Canning homers in debut as P-Nats batter Hillcats

Potomac NationalsThe Potomac Nationals (6-6) received an immediate impact from their latest addition to the lineup and clawed back to the .500 mark with their second consecutive road win, defeating the Lynchburg Hillcats (7-5) by a score of 11-5 on Monday night.

RF Gage Canning, called up from Class-A Hagerstown earlier in the day, hit a solo home run in his second P-Nats plate appearance. The 10th ranked prospect in the Nationals organization according to MLB Pipleline, Canning went 1-for-5 in his debut.

Potomac starter RHP Luis Reyes struggled early, allowing the first three Hillcats batters to reach base and eventually letting them all score. The three-run first was capped by Trenton Brooks’ RBI single to put the P-Nats in an early hole.

The Nationals answered back immediately, pushing across four runs on only two hits in the second to take a 4-3 lead. With runners at the corners and one out, SS David Masters hit a comebacker to Lynchburg starter Adam Scott (L, 1-1) that could have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, Scott threw wildly to second to bring home C Jakson Reetz for Potomac’s first run. 3B Anderson Franco followed with a single to draw the P-Nats to within a run, and DH Cole Freeman tied it up with an infield single. In his haste to try and throw Freeman out, Scott committed his second throwing error of the inning to score Franco from second and put the P-Nats ahead.

Canning’s home run added some insurance to start the fourth, and LF Telmito Agustin later brought home a pair with a double down the left field line to make the score 7-3 Nationals. Reyes allowed a two-run single to Lynchburg’s Tyler Frees in the fourth, and with the tying run in scoring position LHP Grant Borne (W, 1-0) struck out Oscar Gonzalez to end the threat.

1B Aldrem Corredor hit a two-run single in the sixth inning to stretch the lead out further, and Reetz laced a single on the next pitch to plate another run. Staked to a 10-5 lead, Borne went 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first win.

Masters hit a solo home run in the ninth, his third in the last two days, to cap the scoring for the Nationals, and RHP Steven Fuentes fanned four in retiring the final six batters to close it out.

The P-Nats continue their series in Lynchburg on Tuesday as they send RHP Kyle Johnston to the mound against Hillcats righty Jean Carlos Mejia. First pitch from City Stadium is set for 6:30 pm, and the Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:15 with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen live at potomacnationals.com, at http://bit.ly/P-NatsBroadcast, or on the TuneIn Radio App.

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