FREDERICK, Md. - As Frederick plays host to Potomac tonight in the deciding game of this series, it is the first Game 5 of a playoff series in Frederick since 1990, the first year the Keys played here at Harry Grove Stadium.
Frederick defeated Kinston and Jim Thome 7-5 that night to win the Carolina League championship.
A win tonight by the Keys and they return here tomorrow night to face Kinston again in a best-of-five series for the league championship.
Keys manager Orlando Gomez had two options on the mound for this game in Nick Haughian (8-7, 3.67) and Jake Pettit (7-0, 1.62). He decided on Pettit, who gave up just one run in six innings to Potomac in Game 1 of this series.
“I don’t take anything away from Haughian, but Pettit from the point he got here, has probably been my best pitcher. Almost every game he pitches, he does deep into the game. I think he deserved the chance to pitch tonight,” Gomez said.
If the Keys reach the Mills Cup finals, Haughian will start Game 1 tomorrow with Rick Zagone going in Game 2 and Scott Copeland in the third game.
Gomez said he may have to manage differently tonight in Game 5.
“Probably. I may have to go to the bunt early to try and scratch out a run or two. If I have to go to the bullpen early, I will.”
Gomez said his players are excited about Game 5 and the chance to advance to the finals. He is thrilled with his team all year after they posted the best regular-season mark in the league at 80-59.
“They are excited,” he said. “Today, they came in smiling and they are ready. Their attitude is very good today, no one is down. I am very happy with how this team handled themselves and played all year. Whatever happens (tonight), happens. I am pleased with this group this year,” he said.