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Carolina’s Hernandez takes no-hitter into seventh in 4-1 win over P-Nats

Potomac NationalsThe Potomac Nationals (3-5, 33-42) got a dominant start from LHP Nick Raquet, but couldn’t engage their bats as they fell 4-1 to the Carolina Mudcats (4-4, 43-34) on Thursday night. Mudcats RHP Nelson Hernandez (W, 8-5) took a no-hitter through 6.1 innings as he led his pitching staff to their second two-hitter over the P-Nats in five days.

Raquet (L, 5-8) struck out a career-high 10 batters over 5.2 innings in the tough-luck loss. He allowed a two-run single to RF Rob Henry in the first inning to give the Mudcats a 2-0 lead, and the two-out rally proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

Potomac benefitted from a pair of defensive errors from Carolina 3B Eddie Silva, but couldn’t take advantage as they were held hitless through the middle innings. C Payton Henry spoiled Raquet’s bid for a quality start with an opposite-field homer in the sixth on a 3-2 pitch, extending the Mudcats lead to 3-0.

Raquet was relieved by RHP Jorge Pantoja with two outs in the sixth after a pinch-hit double from RF Zach Clark, and the P-Nats reliever allowed an RBI single to 2B Julio Garcia to give the Mudcats a fourth run.

With his pitch count mounting, Hernandez committed a two-base throwing error on a comebacker from RF Telmito Agustin with one out in the seventh. One batter later, C Jakson Reetz broke up the no-hit bid and the shutout with an RBI double to the gap in left-center. RHP Justin Topa entered to get the final two outs of the seventh, and LHP Clayton Andrews (S, 11) worked around a ninth inning single from 1B KJ Harrison to earn a six-out save.

The P-Nats continue their series with the Mudcats on Friday night as LHP Tim Cate faces off against reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week RHP Noah Zavolas in game two of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm, with the Potomac broadcast starting at 6:45 with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at or on the TuneIn Radio App.