the only skipper in club history to eclipse 200 wins. He is the last manager to lead Frederick to the playoffs and a Mills Cup title (2011). Since his departure, the Keys have not finished higher than third in any half of a season. His staff includes pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, hitting coach Paco Figueroa and infield coach Justin Viele.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster includes 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (212 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (208) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller and Ronan Pacheco, 16 Keys have Advanced-A experience.

SAME PARK WITH A TWIST: In February, the Keys announced a naming rights partnership with Nymeo Federal Credit Union. Beginning with the 2015 season, the Keys Ballpark will be known as “Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.” With approximately 23,000 members, Nymeo is a not-for-profit financial institution based in Frederick County, with branches in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. The seven-year partnership will run through the club’s lease with the city of Frederick.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Jace Fry makes his Carolina League debut on Friday and is the No. 25 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. Selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2013 draft out of Oregon State, Fry went 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in seven games for Advanced-Rookie Great Falls a year ago. Fry has never made a professional start, and never pitched more than two innings with the Voyagers last year. Originally selected in the ninth round of the 2011 draft by Oakland, Fry elected to attend OSU instead. After thriving as a freshman (2.45 ERA), he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in June 2012. After pitching only 7.2 innings as a sophomore he rebounded as a junior, going 11-2 with a 1.80 ERA. He held opponents to a .190 batting average and pitched a no-hitter against Northern Illinois en route to being named PAC-12 “Pitcher of the Year” (the first OSU pitcher to win the award since 1999). A lefty who is not overpowering, Fry works off of a sinker-slider combination and sits at 90-92 mph with his fastball. He also throws a curveball and a slider.

Shake your Keys!

James

Happy Keys Opening Day!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Well the moment is finally here! The Keys will kickoff their 2015 campaign tonight against the Winston-Salem Dash starting at 7:00 p.m. Don’t forget to pick up a Mystery Ball when you come in through the gates. There are more than 100 baseballs available, signed by Keys players and coaches, members of the Orioles and other MLB and MiLB stars, as well as a number of other sports stars. They will go fast, so get there quick!

Tonight is the first of seven games, the orange and black will play at home and their are plenty of fun promotions this weekend. Highlighting the list is an appearance by former Capitals center and 60-goal scorer Dennis Maruk. Gametime is at 2 p.m. and gates open one hour prior.

Hockey Day

LHP Mitch Horacek gets the ball for the Keys tonight. This is his second Carolina League start, after he pitched on the second-to-last day of the 2014 campaign. Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post wrote a terrific piece that examines Horacek both on and off the field.

Catcher Chance Sisco highlights this year’s roster, and is ranked as the top catching prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America. Including Sisco, the Keys opening day roster features seven of the O’s top 30 prospects.

Here is a look at tonight’s starting lineup:

1. CF Josh Hart

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. C Chance Sisco

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. RF Brenden Webb

8. DH Johnny Ruettiger

9. LF Gregory Lorenzo

LHP Mitch Horacek

Our first batch of game notes are below. Talk soon and shake your Keys!

Geoff

Thursday, Apr. 9, 2015 · Game #1 · Home Game #1

Frederick Keys (0-0) vs Winston-Salem Dash (0-0)

LHP Mitch Horacek (0-0, –) vs. RHP James Dykstra (0-0, –)

TODAY’S GAME: The Keys kickoff their 2015 campaign against the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday night at the recently renamed Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium. It is the first of four games against Winston-Salem, with the series concluding on Sunday. On Monday, Frederick begins the back-end of its seven-game homestand with three games against the Lynchburg Hillcats (now a Cleveland Indians affiliate) before a seven-game roadtrip to Wilmington and Lynchburg. In the month of April, the Keys will play a balanced home/road schedule with 11 games taking place in Frederick and 10 at other venues.

2014 SEASON IN REVIEW: The Keys tied for third with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the overall Carolina League North standings. Ending the year with a 65-72 record, the orange and black finished in fourth place in the first-half (32-35) and in third place in the second stanza. Despite posting a losing record after the all-star break, Frederick stayed in the playoff hunt until the penultimate day of the season. Taking on the eventual CL champions, the Potomac Nationals, Frederick dropped both ends of a doubleheader, while a Lynchburg win sealed the Keys fate. The 65 overall wins were the most the club had accrued since 2011, when then-manager Orlando Gomez led the club to an 80-59 record (the best in team history) and a Mills Cup title.

2014 TOP-PERFORMERS: At the plate, Michael Burgess proved to be one of the league’s toughest outs until a July promotion to Double-A Bowie. The CL’s “Player of the Month” for June, the Tampa native hit .315 in 83 games. Despite missing the last month-and-a-half of the season, he placed second in extra-base hits (51), fourth in doubles (32) and tied for fourth in home runs (15) and fifth in RBIs (68). Glynn Davis was also called up to Double-A Bowie, but had enough plate appearances to qualify for fourth in the league in batting average (.295). On the mound, Mark Blackmar had a fantastic season. Opening the year in the bullpen, the righty moved to the rotation in mid-May and flourished, ending the year 10-1 with a 3.18 ERA. He finished tied for second in wins and fifth in ERA before a late-season trade to the White Sox for Alejandro de Aza. Frederick native, Branden Kline, also had a nice 2014, going 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA with the Keys. A midseason all-star, he received a promotion to Double-A in August.

WHAT HOME COOKIN?: In 2014, the Keys did their best work away from Frederick. In games played on Stadium Drive, Frederick went just 29-38, the worst home mark in the CL North and the second-worst figure in the Carolina League (Carolina was 28-40). That included an 0-5 first-half start, a 3-9 April and a 1-10 second-half kickoff. In contrast, the Keys were a strong road team, going 36-34. Good for the third-best road record in the Carolina League, the 36 wins were the most road triumphs by a Keys team since 2005.

TAKE A CHANCE ON ME: Chance Sisco makes the jump to Advanced-A after claiming the 2014 South Atlantic League batting title. The Orioles top catching prospect according to Baseball America, Sisco set a single-season franchise record at Low-A Delmarva, batting .340 in 114 games with five homers and 63 RBIs. His best month came in June, when he hit .404 with 19 RBIs over 24 games and earned organizational “Player of the Month” honors. A SAL midseason and postseason all-star, Sisco was selected by the Orioles with the 61st overall pick in the 2013 draft. Only 20 years old, Sisco is the youngest player on the Keys active roster by almost five months.

WELCOME BACK ORLANDO!: After spending the last two seasons with the Rookie-Level GCL Orioles, the Keys all-time winningest manager, Orlando Gomez returns to Frederick in 2015. The 68-year-old begins his 51st season in professional baseball and 11th with the Orioles. The Keys manager from 2010-12, Gomez is the only skipper in club history to eclipse 200 wins. He is the last manager to lead Frederick to the playoffs and a Mills Cup title (2011). Since his departure, the Keys have not finished higher than third in any half of a season. His staff includes pitching coach Kennie Steenstra, hitting coach Paco Figueroa and infield coach Justin Viele.

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.

FAMILIAR FACES: Frederick’s opening day roster includes 14 returning players. Brenden Webb (212 games) leads the way in games played for the orange and black, with Johnny Ruettiger (208) not far behind. Both have spent parts of three seasons in Frederick. Accounting for Jarett Miller and Ronan Pacheco, 16 Keys have Advanced-A experience.

SAME PARK WITH A TWIST: In February, the Keys announced a naming rights partnership with Nymeo Federal Credit Union. Beginning with the 2015 season, the Keys Ballpark will be known as “Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.” With approximately 23,000 members, Nymeo is a not-for-profit financial institution based in Frederick County, with branches in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties. The seven-year partnership will run through the club’s lease with the city of Frederick.

OPENING THINGS UP: The Keys have traditionally struggled in season openers. Since 1989, Frederick has gone 8-18 in its first game of the year. However, the team has bucked the trend of late, winning three of its last four openers. Kicking off 2014 at Lynchburg, the Keys led the entire game, using a two-run first and a three-run third to win 6-2. Branden Kline earned his first CL win, tossing five innings of one-run ball. In 2013, the Keys rocked Salem 11-1 at home. Brenden Webb led the charge, going 4-for-5 with a home run, double and three RBIs. Hardly the only one involved offensively, Frederick pounded out 14 hits on the game.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: James Dykstra makes the opening start for the Dash. Ranked as the No. 25 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America, the right-hander split his first full professional season between Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. In 25 games (all starts) he went 9-11 with a 3.43 ERA over 152.1 frames. Promoted to the Dash on July 15, Dykstra went 3-3 with a 4.89 ERA over nine contests. After he began his time in the Triad with quality starts in three of his first four outings (he had a 3.05 ERA in July), Dykstra struggled down the stretch, pitching to a 6.06 mark in August (32.2 IP/25R/22ER). Regarded as having the “best control” among White Sox minor leaguers, the 24-year-old has averaged only 1.2 walks per nine innings as a professional. His walk-rate last season ranked second among all qualified minor league starters. At Kannapolis he gave out just 10 free tickets in 99 innings and in Winston-Salem only six in 53.1 stanzas. After not winning a game in six relief appearances with Rookie-Great Falls in 2013, Dykstra tallied his first pro victory in style. Pitching for Kannapolis, he took a perfect game into the sixth inning against Hickory, surrendering only two hits in 6.2 innings. A sixth round selection by Chicago in the 2013 draft out of Cal State San Marcos, the Californian began his college career at Yavapai (AZ) Junior College in 2010. An outfielder who converted to pitcher, Dykstra transferred to LSU the following spring, registering a 5.48 ERA in only 23 innings of work (he was teammates with former Key and current Orioles Kevin Gausman). With playing time limited, he moved to Cal State San Marcos, an NAIA school 30 miles outside his native San Diego. There, he refined his off-speed stuff with pitching coach Pat Hause. After recording a 2.89 ERA in 2012, he set single-season school records for wins, ERA, strikeouts and complete games. His older brother is Tampa Bay Rays prospect Allan Dykstra, who made his MLB debut against the Orioles on Wednesday night, replacing an injured James Loney at first. The younger Dykstra throws a fastball (88-92 mph), a changeup and a curveball.

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