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It’s Time for a Rubber Game!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The Keys and the Salem Red Sox play a rubber game on Thursday night at LewisGale Field before the orange and black head south for a four-game series with the Carolina Mudcats.

After a sub-par April in 2014, this one ranks among the best in the last decade. Going into May, only one team in the last 10 years has been five games over .500. That last occurred in 2008, and featured former big leaguers like Matt Wieters and Jake Arrieta (who led the league in ERA that season).

Entering Thursday, the Keys have played only one rubber game in 2015. A 9-0 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats. Lefty Matt Taylor will try and keep that from happening, after an outstanding performance last Friday night. In the game, the Georgian pitched five innings of shutout, one-hit baseball but received a no-decision. He will be opposed by righty Teddy Stankiewicz.

For those of you who watched (and I must admit it was even stranger than I thought it would be) the Orioles defeated the White Sox on Thursday in front of ZERO fans in attendance. MASN’s Steve Melewski has a recap of all the happenings. Complete with Caleb Joseph “signing autographs” and Chris Davis “handing out a souvenir.” Watch the videos in the post, worth a chuckle.

In terms of laughs though, this call of an Adam Jones double by Orioles TV announcer Gary Thorne takes the cake. In it, Thorne summons his “Masters Voice”.

My pal Doug Raftery will be in full throat tonight from Salem, starting with the pregame show at 6:50 p.m. on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. First pitch is at 7 and tonight’s lineup and game notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. LF Johnny Ruettiger

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. DH Tucker Nathans

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. RF Brenden Webb

8. C Steel Russell

9. CF Gregory Lorenzo

LHP Matt Taylor

Thursday, Apr. 30, 2015 · Game #21 · Road Game #10

Frederick Keys (12-8) vs Salem Red Sox (9-9)

LHP Matt Taylor (0-0, 2.00) vs. RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (0-3, 2.60)

LET’S PLAY DURING THE DAY: Frederick dominated Salem from start to finish on Wednesday afternoon en route to a 7-1 victory at LewisGale Field. In the process, the Keys improved to 6-1 during day contests this season. Jarett Miller tossed five innings of shutout baseball to earn his first win of the season and Tucker Nathans knocked in three RBIs. In the second, the Keys would take 1-0 lead thanks to a Trey Mancini triple and a Nathans RBI groundout. After another run in the third, Austin Wynns roped a two-run single to score Anthony Hewitt and Brenden Webb to make it 4-0 Keys. Nathans would homer in the eighth, a two-run shot, his first of the year. The orange and black came within two outs of a shutout, but Mario Martinez lifted a solo home run to left off reliever Nik Nowottnick. On Thursday, Frederick tries for its fourth series win of the year.

APRIL, DON’T LEAVE US: With a victory on Thursday, the Keys would close out April five games over .500 for just the second time this decade. The last time that occurred came in 2008, when the orange and black went 15-10. Entering this season, the Keys had finished only four Aprils over the .500 mark in the previous 10 years (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013). Last year, the orange and black were 10-13 after one month.

DOSCH DANCING: Drew Dosch has a 12-game on-base streak, the third-longest active streak in the league to Myrtle Beach’s Billy McKinney (16) and Potomac’s Wilmer Difo (13), while Dosch’s streak is tied for the fifth-longest overall. On Wednesday, Dosch had a five-game hitting streak snapped. That stretch is tied for second-longest on the club this year.

NATHANS’ NUMBERS: Tucker Nathans stroked three RBIs yesterday, the most he has tallied in a game since May 17, 2014 at Winston-Salem. The undrafted New Yorker is tied with Trey Mancini for second on the team in RBIs (10). That is an impressive start, given that Nathans drove in just 26 in 90 games last season.

BULLPEN BULLIES: The bullpen arms have showed off this road trip through two games, tossing seven innings of one-run baseball. Austin Urban led the charge on Wednesday, becoming the second straight reliever in as many games to toss three scoreless innings against Salem (Jon Keller did it on Tuesday). Over their last five games, Keys relievers have gone 17.2 innings and given up six runs (3.06 ERA) to lower the bullpen’s ERA to 3.67 ERA this season. In 2014, the bullpen had a 4.40 ERA in April.

SHORT OF A SHUTOUT: The Keys came two outs short of a shutout victory on Wednesday. Mario Martinez drilled a solo shot against Nik Nowottnick, who was coming off a 2.2 innings scoreless appearance. It would have been Frederick’s second shutout of the year and first in nine innings. Salem has still not been held without a run through 18 games.

DOSCH NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Drew Dosch became the first member of the Keys to earn a weekly award this season. Named the CL’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26, Dosch hit .400 (10-for-25) over seven games with a home run, a double, two triples, eight RBIs and five runs scored. The eight RBIs were tied for fifth-most at the Advanced-A level last week. He currently leads the Keys with a .299 average. The first time Dosch had won a weekly award in his professional career, the Ohio native leads the league in RBIs (18) and is tied for most games played (20). Additionally, Dosch is fifth in total bases (33) and tied for third in extra-base hits (eight).

ANOTHER SUCCESFUL HOMESTAND: Frederick once again proved tough at home this past weekend, taking three of four against Wilmington after claiming six of seven against Winston-Salem and Lynchburg during the first home series of the year. If the Keys had pulled the four-game sweep on Sunday, the team would have equaled their 2014 home win total in the months of April and May combined and given Frederick its first four-game home sweep since May 5-8, 2011. The Keys are 9-2 at home, four more wins than the next closest team. On the road it has been a different story, with the club holding a 3-6 record. However seven of the clubs nine road games have come down to three runs or less, with six hinging on two runs or fewer.

AGAINST THE RED SOX: The Keys fared better against the Salem Red Sox than any other team in 2014. Going 14-5, the orange and black went 7-2 in home games and 7-3 in contests waged at LewisGale Field. That included a four-game road sweep of the Red Sox from July 7-10.

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

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Teddy Stankiewicz will makes his fourth appearance of the season on Thursday (all starts). The 2013 second round pick by the Boston Red Sox has lost his first three decisions to Carolina despite holding a 2.60 ERA. As a 21-year-old, the righty is 0-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 17.1 innings, has given up 18 hits, six runs (five earned), walked four and struck out seven. In his start last Friday in Zebulon, he last a season-high-tying six innings, gave up three hits, and two runs. Salem has scored one run in each of his starts (3-1, 3-1, 4-1 losses). After he was drafted, he made nine starts at Short-Season Lowell, posting a 2.29 ERA in 19.2 innings. Drafted out of Seminole State College in Oklahoma and signed on June 29, 2013 for a report $915,000. After he agreed to a $1.1 million contract, it was found that he was born with a right pectoral muscle, which lowered his bonus. Signed by the Mets in 2012 out high school, New York wanted him to sign for less than the $680,000 slotted amount for the 75th overall pick, an offer he turned down to head to Seminole State. A four-pitch pitcher, he features a fastball (90-93), a slider (78-82), a curveball (72-76), and a changeup (80-83). Stankiewicz has walked just 41 batters dating back to college over a combined 220.1 innings, while striking out 187.

We’ve Got Morning Baseball!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

Brew the coffee and pull up a chair, we’ve got morning baseball from LewisGale Field in the Roanoke Valley. The Keys come off yet ANOTHER one-run game, falling to the Salem Red Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night. In two different innings the orange and black put the tying run at third, but could not score him. Today the team will try and force a rubber game with Jarett Miller on the mound. He will be opposed by lefty Trey Ball, a former first round pick by the Red Sox.

As a member of the Lynchburg Hillcats in 2014, Miller pitched well against the Red Sox, going 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA. This is the first time Ball has ever faced the Keys (as well as any Carolina League team not named  the Mudcats). After an outstanding start on April 17, where the Indiana native tossed six hitless innings, he did not fare as well last week at Carolina, allowing four runs in 4.2 frames.

After you tune in to my pal Doug Raftery call the Keys and Sox, the Orioles and the White Sox will kickoff at 2 p.m. Your choices for game viewership: MASN, the Orioles Radio Network, Twitter or Facebook. That’s right folks, today’s game will be closed to the public due to the Freddie Gray riots.

The Baltimore Sun’s Eddie Encina has a fascinating article, which notes that today’s O’s game will be the FIRST game in MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY to be played without a paying crowd. Prior to today, the fewest fans to attend a game were six, and you’d have to go back to the late-19th century (more about that in the article).

Sadly media members do not count as a crowd, though if some were to grab a seat behind home plate, I don’t think I’d blame them.

A couple of nights to mark down for the Keys next homestand:

-STEM DAY: It will be held on May 7 and will look at Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in baseball. It will be another morning game, with first pitch slated for 11:00 a.m. and gates opening at 10. STEM Day is presented by AstraZeneca. There will be a ton of cool stuff planned, so take an early lunch and come out to the game!

-DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING NIGHT: on May 6 at 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by Miracle Ear, we will be sponsoring the area’s Deaf Population and fans will have an opportunity to learn sign language.

-STRIKE OUT STROKE NIGHT: On May 5 on 7:00 p.m. Come learn about the warning signs of a stroke and how you can prevent it from happening.

Today’s starting lineups and game notes are below!

And don’t forget, you can catch Doug Raftery on 1450 AM The Source or frederickkeys.com! Don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. LF Johnny Ruettiger

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. RF Tucker Nathans

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. C Austin Wynns

8. DH Anthony Hewitt

9. CF Gregory Lorenzo

RHP Jarett Miller

Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2015 · Game #20 · Road Game #9

Frederick Keys (11-8) vs Salem Red Sox (9-8)

RHP Jarett Miller (0-0, 6.92) vs. LHP Trey Ball (1-1, 5.06)

ALMOST HOME: The Frederick Keys put the tying run at third base in both the seventh and ninth innings, but could not get the big hit when they needed it, as the orange and black fell to the Salem Red Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night at LewisGale Field. It was the ninth one-run game the Keys had played in this season. Aneury Tavarez gave Salem a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first with a bases-clearing triple off Luis Gonzalez (who walked the first three he faced). A third inning error by Gonzalez stretched the Sox lead to four, but the Keys responded a half-inning later. Brenden Webb (single), Tucker Nathans (walk) and Austin Wynns (walk) all reached to open the inning, while Webb scored on a groundout by Anthony Caronia and Nathans came across on a bounce out by Gregory Lorenzo. Later in the inning, Johnny Ruettiger doubled home Lorenzo to make it a one-run game. However the Keys could not get home the proverbial tying run. Trey Mancini stranded Ruettiger at third in the seventh and Caronia was held 90 feet away with two outs in the ninth. On Wednesday morning, the club tries to avoid its first three-game losing streak of the year.

ANOTHER CLOSE CALL: For the ninth time this season, the Keys played a one-run game on Monday night. That is tied for the most in the Carolina League with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, while three of the Keys last four contests have come down to a single marker. Of Frederick’s nine one-run games, four have taken place on the road, with the orange and black going 0-4 in those affairs. Still, the Keys 5-4 record in one-run games is tied for third-best in the CL. In total, 13 of the team’s 19 games have been decided by two runs or less.

TURNING THE PAGE: After a 1-for-16 start to the season, Johnny Ruettiger has started to find his rhythm. He was one of only two Keys to record multiple hits on Tuesday night, while he has finished with two hits in two of his last three games. In his last four contests, the former Arizona State Sun Devil is batting .313 (5-for-16) with a double, an RBI and a run scored and has boosted his average from .097 to .170.

ROLAIDS RELIEF: Jon Keller turned in another outstanding relief outing on Tuesday, working three shutout innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out two and hit a batter. Since allowing a walk-off RBI double to Bubba Starling on April 16, Keller has given up just one run in his last 9.1 innings (0.96 ERA) on only six hits. That has trimmed his ERA from 3.38 to 1.84. Opponents are batting just .204 against the Iowan, with lefties hitting at a measly .125 clip (2-for-16).

DOSCH NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Drew Dosch became the first member of the Keys to earn a weekly award this season. Named the CL’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26, Dosch hit .400 (10-for-25) over seven games with a home run, a double, two triples, eight RBIs and five runs scored. The eight RBIs were tied for fifth-most at the Advanced-A level last week. He currently leads the Keys with a .299 average. The first time Dosch had won a weekly award in his professional career, the Ohio native leads the league in RBIs (18) and is tied for most games played (18). Additionally, Dosch is tied for fourth total bases (31) and extra-base hits (seven).

ANOTHER SUCCESFUL HOMESTAND: Frederick once again proved tough at home this past weekend, taking three of four against Wilmington after claiming six of seven against Winston-Salem and Lynchburg during the first home series of the year. If the Keys had pulled the four-game sweep on Sunday, the team would have equaled their 2014 home win total in the months of April and May combined and given Frederick its first four-game home sweep since May 5-8, 2011. Entering Tuesday, the Keys are 9-2 at home, four more wins than the next closest team. On the road it has been a different story, with the club holding a 2-6 record. However seven of the clubs eight road games have come down to three runs or less, with six hinging on two runs or fewer.

RUSSELL RETURNS: Hours before Tuesday’s game, Steel Russell was received from Double-A Bowie and Pedro Perez was transferred to Aberdeen. In two games with the Keys this season, Russell is 2-for-6 with a strikeout.

AGAINST THE RED SOX: The Keys fared better against the Salem Red Sox than any other team in 2014. Going 14-5, the orange and black went 7-2 in home games and 7-3 in contests waged at LewisGale Field. That included a four-game road sweep of the Red Sox from July 7-10.

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

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Trey Ball makes his fourth start of the season on Wednesday morning and is the No. 15 prospect in the Red Sox system according to Baseball America. The southpaw’s most recent start came last Thursday at Carolina and resulted in a no-decision. Tossing 4.2 innings, Ball allowed four runs on four hits to go along with two walks and four strikeouts. For the second time, he surrendered two home runs, and currently leads the league in home runs allowed (four). Ball spent all of 2014 with Low-A Greenville, going 5-10 with a 4.68 ERA over 100 innings (22 starts). He finished tied for fifth in losses. Following a rough first-half of the season where he went 1-6 with a 7.07 ERA, the lefty turned things around after the all-star break, going 4-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 13 starts. A 2013 first round selection (seventh overall) out of New Castle Chrysler (IN) High School, Ball was named the Gatorade Indiana Baseball Player of the Year as a senior, going 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA and was named the No. 1 draft eligible prospect according to Baseball America. He throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

The Keys are Back Tonight!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

After a much needed off day (the first of the season) the Keys are back on the road to play the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday night. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two clubs, who will play three games in the Roanoke Valley. For those listening to the games, a reminder about start times:

-Tuesday 7:05 p.m.

-Wednesday: 11:05 a.m.

-Thursday: 7:05 p.m.

That’s right friends, enjoy some breakfast with the Keys tomorrow. Broadcast time is at 10:50 a.m, since the Red Sox are holding an “Education Day.” So if anybody is out in Salem for the series, be a nice guy/girl and bring some doughnuts and some coffee for my pal Doug Raftery who will have the radio call for the series.

Last year, the orange and black LOVED playing at LewisGale Field, going 7-3 and even pulled a four-game sweep in early July. That was their best record at any CL road venue. Additionally, the Keys best head-to-head record came against Salem, with the club going 14-5.

For those of you who missed this weekend’s edition of the Keys Corner we have you covered!

You can listen to the entire show below, plus a couple of segments with Doug and yours truly. A special thanks to this week’s guests Adrian Marin, Drew Dosch and Cody Wheeler. The next show will air this upcoming Saturday starting at 1:05 p.m. on 1450 AM The Source.

As many of you probably heard yesterday, Drew Dosch was named the Carolina League Player of the Week. A hearty congrats to Drew! He is currently the club’s leading hitter with a .299 average and paces the league with 18 RBIs.

Dosch POW

Meanwhile, MASN’s Steve Melewski discusses Dosch, Trey Mancini and a number of other former Keys in his minor league report.

Today’s lineup and game notes are attached below. Doug will keep you company in Salem on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com so make sure to tune in!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

 

LINEUP

1. LF Johnny Ruettiger

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. DH Brenden Webb

6. RF Tucker Nathans

7.  C Austin Wynns

8. 2B Anthony Caronia

9. CF Gregory Lorenzo

Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2015 · Game #19 · Road Game #8

Frederick Keys (11-7) vs Salem Red Sox (8-8)

LHP Luis Gonzalez (1-1, 5.27) vs. RHP Jake Dahlstrand (3-0, 0.95)

EVANS HELPS BLUE ROCKS AVOID SWEEP: Zane Evans hit two home runs and tallied a career-high five RBIs as the Wilmington Blue Rocks defeated the Frederick Keys 8-2 on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. The win denied the Keys their first four-game home sweep of the season and snapped the club’s three-game winning streak. Wilmington scored in five of their final six at-bats, while the duo of Luke Farrell and Cody Reed retired the final 17 Keys batters. The Keys grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to an RBI single by Drew Dosch and an RBI double by Trey Mancini. From there, the Blue Crew would score eight unanswered runs. In the third, the visitors tied the game after a double by Frank Schwindel and Evans’ first homer. One inning later, the Blue Rocks would the lead for good following a single by Robert Pehl, a wild pitch and a base hit by Logan Moon. Evans would hit his second two-run blast in the sixth off David Hess, before Wilmington plated three more runs in their final two innings. On Monday, the Keys play their first series of the year against Salem.

THE BLUE MENACE: The offensive showing by Zane Evans was the most impressive performance by an individual against the Keys this year. Wilmington’s catcher became the first visiting player to hit multiple home runs in a game off Keys pitching in just over a year, when Myrtle Beach’s Joey Gallo hit three last April 23. Additionally, the five RBIs was a season-high by an opponent, eclipsing the previous high of three (a feat which had occurred six times). Thanks to his monster Sunday, Evans doubled his RBI total and moved into a tie for second in the league in home runs.

DOSCH NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK: On Monday, Drew Dosch became the first member of the Keys to earn a weekly award this season. Named the CL’s “Player of the Week” for April 20-26, Dosch hit .400 (10-for-25) over seven games with a home run, a double, two triples, eight RBIs and five runs scored. The eight RBIs were tied for fifth-most at the Advanced-A level last week. He currently leads the Keys with a .299 average. The first time Dosch had won a weekly award in his professional career, the Ohio native leads the league in RBIs (18) and is tied for most games played (18). Additionally, Dosch is tied for fourth total bases (31) and extra-base hits (seven).

ANOTHER SUCCESFUL HOMESTAND: Frederick once again proved tough at home this past weekend, taking three of four against Wilmington after claiming six of seven against Winston-Salem and Lynchburg during the first home series of the year. If the Keys had pulled the four-game sweep on Sunday, the team would have equaled their 2014 home win total in the months of April and May combined and given Frederick its first four-game home sweep since May 5-8, 2011. Entering Tuesday, the Keys are 9-2 at home, four more wins than the next closest team. On the road it has been a different story, with the Keys going just 2-5 during their first roadtrip. However six of the seven road games have come down to three runs or less, with five hinging on two runs or fewer.

HEATING UP: Adrian Marin has registered three straight two-hit games to raise his batting average by 50 points (.231 to .281). During that stretch he has hit .500 (6-for-12) with three doubles, an RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base. The .281 mark is the highest Marin’s average has ever been at the Advanced-A level, and the best it has been professionally since August 10, 2013, when he was batting .281 at Low-A Delmarva.

JUST ONE OF THOSE DAYS: Despite pitching a career-high six innings on Sunday, things did not go as planned for David Hess in his third home start. Giving up a season-high five runs, he gave up six hits (tying a career-worst) and allowed two home runs in a game for the first time in his pro career. In the process his ERA jumped to 4.15 from 2.87. The right-hander is scheduled to make his next start during the weekend series at Carolina.

JONES RETIRES, NOWOTTNICK RETURNS: On Friday afternoon, it was announced the Frederick relief pitcher, Devin Jones, had elected to retire. In three games with the Keys this season Jones had no record and a 7.71 ERA (4.2 IP/4ER). Taking Jones’ place on the roster is Nik Nowottnick, who was recalled from Low-A Delmarva.   

AGAINST THE RED SOX: The Keys fared better against the Salem Red Sox than any other team in 2014. Going 14-5, the orange and black went 7-2 in home games and 7-3 in contests waged at LewisGale Field. That included a four-game road sweep of the Red Sox from July 7-10.

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

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Jake Dahlstrand makes his fourth start of the season and his first against the Keys. In his most recent start against Myrtle Beach last Wednesday, he tossed seven innings of three-hit baseball and allowed one unearned run. The right-hander struck out a pair and did not walk a batter. He is currently tied for the league lead in wins (three), and is third in ERA (0.95), WHIP (0.68) and batting average against (.138). All three of Dahlstrand’s starts have lasted six innings or more and all rate as quality outings. Left-handers have really struggled against him, batting a pedestrian .114 (4-for-35). Dahlstrand split 2014 between Salem and Low-A Greenville going a combined 8-5 with a 2.90 ERA over 28 games (six starts). He logged a career-high 105.2 innings. Originally selected by Boston in the 10th round of the 2010 draft out of Memorial (TX) High School, the Lonestar State native went 7-2 as a senior with a 3.83 ERA. Originally committed to the University of Houston, he was lured away by a reported $150,000 bonus. He throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Keys Try for the Sweep and it’s Candy Drop Day!!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try for their first four-game home sweep since 2011 against the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Sunday. Austin Wynns provided the heroics on Saturday with a walk-off home run against Robinson Yambati. It was just Wynns’ second career longball. Yesterday the Keys also earned their biggest comeback win of the season. Down 3-0 with two outs in the eighth, the team managed to fight back, scoring four times with only four outs to play with. Here are the highlights from yesterday’s broadcast.

Today the team looks for the sweep with David Hess on the mound. Hess has been crushing right-handers, holding them to a paltry .103 average.

Yesterday was another edition of the Keys Corner, but in case you missed it, here are a couple of the interviews we did:

Stay tuned for more chats with Keys players in the coming days!

For those coming to the ballpark today, don’t forget it’s Halfway to Halloween and will feature a postgame Candy Drop! Some more details about all the festivities can be found here.

A look at today’s lineup and a fresh batch of game notes is below. Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. LF Johnny Ruettiger

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. DH Brenden Webb

6. RF Tucker Nathans

7. C Austin Wynns

8. 2B Anthony Caronia

9. CF Gregory Lorenzo

RHP David Hess

Sunday, Apr. 26, 2015 · Game #18 · Home Game #11

Frederick Keys (11-6) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (7-9)

RHP David Hess (1-1, 2.87) vs. RHP Luke Farrell (0-0, 3.29)

ALL I DO IS WYNN, WYNN, WYNN NO MATTER WHAT: For the fourth time, the Keys earned a walk-off victory on Saturday. Austin Wynns played the hero role, hitting just his second professional home run in the ninth off Robinson Yambati to hand the Keys a 4-3 triumph. It was the ninth home win for the orange and black and improved the Keys to 11-6, giving them two more wins than the next-closest team (Myrtle Beach is 9-6). Trailing 3-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Keys tied the game with two outs. Following a single by Johnny Ruettiger, Blue Rocks manager Brian Buchanan turned to his closer Yambati. The hard-throwing righty would walk Adrian Marin to send up Drew Dosch. Down in the count 0-2, the Keys three-hole batter chipped a ball into left field which went off the body of Dexter Kjerstad on a sliding catch attempt and was redirected into centerfield. Ruettiger and Marin both scored, while Dosch got to third. One batter later, Trey Mancini tied the game with a single to left to set up Wynns’ ninth inning heroics. On Sunday, Frederick goes for the four-game sweep of the Blue Rocks.

ANOTHER WALK-OFF!: The four walk-off wins eclipse the Keys 2014 total (three) while nearly half (nine) of the Keys home wins have come via walk-off. Prior to Saturday, all three Keys walk-offs had come in extra-innings. Anthony Caronia’s RBI single   gave the Keys an 11-inning win on Friday, as did Brenden Webb’s two-run homer off Brad Goldberg on April 12. Perhaps the most  satisfying walk-off win came the night after Webb’s walk-off, when a Drew Dosch sac-fly led the club to a 16-inning win over the Lynchburg Hillcats. Thanks to Saturday’s 4-3 victory, Frederick also improved its record in games decided by two runs or less to 9-3.

LATE INNING OFFENSE: In their last two wins, the Keys have received the brunt of their offense after the seventh inning. Seven of the team’s last eight runs have been scored in the eighth inning or later, with Jeff Kemp’s RBI single in the fifth inning of Friday’s game serving as the lone exception. In terms of hits, Frederick got half of its Saturday total in the last two innings, and eight of its 14 knocks in the eighth inning or later on Friday.

TIME TO BREAK OUT THE BROOMS?: The Keys try for a four-game sweep of the Blue Rocks on Sunday and try for their second brooming of the season. Previously, Frederick pulled a three-game sweep of Lynchburg from April 13-15. In 2014, the orange and black swept one four-game series, taking four at Salem from July 7-July 10. Something that has not happened at home since Orlando Gomez’s first stint as Keys manager, Frederick will try for its first four-game home sweep since May 5-8, 2011.

A HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: The Keys have been virtually unbeatable at home this season, going 9-1 over their first 10 games. That is by far the best home record in the Carolina League, with no other team having claimed more than five wins at their home yard. In 2014, it was an entirely different story, with the team going 2-8 in their first 10 games at the friendly confines. With a win on Sunday, the Keys will equal their 2014 win total in the months of April and May COMBINED. Since the 2011 season (when Frederick last won the Mills Cup) the orange and black have finished the season with a sub-.500 home record.

HEATING UP: Adrian Marin registered his second straight multi-hit game on Saturday and his fourth game of two hits or more this season, three of which have come in the Miami native’s last five games. During that stretch he has hit .368 (7-for-19) with four doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored. In the process, he has seen his batting average jump from .220 to .267. A Blue Rocks killer in 2014 (.313, three home runs, 12 doubles, 16 RBIs) Marin has hit safely in five of his last six against the Blue Crew

SISCO BACK ON DL: On Saturday, Chance Sisco was placed back on the seven-day disabled list. Pedro Perez has been activated and will take Sisco’s place on the roster.

JONES RETIRES, NOWOTTNICK RETURNS: On Friday afternoon, it was announced the Frederick relief pitcher, Devin Jones, had elected to retire. In three games with the Keys this season Jones had no record and a 7.71 ERA (4.2 IP/4ER). Taking Jones’ place on the roster is Nik Nowottnick, who was recalled from Low-A Delmarva.   

AGAINST THE BLUE ROCKS: This season the Keys are 4-3 against the Blue Rocks. All seven games between the two teams have been decided by two runs or less (with five coming down to a single marker). Offensively the Keys are batting .282 against their First State rival and hold a 3.75 ERA. Individually, Drew Dosch and Tucker Nathans lead the way at the plate, with Dosch hitting at a .423 clip (11-for-26, 3B, 2-2B, 9RBI, 6R) and Nathans batting at a .400 mark (8-for-20, 2-2B, 3RBI, 5R). For the Blue Rocks. Jack Lopez leads the way, batting .345 (10-for-29, RBI, 2-2B, 5R). Wilmington is hitting .273 against the Keys and the Rocks pitching staff boasts a 3.29 ERA (63IP/23ER). In 2014, the Blue Rocks took the season-set, taking 12 of the 20 games between the two sides. In 2015, Frederick will see Wilmington 26 times, more than any other Carolina League team.

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 10-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-6 when scoring three or less.

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

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Luke Farrell makes his fourth appearance of the season and his second start on Sunday (both of which have come against the Keys). Working as the piggybacker to Cody Reed on Tuesday against Potomac, Farrell allowed three runs on three hits over 4.2 innings. He struck out eight and walked two in a no-decision. Excellent in his lone start of the year against the orange and black on April 16, Farrell allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in five innings to go along with a walk and seven strikeouts (also a no-decision). In all three of his outings, the right-hander has struck out seven batters or more, and is tied with the Keys Mitch Horacek for the Carolina League lead in strikeouts (22). Farrell spent the bulk of his 2014 season at Low-A Lexington where he went 2-12 with a 5.25 ERA in 23 games (19 starts). He allowed 117 hits in 108 innings and posted an ERA of 5.79 or worse in three out of five months with the team. He was tied for third in the South Atlantic League in losses. A sixth round pick by Kansas City in the 2013 draft out of Northwestern, Farrell is the son of Red Sox manager John Farrell and brother of former Dash player Jeremy Farrell. The right-hander throws a fastball, a curveball, a slider and a changeup.

Saturday Keys Baseball

It was another extra inning affair last night for the Keys, but ultimately prevailed as they won 4-3 against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. They have played three extra inning games this season and have won all of them. They also became the first team in the Carolina League to win 10 games this year and remain in first place in the North Division. Today on Star Wars Day, the Jedi Knights, the Frederick Keys, will take on the Sith Lords, the Blue Rocks, as the Keys will send out LHP Mitch Horacek (2-1, 2.04) as he will be countered by Jakob Junis (1-2, 5.06).

Keys Lineup

LF Johnny Ruettiger

SS Adrian Marin

3B Drew Dosch

1B Trey Mancini

DH Brenden Webb

RF Tucker Nathans

C Austin Wynns

2B Anthony Caronia

CF Gregory Lorenzo

Below are some calls from last night’s contest:

And an interview with today’s starter

Below are today’s game notes

Game Notes 4/25

OH THANK HEAVEN, KEYS IN 11!: Anthony Caronia delivered a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th as the Frederick Keys topped the Wilmington Blue Rocks 4-3 on Friday night at Nymeo Field. Down in the count 0-2, Caronia dropped a two-out flare right in front of Dominique Taylor, while Brenden Webb beat the relay throw home from second. Twice battling to stay alive, Webb drove in Adrian Marin in the bottom of the ninth with the Keys down a run, while in the 10th, Marin kept things alive following a single by Drew Dosch, a second base hit from Austin Wynns and a third single bagger to left-center. With the win, the Keys become the first Carolina League team to 10 victories.

 

ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT: Friday was Frederick’s third walk-off victory of the season, equaling the club’s total number of walk-offs from 2014. Brenden Webb was the first to accomplish the feat on April 12, with a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th off Brad Goldberg. One night later, Drew Dosch led the club to a 16-inning victory via a sac-fly off Lynchburg’s Luigi Rodriguez, while Anthony Caronia (who scored the winning run in the 16-inning affair) lifted the Keys past Wilmington on Friday. Thanks to the Keys efforts on Friday, the team is also 3-0 in extra-inning games, the best record in the league. With the exception of the orange and black, no other team has played two games stretching past regulation.

 

HERE COME THE BATS: After eclipsing their previous season-high for hits on Thursday, the Keys did one-better on Friday, pounding out 14 knocks. Eight of those came in the last three innings. It was the first time all season that Frederick had recorded 10 hits or more in back-to-back games. Another point of pride was how the team performed with runners in scoring position. Following a 5-for-12 showing on Thursday, the Keys went 5-for-14 (.357) in Friday night’s game. Thanks to the club’s second and third-best showings with runners closest to home in consecutive nights, Frederick has seen its average in that category jump from .202 to .234.

 

A HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: The Keys have been virtually unbeatable at home this season, going 8-1 over their first nine games. That is by far the best home record in the Carolina League, with no other team having claimed more than five wins at their home yard. In 2014, it was an entirely different story, with the team going 2-7 in their first nine games at the friendly confines. Since the 2011 season (when Frederick last won the Mills Cup) the orange and black have finished the season with a sub-.500 home record.

 

MULTI-HIT MANIA: A total of five different Keys finished with multi-hit games on Friday. Drew Dosch, Austin Wynns, Adrian Marin, Tucker Nathans and Brenden Webb all accomplished the feat with each recording two hits apiece. Wynns (2-for-3) and Webb (2-for-2, RBI, R) were particularly impressive given that neither started the game. Wynns came on for Chance Sisco in the fourth after the later left due to injury, and Webb came on as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

 

SISCO BACK ON DL: On Saturday, Chance Sisco was placed back on the seven-day disabled list. Pedro Perez has been activated and will take Sisco’s place on the roster.

 

TAYLOR ON TRACK: Matt Taylor held Wilmington hitters off balance in game two, tossing five shutout innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out six and walked two in his longest outing since August 26, 2014 against the Salem Red Sox. Meanwhile, the six punch outs were two-short of a career-high and the most Taylor has ever registered in an Advanced-A game. In his first two outings this year, Taylor is 0-0 with a 2.00 ERA (9.0 IP/2ER).

 

JONES RETIRES, NOWOTTNICK RETURNS: On Friday afternoon, it was announced the Frederick relief pitcher, Devin Jones, had elected to retire. In three games with the Keys this season Jones had no record and a 7.71 ERA (4.2 IP/4ER). Taking Jones’ place on the roster is Nik Nowottnick, who was recalled from Low-A Delmarva.   

 

AGAINST THE BLUE ROCKS: This season the Keys are 2-3 against the Blue Rocks. With the exception of Thursday night, all four game between the two teams have been decided by two runs or less (with three coming down to a single marker). Offensively the Keys are batting .278 against their First State rival and hold a 4.25 ERA. Individually, Drew Dosch and Tucker Nathans lead the way at the plate, with Dosch hitting at a .444 clip (8-for-18, 2-2B, 7RBI, 4R) and Nathans batting at a .462 mark (6-for-13, 2B, 3RBI, 4R). For the Blue Rocks, Frank Schwindel is hitting .333 (7-for-21, 3-2B, 2RBI, R) over five games. Wilmington is hitting .276 against the Keys and the Rocks pitching staff boasts a 3.07 ERA (44 IP/15ER). In 2014, the Blue Rocks took the season-set, taking 12 of the 20 games between the two sides. In 2015, Frederick will see Wilmington 26 times, more than any other Carolina League team.

 

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 9-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-6 when scoring three or less. Frederick has been limited to three runs or less in four of their last five games and are 1-4 over that stretch.

 

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

 

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Jakob Junis makes his fourth start of the season on Saturday and his first against the Keys. Owner of back-to-back quality starts, the right-hander was tagged with the loss in his most recent outing on Monday night. Working six innings, he allowed three runs on five hits to go along with a strikeout and a hit-by-pitch. Following a rough first outing against Myrtle Beach, he has given up only three runs in his last 12 innings. Opponents are batting just .237 against him, while the Illinois native is holding lefties to a .222 clip. Junis spent all of 2011 at Low-A Lexington where he went 9-8 with a 4.30 ERA in 26 games (22 starts) over 136 innings. Outstanding in the first-half of the year, Junis went 7-4, before posting a 5.91 ERA after the All-Star break. Some of those struggles can be due to a poor July, where Junis finished with an ERA of 8.68. Home runs were also an occasional problem, with Junis surrendering 16, second-most in the South Atlantic League. A 29th round selection by Kansas City in 2011 draft, Junis was an All-State baseball and basketball selection as a senior at Rock Falls (IL) High School. Signed by Kansas City for reported $675,000, Junis turned down a scholarship offer to play at NC State. A three-pitch pitcher, Junis throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

Friday’s Game Nights are Here

Good Evening!

The Frederick Keys try for back-to-back wins when they play the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Friday! Don’ forget it is going Green Night at the Ballpark and the first 1,000 fans will receive a reusable bag presented by TransIT Service of Frederick County and The Reserve at Ballenger Creek! Plus after the game there will be postgame fireworks. It kicks off an exciting weekend of promotions and giveaways, with  Star Wars Day scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. (gates open at 1) and the Keys Candy Drop on Sunday as part of Halfway to Halloween!

Tonight’s lineup and game notes are below. Doug and I will be happy to keep you company on 1450 AM The Source. Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

1. CF Gregory Lorenzo

2. 2B Jeff Kemp

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. C Chance Sisco

6. SS Adrian Marin

7. LF Tucker Nathans

8. DH Anthony Hewitt

9. RF Johnny Ruettiger

LHP Matt Taylor

Friday, Apr. 24, 2015 · Game #16 · Home Game #9

Frederick Keys (9-6) vs Wilmington Blue Rocks (7-7)

LHP Matt Taylor (0-0, 4.50) vs. LHP Luis Rico (1-0, 3.68)

24 HOUR TURNAROUND: The Frederick Keys scored in four different innings and used balanced production from their entire lineup to top the Wilmington Blue Rocks 7-5 on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. Tallying a season-high 13 hits, the club scored in four different innings, while six different players recorded at least one RBI. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Frederick sent seven to bat against Blue Rocks starter Eric Skoglund. Anthony Hewitt opened the inning with a double and scored on a base hit by Tucker Nathans. He would advance to third on a sac-bunt and a flyout, before scoring on a single by Drew Dosch. Trey Mancini completed the inning with a double to right. Ahead for good, the Keys added single tallies in the fourth and fifth on an RBI double by Hewitt in the fourth and a Mancini single in the fifth which scored Jeff Kemp. Not going down without a fight, Wilmington scored twice in the ninth, but Cody Wheeler struck out Frank Schwindel to end the game. The win snapped a two-game losing streak, and gave the Keys their ninth win, most in the CL North.

EVERYBODY HITS: A night after tying a season-low with two hits at Lynchburg, the Keys tallied a season-high 13 knocks. It was the most hits by the team since last August 28, 2014. Prior to Thursday, the orange and black registered 12 hits on two separate occasions (April 15 and April 17). Trey Mancini and Anthony Hewitt paced the Keys offense, with both going 3-for-4, while seven different Keys finished with at least one hit. The three hits were most in a game for Hewitt since August 29, 2013, when he was a member of the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies). The three hits for Mancini set a new season-high and equaled his high-water mark at the Advanced-A level.

SEND UP A SIGNAL, I’LL THROW YOU A LINE: Another point of pride for the Keys on Thursday was their ability to hit with runners in scoring position. On the night the Keys went 5-for-12 (.416) with men at second or third base, their second-best showing in a game this season (Frederick went 5-for-9 on April 11 against Winston-Salem). With Thursday’s performance, the Keys moved their season-average with men closest to home from .202 to .221. In their previous four games, Frederick went just 3-for-23 (.130) with runners at second or third.

BIG JON: Jon Keller earned his first Advanced-A win on Thursday, tossing 3.1 shutout innings and not allowing a hit. He struck out one and saw his ERA drop by nearly one point (3.24 to 2.31). Keller also came one out short of his career-high, when he posted 3.2 innings of three-run baseball against the GCL Twins on August 12, 2013. In five games this year, Keller is 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA to go along with one save. Opponents are hitting just .222 against him, with lefties batting at a paltry .167 clip (2-for-12).

ANOTHER LEFTY?: For the second straight night, the Keys will see a left-handed starter in Luis Rico, while the team will see at least four southpaws in this series (Estarlin Cordero pitched on Thursday and Cody Reed will piggyback on Sunday). Despite having six left-handed batters on the roster, the Keys have held their own against left-handed pitchers, batting .256 as a club. Among lefties, Tucker Nathans has fared best, batting .500 (4-for-8) with a double and four RBIs. Additionally, Drew Dosch has four RBIs off southpaws this year and is batting .278 (5-for-18) with a double.

AGAINST THE BLUE ROCKS: This season the Keys are 2-3 against the Blue Rocks. With the exception of Thursday night, all four game between the two teams have been decided by two runs or less (with three coming down to a single marker). Offensively the Keys are batting .278 against their First State rival and hold a 4.25 ERA. Individually, Drew Dosch and Tucker Nathans lead the way at the plate, with Dosch hitting at a .444 clip (8-for-18, 2-2B, 7RBI, 4R) and Nathans batting at a .462 mark (6-for-13, 2B, 3RBI, 4R). For the Blue Rocks, Frank Schwindel is hitting .333 (7-for-21, 3-2B, 2RBI, R) over five games. Wilmington is hitting .276 against the Keys and the Rocks pitching staff boasts a 3.07 ERA (44 IP/15ER). In 2014, the Blue Rocks took the season-set, taking 12 of the 20 games between the two sides. In 2015, Frederick will see Wilmington 26 times, more than any other Carolina League team.

SISCO ACTIVATED: On Tuesday afternoon, Chance Sisco was activated from the seven-day DL. He took the roster spot of Steel Russell who was transferred to Aberdeen. In his first two games back, Sisco is 2-for-6 with a walk. He is batting .200 (3-for-15) with four walks and two runs scored in six games this season.

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 8-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-6 when scoring three or less. Frederick has been limited to three runs or less in four of their last five games and are 1-4 over that stretch.

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, Matt Taylor, Anthony Hewitt, Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler, 19 of the Keys 25 players have Advanced-A experience.   

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Luis Rico makes his third appearance of the season and his second start on Friday night. His most recent outing came out of the bullpen last Sunday against the Keys. Earning the win, Rico worked 3.1 innings of two-hit, one-run baseball, walking three and striking out four. In his first start at Carolina on April 13, the 21-year-old allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings to go along with four hits and nine strikeouts. The nine strikeouts were the most by Rico since August 20, 2013 when he was a member of the AZL Royals. Originally from Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, Rico 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.

The Keys are back in town

 

Home field advantage has so far proven to be a factor this season as the Keys struggled in their last roadtrip going 2-5 after starting the year 6-1 during their homestand that kicked off the 2015 campaign. However, they are back home starting tonight with a four game set with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. During the road trip, they took on Wilmington and played them close each game. Despite losing three of the four contests, each of those losses were determined by a run. Coming back to home to take on the Blue Rocks, those outcomes could go in Frederick’s favor as now they have home-field advantage. The good news while the team was away was catcher Chance Sisco is back with the team after coming off the Disabled List, but the bad news is that outfielder Josh Hart is injured and now on the Disabled List. The Keys are still in first place in the Carolina North Division with a 8-6 record tied with Potomac. Wilmington trails by half a game in the standings to Frederick and Potomac coming in tonight. It might be early in the season, but this series could be pivotal depending on what the standings are like when a first half champion is crowned.

Tonight’s promotion will be Italian Heritage Night. On the mound for the Keys will be Jarett Miller (0-0, 7.56) as he will be countered by Blue Rocks southpaw Eric Skoglund (1-0, 0.82).

Attached below is an interview with tonight’s starter Jarett Miller.

Here are the game noted for tonight’s contest.

Game Notes 4/23

TOUGH NIGHT AT THE OFFICE: The Lynchburg Hillcats put up their best offensive showing of the season, pounding out 13 hits and a season-high nine runs en route to a 9-0 shutout victory of the Keys on Wednesday night at City Stadium. For the second time this season, the orange and black were limited to just two hits, as Lynchburg starter Mitch Brown posted six shutout innings. Lynchburg’s most profitable inning came in the fourth, when the home team batted around and scored three times off Keys starter Luis Gonzalez. Alex Monsalve singled with one out and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Luigi Rodriguez then followed with a walk, while a third wild pitch scored Monsalve and advanced Rodriguez into scoring position. He would proceed to score on a steal and a throwing error by Chance Sisco. Joe Sever completed the scoring after a walk and a pair of singles by James Roberts and Clint Frazier. On the night, Lynchburg posted three multi-run innings to hand Frederick its second straight series defeat.

WRAPPING UP THE ROADTRIP: After posting their most road wins since 2005 a year ago (36-34), the Keys finished just 2-5 in their first journey away from Nymeo Field. Despite the overall record though, the Keys were competitive in virtually every game, with six of the seven games coming down to three runs or less (and the first five being decided by two runs or fewer). On the mound, the team posted a 4.78 ERA (58.1 IP/31ER) while the higher mark was due in large part to Wednesday’s defeat (it was 3.93 entering yesterday). At the plate, the club struggled, hitting just .219 (50-228).

LOOK FOR THE LUMBER: Offensively, the Keys have not fared well their last two nights. Limited to just two hits on Wednesday, the Keys tied their season-low for hits in a game (the club was also held to just two base hits on opening night). It was a similar story the night prior, with the club recording only six hits in a 4-1 Tuesday defeat. Frederick currently ranks last in the Carolina League in batting average (.225) and has been held to six hits or fewer in three of their last five games. Hitting with runners in scoring position has also been a struggle, with the Keys batting just .202 (also the worst mark in the CL).

A ROADTRIP TO REMEMBER: After Drew Dosch’s roadtrip got off to a rocky start (0-for-4, 4 SO) last Thursday, it was smooth sailing over the final six games. During the trip, Dosch hit .435 (10-for-23) with a home run, a triple, three doubles, 10 RBIs and three runs scored. Last Friday at Wilmington, Dosch set a new career-high with four hits, while on Monday he ended only a single short of the cycle and set a new career-high with four RBIs. Entering Thursday, the Ohio native leads the CL in RBIs (14) is tied for second in extra-base hits (six) and is tied for third in doubles (four).

AGAINST THE BLUE ROCKS: This season the Keys are 1-3 against the Blue Rocks, after wrapping up a four-game series last Sunday. All four games were decided by two runs or less with three coming down to a single marker. Offensively the Keys are batting .252 against their First State rival and hold a 4.05 ERA. Individually, Drew Dosch and Tucker Nathans lead the way at the plate, with Dosch hitting at a .429 clip (6-for-14, 2-2B, 6RBI, 2R) and Nathans batting at a .556 mark (5-for-9, 2B, 2RBI, 3R). For the Blue Rocks, Frank Schwindel is hitting .375 (6-for-16, 2-2B, 2RBI, R) over four games. Wilmington is hitting .278 against the Keys and the Rocks pitching staff boasts a 2.00 ERA (36 IP/8ER). In 2014, the Blue Rocks took the season-set, taking 12 of the 20 games between the two sides. In 2015, Frederick will see Wilmington 26 times, more than any other Carolina League team.

SISCO ACTIVATED: On Tuesday afternoon, Chance Sisco was activated from the seven-day DL. He took the roster spot of Steel Russell who was transferred to Aberdeen. In his first two games back, Sisco is 2-for-6 with a walk. He is batting .200 (3-for-15) with four walks and two runs scored in six games this season.

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 7-0 on the season. In contrast, the team is 1-6 when scoring three or less. Frederick has been limited to three runs or less in four of their last five games and are 1-4 over that stretch.

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, Matt Taylor, Anthony Hewitt, Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler, 19 of the Keys 25 players have Advanced-A experience.   

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Left-hander Eric Skoglund makes his third start of the season for the Blue Rocks on Thursday night and his second against the Keys. Ranked the No. 14 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system according to Baseball America, Skoglund allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits over 4.1 innings against Frederick last Saturday. Receiving a no-decision, he walked two and struck out four. He checks into tonight’s start with a 1-0 record and a 0.82 ERA after tossing 5.2 innings of three-hit baseball against Myrtle Beach on April 12. He struck out three and did not walk a batter. Skoglund currently ranks fifth in the CL in ERA (0.82), is holding opponents to a .167 average, and is averaging three groundball outs to everyone flyout (3.00 GO/AO). A pitcher who has made only 11 career starts, Skoglund went 0-2 with a 5.09 ERA over nine games (eight starts) at Rookie-Advanced Idaho Falls in 2014. In his first foray into pro baseball, the 22-year-old saw hitters bat .316 against him, with left-handers clubbing at .407. Coming off a college season, Skoglund never worked more than three innings. Selected by Kansas City in the third round of the 2014 draft out of UCF, the 6-7 lefty earned AAC “Pitcher of the Year” honors as a junior. In 15 starts he went 9-3 with a 2.54 ERA, while opponents hit only .217 against him. Skoglund’s junior campaign was a considerable turnaround from his sophomore season where he had a 5.08 ERA in 10 starts. Royals Director of Scouting, Lonnie Goldberg told MLB.com, “he [Skoglund] pitches off deception and fastball command.” A 16th round pick by the Pirates in 2011 out of Sarasota (FL) High School, Skoglund did not sign. He throws a 90-91 mph fastball, a slider and a changeup.

The Roadtrip Comes to a Close in Lynchburg

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys conclude their seven-game roadtrip tonight and will be back home tomorrow! Be sure to check out a write-up of some of this upcoming homestand’s top promotions and events here.

Tonight Luis Gonzalez makes his third Carolina League start and will be opposed by right-hander Mitch Brown. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. and tonight’s lineup and notes are below!

Broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source beginning at 6:15 p.m. Tonight’s guest will be Keys starting pitcher and former Hillcat Jarett Miller.

LINEUP

1. CF Johnny Ruettiger

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. 3B Drew Dosch

4. 1B Trey Mancini

5. DH Brenden Webb

6. C Chance Sisco

7. RF Tucker Nathans

8. 2B Jeff Kemp

9. LF Anthony Hewitt

LHP Luis Gonzalez

Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015 · Game #14 · Road Game #7

Frederick Keys (8-5) at Lynchburg Hillcats (4-9)

LHP Luis Gonzalez (1-0, 2.61) vs. RHP Mitch Brown (0-1, 5.59)

ONE BIG BLOW: Lynchburg’s Eric Haase hit a bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the sixth inning, while the Frederick Keys were limited to just six hits in a 4-1 loss to the Hillcats on Tuesday night at City Stadium. Posting only one hit in their last five at-bats, the orange and black dropped their first game of the year to Lynchburg, after winning the first four (while it snapped a seven-game winning streak dating back to 2014). Frederick’s lone run came in the third inning. Johnny Ruettiger reached on an infield single to open the frame, stole second and moved to third on a single by Adrian Marin before scoring on a sac-fly by Tucker Nathans. Lynchburg was held to one hit over the first five innings, but loaded the bases against David Hess in the sixth after two singles and a walk to Nellie Rodriguez. That sent up Haase who tripled to left-center to give the home team the lead for good.

DESERVING OF A BETTER FATE: David Hess was tagged with all three runs in the sixth inning, after leaving with the bases loaded with two outs in the sixth. Although the three runs allowed were a season-high, Hess still put together a solid outing. The Tennessee native set a new career-high working 5.2 innings while his seven strikeouts also established a new high-water mark. Rated the No. 20 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America Hess is 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA over his first three starts.

HELD IN CHECK: The Keys bats were held in check on Tuesday night, finishing with just six hits and only one extra-base hit for the game. It was the second-fewest hits the club had recorded in a game this roadtrip (Frederick was held to only five knocks on Sunday). Just as frustrating, the Keys went 1-for-9 with runners and scoring position and left seven on base, including the bases loaded on in the ninth. Through their first 13 games, the Keys are batting .203 (24-118) with men at second or third base, the worst-mark in the Carolina League.

GETTING TO THE MAGIC NUMBER: For the first time since game one of last Wednesday’s doubleheader, the Keys did not play either a one-run or two-run game on Tuesday. Prior to the middle game of the series, Frederick had six straight games come down to two runs or less, with the Keys winning three and losing three. No other team in the CL has played on more one-run games than the orange and black. In close games, the difference for the Keys has often been reaching the four-run mark. When the team scores four or more runs, the club is 7-0. In contrast, Frederick is 1-5 when plating three runs or less.

ALL THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Brenden Webb saw his seven-game hitting streak come to an end on Tuesday, finishing 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. The seven-game stretch is tied for the third-longest streak in the Carolina League this year. Over the week-long swing, Webb hit .333 (8-for-24) with a home run, two doubles, two RBIs in eight runs scored. In the process, he raised his average from .250 to .295. It is the longest streak by a Keys player this year. Meanwhile, it is Webb’s longest hit streak since June 26-July 3, 2013, when the Californian hit safely over eight games.

A ROADTRIP TO REMEMBER: After Drew Dosch’s roadtrip got off to a rocky start (0-for-4, 4 SO) last Thursday, it has been smooth sailing for the No. 15 prospect in the Orioles system according to Baseball America. In the last five games, Dosch is batting .588 (10-for-17) with a home run, a triple, three doubles, 10 RBIs and four runs scored. Last Friday at Wilmington, Dosch set a new career-high with four hits, while on Monday he ended only a single short of the cycle and set a new career-high with four RBIs. Entering Wednesday, the Ohio native leads the CL in RBIs (14) is tied for the lead in extra-base hits (six) and is tied for second in doubles (four).

SISCO ACTIVATED: On Tuesday afternoon, Chance Sisco was activated from the seven-day DL. He takes the roster spot of Steel Russell who was transferred to Aberdeen. In his first game back after more than a week absence, the former second round pick went 1-for-3 with a walk. He is batting .167 (2-for-12) with two runs scored and four walks over his first five games this year.

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, Matt Taylor, Anthony Hewitt, Devin Jones and Cody Wheeler, 19 of the Keys 25 players have Advanced-A experience.   

TODAY’s OPPOSING STARTER: Right-hander Mitch Brown makes his third Carolina League start on Wednesday night and his first against the Keys. His most recent start came last Friday against Potomac, with the right-hander receiving a no-decision. Tossing six innings, Brown allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits to go along with a walk and four strikeouts. That start was a considerable improvement from his first outing on April 12, where Brown allowed four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings with four walks. Rated the No. 14 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America the 21-year-old spent all of last season at Low-A Lake County. With the Captains, Brown was a workhorse, going  8-8 with a 3.32 ERA in 27 starts. The 27 starts were tied for third-most in Midwest League and his 138.2 frames were fifth-best. After a slow start to the season, where Brown posted a 6.10 ERA in his first five starts (20.2 IP/14ER) the righty was among the league’s best after the all-star break going 8-2 with a 2.34 ERA (he was 0-6 in the first-half). Ending the season on a high-note, Brown went 5-0 in his final six outings with a 0.78 ERA (34.2 IP/3ER). Prior to last season, he made a five start cameo at Low-A Lake County in 2013. Originally from Rochester, Minnesota (a little less than an hour and a half outside of Minneapolis) Brown was selected by Cleveland in the second round of the 2012 draft (79th overall) out of Rochester Century High School. Named Minnesota’s “Gatorade Player of the Year” as a senior. Brown went 7-1 during the regular season with a 0.91 ERA and struck out 108 batters. He received a reported signing bonus of $800,000, turning down an offer to play college baseball at the University of San Diego (who added room and board to his scholarship package to keep him out of pro baseball). Scouted heavily by his hometown Minnesota Twins, the Twins elected not to take Brown with any of their first five picks, despite selecting four pitchers and passing on Brown with the 32nd, 42nd, 62nd and 72nd picks in the draft. A pitcher who incorporated his lower-half much better into his delivery last season (according to Baseball America) Brown throws a low-90s fastball that can get up to 96 mph (with slight cutting action). His curveball is ranked as the best in the Indians system, while he throws a slider and a changeup.

Frederick Keys Game Notes 4-21-15

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Keys and the Hillcats play their second game of three on Tuesday night starting at 6:30 p.m. Drew Dosch has been the story of the roadtrip. posting 10 RBIs in his last four games (he leads the CL in that department FYI), while he came a single shy of the cycle last night. The 14 RBIs are tied for the most among Orioles minor leaguers. Earlier, MASN’s Steve Melewski released a nice piece on Dosch. Check it out here when you’ve got a couple of minutes.

Also, Keys catcher Chance Sisco has been activated from the 7-day DL and will be in tonight’s lineup.

Tonight David Hess makes his first road start for the Keys and will be opposed by another talented righty in Adam Plutko. As always the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source starting at 6:15 p.m.

Today’s lineup and game notes are below!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

1. CF Gregory Loreno

2. SS Adrian Marin

3. RF Tucker Nathans

4. DH Brenden Webb

5. 3B Drew Dosch

6. C Chance Sisco

7. 2B Jeff Kemp

8. 1B Austin Wynns

9. LF Johnny Ruettiger

RHP David Hess

Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2015 · Game #13 · Road Game #6

Frederick Keys (8-4) at Lynchburg Hillcats (3-9)

RHP David Hess (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Adam Plutko (0-1, 1.42)

THE POWER OF DOSCH: Drew Dosch finished a single shy of the cycle, while Keys bullpen withstood a late rally by the Lynchburg Hillcats to hang on for a 6-4 victory on Monday night at City Stadium. Held hitless over the first four innings by Lynchburg starter Michael Peoples, Dosch triggered the offense in the fifth with a two-run homer to put the Keys up for good. In the sixth, the orange and black tacked on three more runs, thanks to an RBI single by Trey Mancini, a fielding error by Ivan Castillo and an RBI triple by Dosch. The Hillcats would score the next three, including two in the eighth on a pair of two-out doubles by Clint Frazier and Paul Hendrix, but the home team was limited to just one hit in their final two at-bats. Monday’s win ends a two-game losing streak for the Keys.    

THE NEAR CYCLE: Drew Dosch nearly became the second Keys player in as many years to cycle against the Hillcats. Last July 5, former Key Mike Yastrzemski did it, going 5-for-6 with five RBIs and three runs scored. Still, Dosch continued his tremendous roadtrip. Ending the night 3-for-4, the former Youngstown State product posted a career-high four RBIs and scored a run. Since going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Thursday night, Dosch is 9-for-14 with 10 RBIs in his last four games. During that time he has also raised his batting average 158 points (.125-.283). The 14 RBIs lead the Carolina League, while Dosch is more than halfway to his first-half total at Low-A Delmarva last season (27).

CLOSE CALLS: Although the Keys are only 12 games into the season, nine of the Keys 12 contests have been decided by two runs or less. That includes each of the last six ballgames. In one-run contests, Frederick is 3-3, the fourth-best mark in the league. In two-run games the Keys are 3-0, 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 a couple close losses at Wilmington, Frederick has had first place to itself for 10 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 eight wins rank as the most in the circuit and are tied for the third-most at the Advanced-A level (along with Charlotte in the Florida State League). Only Visalia (9-3) and Rancho Cucamonga (9-3) have won more games.

A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME?: The Keys earned yet another win against Lynchburg on Monday. So far the orange and black are 4-0 against the Indians Advanced-A affiliate, while if you go back to 2014 when Lynchburg was a Braves farm club, Frederick has taken the last seven in-a-row and have swept back-to-back series. Pitching has been a big key to this year’s success against the Hillcats, with Frederick arms posting a combined 2.31 ERA. Offensively, Tucker Nathans has led the way going 4-for-9 with three RBIs and a run scored. Perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come, each of the last three series between Frederick and Lynchburg have resulted in a sweep.

IT’S CALLED OWNAGE: Following a seven-inning complete game shutout against Lynchburg last Wednesday, Mitch Horacek was equally as effective on Monday night. Picking up his second victory in as many starts, the southpaw tossed 5.2 innings of two-run, five-hit baseball, coming up one out shy of a quality start. He did not walk a batter and tied his season-high with eight strikeouts. Horacek leads the league in innings pitched (17.2) and strikeouts (20) and is tied for the CL lead in wins. He also has the second-highest K/9IP ratio in the CL (10.19).

LET’S GO STREAKING: Brenden Webb extended his hitting streak to seven games on Monday night, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Over the course of the streak he is batting .333 (8-for-24) with a home run, two doubles, two RBIs in eight runs scored. The seven-gamer is one short of a league-high, with Wilmington’s Frank Schwindel and Ramon Torres recently wrapping up eight-game streaks. Webb currently is currently tied for the league lead in games played (12), is third in runs scored (10) and is tied for fifth in extra-base hits (six). The seven-game streak is the longest by any Keys player this season.

SISCO ACTIVATED: On Tuesday afternoon, Chance Sisco was activated from the seven-day DL. He takes the roster spot of Steel Russell who was transferred to Aberdeen. Absent for more than a week, Sisco is hitting .111 (1-for-9) over his first four games with two runs scored and three walks.

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 Adam Plutko makes his third start of the season and his first against the Keys in 2015. Ranked the No. 24 prospect in the Indians system according to Baseball America, the right-hander currently owns the eighth-best ERA in the Carolina League (1.42), while he is second in batting average against (.119) and WHIP (0.55). One of only three pitchers to toss a complete game in the Carolina League this year, Plutko has worked six frames or more in his first two outings. Facing Potomac last Thursday, Plutko received a no-decision despite giving up just one run on two hits over 6.2 innings, to go along with one walk and seven strikeouts. In that game, the Nationals scored three times in the ninth to tie the game, before scoring the eventual winning run in the top of the 10th. In his second professional season, Plutko split time between Low-A Lake County and Advanced-A Carolina in 2014, going a combined 7-10 with a 4.03 ERA between the two levels. With the Mudcats, Plutko was 4-9 with a 4.08 ERA in 18 games started. He faced the Keys twice and fared well, going 0-1 with a 2.13 ERA (12.2 IP/3R/9H). Selected by Cleveland in the 11th round of the 2013 draft out of UCLA, Plutko headlined the Bruins pitching staff that season, and led the team to its first national championship. Named the “Most Outstanding Player” at the College World Series, Plutko received a reported $300,000 signing bonus. Plutko learned he had been drafted by the Indians right before the Bruins NCAA Super Regional game against Cal State Fullerton. Also drafted by the Astros in the sixth round of the 2010 draft out of Glendora (CA) High School, he did not sign. A four-pitch pitcher, Plutko throws a fastball (88-92, occasionally hitting 93-94), a slider, a curveball and a changeup.

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.

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