Blue Rocks outlast P-Nats in extras

The Potomac Nationals (40-52) dropped the first game of a three-game series at Frawley Stadium with a 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Wilmington Blue Rocks (52-42) on Sunday afternoon. LHP Taylor Guilbeau twirled seven strong innings but the Blue Rocks won the battle of the bullpens. DH Chase Vallot walked off The Red, White & Blue with an RBI bloop single in the bottom of the 11th.

p-natsWilmington wasted no time scoring first against Potomac. The Blue Rocks scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. 2B D.J. Burt tripled to open up the Rocks offense. Two batters later, CF Brandon Downes hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give Wilmington a 1-0 lead.

Potomac answered immediately in the top of the second inning. SS David Masters singled to center with one out and advanced to second on a groundout to first by DH Rhett Wiseman. With two outs, RF Dale Carey evened the score at one with an RBI single to left field. Carey was thrown out trying to advance to second on the throw to the plate to end the top of the second.

Both offenses were held silent over the next nine innings. Guilbeau finished a season-high seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits and three walks. The left-hander fanned four in his seventh start of the season for the P-Nats.

The Blue Rocks pitching staff was equally as impressive. Wilmington put up zeroes against the P-Nats in 10 of 11 innings on Sunday. Potomac had chances to score. However, the Blue Rocks held The Red, White & Blue to 1 for 12 with RISP, stranding 13 on base in the extra-inning defeat.

Wilmington sealed the victory in the bottom of the 11th thanks to heroics from Chase Vallot. RF/SS Jecksson Flores reached first to begin the inning on an error by the third baseman. After a sacrifice bunt, 1B Chris DeVito drew an intentional walk. Then, the bases were loaded after a single by 3B Wander Franco. Despite bringing in an outfielder as a fifth infielder, Vallot blooped one into left to walk off the P-Nats.

Sunday’s walk off victory marks the third time the Blue Rocks have walked off the P-Nats in 2017. Wilmington holds a 15-9 series advantage through the first 24 games. Potomac and Wilmington finish off it’s regular season matchups on Monday and Tuesday.

The P-Nats and Blue Rocks are back in action for the second game of a three-game set on Monday night from Frawley Stadium. Potomac sends LHP Hector Silvestre (7-4, 4.32) to the mound against RHP Andres Machado (5-7, 5.00) for Wilmington.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm. Coverage begins at 6:20 pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. The broadcast will be streamed live on potomacnationals.com or by using the TuneIn Radio or MiLB First Pitch apps.

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