Blue Rocks complete sweep of P-Nats
For the third straight game, Wilmington was able to score in the first inning against the Nationals. Whit Merrifield led off the game with a double against Matt Swynenberg. Merrifield scored on a Cheslor Cuthbert ground-out to make it 1-0. Matt Fields then blasted his 9th homer in his last 12 games and third of the series out to left to increase the Wilmington advantage to 2-0.
The Rocks added two more in the second. Three singles to lead off the inning loaded the bases with no out. Luis Piterson hit into a 6-4-3 double play scoring a run then Merrifield hit his second double in as many innings to extend the Blue Rocks lead to 4-0.
The P-Nats got on the board against Wilmington starter Elisaul Pimentel with two in the fourth. Francisco Soriano and Blake Kelso both reached base with no outs. On a double steal, Soriano took third and Kelso took second with one out. Kevin Keyes knocked both in with a single back up the middle to cut the Rocks lead to 4-2.
But in the bottom of the inning, Wilmington scored an unearned run. Piterson stole third and a wild throw from catcher Erick Fernandez allowed Piterson to take home to give Wilmington a 5-2 lead.
Swynenberg (4-5) gave up 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings striking out two. He took his second loss in as many starts at Wilmington.
Wilmington added another unearned run in the seventh inning on an errant throw by Michael Taylor to take a 6-2 lead.
The P-Nats had a chance to tie it up in the ninth inning. A Stephen King single plated a run to bring Potomac within 6-3 and J.P. Ramirez came up as the tying run of the game. But Ramirez grounded out to end the game.
Pimentel (1-1) earned the win by striking out seven batters in seven innings giving up two runs.
Rehabber Xavier Nady went 0-for-3 in this seventh game with the Nationals. He is 3-for-21 with the P-Nats.
The Nationals have been swept in 7 of the 14 series they’ve played away from the Pfitz. Potomac has failed to win a game in two of the five states in the Carolina League — Delaware and North Carolina.