FREDERICK, Md. - The Single-A Frederick Keys didn't have long to celebrate their Game 5 win in the playoffs last night against Potomac. Tonight, they host the Kinston Indians in Game 1 of the Mills Cup championship series, looking for their first title since 2007.
Frederick will start left-hander Nick Haughian tonight in game one. A ninth-round pick in 2008, the 24-year-old Haughian went 8-7 with a 3.67 ERA this year. He didn't pitch in the series with Potomac and will be pitching on nine days rest.
Even though he went winless over his last seven regular-season starts, Haughian had a good second-half, going 5-3 with an ERA of 2.91 in 13 starts.
He was very good this year against Kinston, going 1-0 with an ERA of 0.60 over three games. In 15 innings he gave up just 10 hits and two runs (one earned) with five walks to 22 strikeouts.
The last time the Keys played for the championship, in 2007, David Hernandez was the game one starting pitcher.
Right-hander Clayton Cook gets the start for the Indians. The 21-year-old went 9-9 with a 4.56 ERA in the regular season, then gave up two runs over five innings in game one of the playoffs.
Cook has been hit hard this year by Frederick. He just faced the Keys on September 2 and gave up six runs and six hits in just 2/3 of an inning.
In four starts this season against Frederick, Cook is 0-4 with a 12.79 ERA. Over 12 2/3, he has allowed 27 hits, 18 earned runs and a batting average of .435 against the Keys offense.
On the stat sheet anyway, it's advantage Frederick tonight based on those numbers.
Here is tonight's Keys starting lineup for Game 1:
3B - Dale Mollenhauer
2B - Jonathan Schoop
SS - Manny Machado
DH - Aaron Baker
CF - Miguel Abreu
RF - Jacob Julius
C - Brian Ward
1B - Michael Flacco
LF - Bobby Stevens
Frederick hosts the first two games of this series the next two nights and Kinston hosts the remaining games.
Kinston has won five Carolina League championships, the last coming in 2006. Frederick has three titles, winning in 1990, 2005 and 2007.