Crownover’s dazzling night highlights Potomac 2-1 win

p-natsOn the back of the best start of the season from LHP Matthew Crownover (W, 2-4), the Potomac Nationals (58-46, 24-12) earned a series win with a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Mudcats 942-65, 13-24) Sunday night at Five County Stadium. Crownover needed just 82 pitches over a season high seven innings. The left-handed starter struck out four and did not walk a batter in the win.

Potomac had just seven hits in the game but drew seven walks. 1B David Masters drew three of those walks and scored both of Potomac’s runs. RHP Enderson Franco (ND) walked Masters to start the third inning, and with two outs, 2B Max Schrockflared a single to centerfield, which plated Masters and put Potomac on top 1-0.

The Mudcats answered vs. Crownover in the fourth frame, but it was their lone run of the night. 3B Travis Demeritte led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a triple off of the centerfield wall, and scored two batters later on a game-tying sacrifice fly hit by 1B Isaias Tejeda. After Demeritte’s triple, just two more men reached against the P-Nats. DH Ryan Gebhardt doubled and was left at third base in the sixth inning, while RF Braxton Davidson singled with two outs in the ninth and never moved beyond first base.

Franco departed after six innings, and the Carolina bullpen quickly gave the lead to the P-Nats. RHP Zack Bird (L, 3-3) walked Masters on four pitches to begin his outing, while a sacrifice bunt by SS Bryan Mejia moved Masters to second base. LHP Michael O’Neal then entered and gave up an infield single to LF Alec Keller, which moved Masters to third base, and an RBI groundout by Schrock put the P-Nats ahead 2-0. Schrock had both RBIs on the night for Potomac in the win.

After seven strong innings from Crownover, RHP Neil Holland (SV, 2) worked a perfect eighth inning. Holland then struck out each of the first two batters in the ninth before Davidson’s single, but induced a groundout from Tejeda, which ended the game.

The P-Nats went just 2-10 with RISP and left on 12 in the loss, while Carolina went 0-4 with RISP. 3B Austin Davidsonextended his on-base streak to 16 games with a single in the sixth inning, while DH Jose Marmolejos lengthened his on-base streak to 12 games with a walk in the seventh frame.

Off of a series win, Potomac heads to face the Lynchburg Hillcats for four games over the next three days. The series opens up Monday night, as RHP Whit Mayberry (3-1, 4.00) is set to start for Potomac, while LHP Sean Brady (10-4, 4.08) is scheduled to take the hill for the Hillcats. Mayberry has not pitched against the Hillcats this season, while Brady is 0-1 with a 10.13 ERA in two starts vs. Potomac. First pitch at Calvin Falwell Field is set for 6:30pm Monday night.

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