Keys End Year On A High Note

End Second Half with Winning Record and Four-Game Win Streak

FREDERICK, MD – Defeating the Carolina Mudcats 5-2, the Keys ended their 2012 season on a high note, winning four consecutive games to close out the second half with a winning record.

After a tumultuous 27-43 first half record, which was the worst of all 30 Advanced-A teams, today’s 5-2 victory gives the Keys a 35-34 record in the second half and lets their overall record stand at 62-77.

Although without a playoff berth, the Keys did manage to finish first in the league in both overall and average attendance – a feat not accomplished since 1994. Their 311,805 fans are the most since 2001 and their 4,724 fans per game marks the highest amount since 2000.

The 5-2 victory in the season finale gives the Keys four straight wins, something they had not done all year. Ten times the Keys won three games in a row, but were 0-10 in their attempt to win four successive and outscored 55-17.

In the victory, the Keys were aided by two home runs and a stout pitching performance from starter Trent Howard and from Jaime Esquivel and Eric Beaulac in the bullpen, who combined to allow just two runs all game.

Howard (4-10, 4.83 ERA) gets the win after going five innings and giving up two runs on five hits, one walk and one strikeout. Esquivel and Beaulac combined for four innings and no runs.

A Tyler Townsend home run in the fifth inning provided the Keys a 3-2 lead and they never looked back from there. After Jerome Peña led off the inning with a single, Townsend knocked a pitch over the left field wall, giving Frederick their first lead of the game. For Townsend, it was the third home run in 33 overall games with Frederick.

Steve Bumbry tacked on a run in the seventh inning when he sent a pitch sailing over the left field wall for his seventh home run in 62 games, giving Frederick a 4-2 advantage.

Townsend, for good measure, collected his third RBI of the day in the next inning when he singled in Garabez Rosa from second, putting the Keys up 5-2.

The 2013 season will mark the 25th year of Frederick Keys baseball, and although the Keys will be out of the playoffs for the first time since 2009, the start of the season will be just seven short months away.

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Tucker began operating Orioles-Nation.com in October 2013. He has been writing and reporting on the Orioles for an extensive period of time, dedicating most of his energy to the minor league side. He is also a member of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Evaluation Team. Outside of baseball, Tucker also works as a Government Contractor for Contracting Resources Group, Inc. He has appeared as a radio guest on Fox 1370 and WNST 1570. Tucker writes and updates all player reports at Orioles-Nation.com and can be contacted at tuckerblair1989@gmail.com. Follow Tucker on Twitter @TuckerBlairON. Email Tucker at tblair@orioles-nation.com.