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Legends On Deck

Minor League Pitching Duel of the Day: Keys Beat Nationals

The Frederick Keys scored a pair of runs on Tucker Nathan’s seventh inning double, to take a 3-2 lead vs the visiting Potomac Nationals. That hit proved to be the difference as the Keys took the rubber game on Sunday by the same 3-2 score. Dennis Torres got the win in relief pitching three scoreless innings, Justin Thomas took the loss and Jon Keller notched his second save.

Pitching prospects Reynaldo Lopez and David Hess squared off in this one, making this game today’s “Minor League Pitching Duel of the Day”.

Potomac got off to a fast start scoring two runs in the second inning as they loaded the bases with no outs on a single and two walks. The two runs scored on RBI ground outs. Frederick scored there first run in the bottom of the third on a Trey Mancini RBI single, one of three hits for Mancini on the day and six hits in the three game series. Potomac nearly scored again in the fourth inning, but Brandon Miller was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first base on a tw0-out double from Christopher Bostick (one of two doubles Bostic had in the game). To start the seventh inning Potomac’s Justin Thomas took over as starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez exited. After a flyout to start the inning, center fielder John Ruettiger reached on a bunt single. T.J. Olesczuk followed with a double into the left field corner, Ruettiger stopped at third base on the play. Tucker Nathans than doubled to right scoring the pair, (Nathans has hit in five of the last six games and is 9-for-25 during that stretch).

Potomac starter Reynaldo Lopez went six innings, allowing a run on five hits, he walked two and struck out four. Lopez throws a heavy mid to upper 90’s fastball, a developing mid 80’s change, and a high 70’s curve. He typically gets a lot of ground balls and a lot of strikeouts. So credit the Frederick hitters for getting there bats on the ball and for running up his pitch count, as Lopez left after the six having thrown 85 pitches. He did induce seven ground ball outs though.

Frederick starter David Hess, only went four innings and was a little wild allowing two earned runs on four hits, walking five and striking out three. He features a low to mid 90’s fastball with good lateral movement, and a developing curve and change, while the curve is a little ahead of the change at this point. The walks are a little uncharacteristic as he’d allowed 20 walks in 69 innings so far in his minor league career coming into this game.

Both teams are off on Monday, Potomac begins a series at home on Tuesday vs the Carolina Mudcats (Braves) and Frederick is on the road at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs) starting Tuesday.

This is the start of a new series as I will choose one minor league game with a compelling pitching matchup and write a recap for it and I’ll include a scouting report for the pitchers.

John Calvagno

John is a staff writer for legends on deck. A Red Sox fan and Minor league enthusiast, he's usually writing about minor league baseball.John also loves Bruins hockey and Syracuse basketball.
John is married with two grown daughters and lives in Asheville, NC.
you can find John on Twitter @AshevilleSoxFan