Big innings sink P-Nats against Carolina
3B Osvaldo Abreu, who drove in five runs with a trio of doubles in Friday night’s slugfest victory, added two more hits and four more RBI in the loss.
The Mudcats jumped ahead in the first inning off starter RHP Kyle Johnston (L, 1-4), as DH Payton Henry hit a solo home run to right field. It marked the beginning of a memorable day for Henry, who drove in five runs in a three-hit, two-homer performance.
In the second inning, Carolina got RBI doubles from 1B Pat McInerney and CF Tristen Lutz to extend their lead. A throwing error from 2B Cole Freeman ultimately led to three unearned runs, and contributed to Johnston’s early departure from the game. The righty was charged with eight runs in total, leaving after retiring only five batters.
RHP Jeremy McKinney allowed two inherited runners to score before he got the final out of the seven-run second, and an 8-0 lead would prove to be more than enough for Carolina starter RHP Nelson Hernandez (W, 3-0). The righty faced one over the minimum through four innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
DH KJ Harrison, fresh off a four-hit game in his Friday debut, led off the fifth with a single and C Jakson Reetz followed with a walk. SS David Masters got Potomac on the board with an RBI single, and Abreu scored another with his first of two hits. Freeman drove in the third run of the inning with a fielder’s choice, but 1B Aldrem Corredor grounded to short with the bases loaded to end the threat.
With the lead cut to 8-3, Carolina answered back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth off McKinney. McInerney sent an opposite-field two-run homer to right, and later in the inning Henry did the same with two men aboard for his second homer of the game. The offensive outburst extended the Mudcats lead to a game-high ten runs.
Potomac was quick to retaliate with another three-run frame in the sixth, getting a bases-clearing double from Abreu off RHP Matt Hardy. With 16 runs batted in on the season, Abreu now leads all P-Nats players. Abreu was left at third base, however, marking the final time the P-Nats would threaten in the game
LHP Hayden Howard got the final ten outs for the Nationals, establishing a season high for Potomac relievers with eight strikeouts. RHP Christian Meister and LHP Clayton Andrews combined to finish off the game for the Mudcats, who evened the three-game series at one game apiece.
The P-Nats look to clinch a series win in Sunday afternoon’s finale as they send RHP Jackson Tetreault to the mound against Carolina RHP Drew Rasmussen. The Potomac Broadcast will get underway at 1:45 p.m. with the P-Nats Leadoff Show before a scheduled 2:00 first pitch from Five County Stadium. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.