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> 2008


Keys whip the Warthogs

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

by Timothy Tilghman

Celebrating their 20th Anniversary season, the Frederick Keys hosted the Winston-Salem Warthogs on the second date of a three game series. Squadrons of children designated by colorful tees turned out in force at high noon to enjoy an afternoon of Minor League baseball at Harry Grove Stadium.

The Fun Zone area for the youngsters beyond the first baseline was desolate. Musical merry-go-rounds are a familiar fixture found in most Minor League ballparks, but this one would remain at rest for several innings before kids lost interest in the ballgame.

The Frederick Keys are a Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, and the Winston-Salem Warthogs are a Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The Keys participate in the Northern Carolina League and the Warthogs in the Southern Carolina League.

The bright blue sky above was clear and the venue weather was perfect with the first pitch at 12:01 pm. It was a one-two-three count that dismissed the Warthogs quickly. With two outs in the first inning, Keys #14 Zach Dillon was walked onto first base and succeeded in stealing second base after a lost pick-off pitch to first base.

#29 Brandon Snyder hit an RBI single and drove Dillon home to score the first run for the Keys. Next up, #12 Brandon Tripp extended the Keys lead in the first inning to three runs by knocking in two runners. The Keys pulled further ahead by scoring three more runs in the third inning.

The Warthogs displayed a show of strength in the fourth inning by scoring a total of four runs off Keys starter Brandon Erbe. However, another engaging attempt to surge forward by Winston-Salem in the fifth inning was once again quelled by Frederick. The bases were loaded for the Keys in the fifth inning, but their efforts garnered no runs.

The Keys padded their lead over the Warthogs with two more runs in the eight inning off reliever Henry Mabee. #16 Catcher Mike Pierce batted a homerun that sailed above the outfield fencing that brought in an additional run. Warthogs Catcher #51 Adam Ricks was called out in the top of the ninth inning, which ended the ballgame at 2:48 pm.

The Keys trounced the Warthogs 8 to 4. These clashing teams demonstrated the thrill that exciting baseball generates. Minor League Baseball has a tremendous impact on the local economy and provides a popular attraction for families and fans all summer long.

2008 Timothy Tilghman