Five-run Dash 10th sends P-Nats to 9-4 loss
With a two-out bases loaded walk drawn by DH Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Potomac Nationals (60-66, 30-29) knotted up Friday night’s series opener 4-4 with the Winston-Salem Dash (68-55, 30-29). With the winning run at third base, pinch hitter 1B Aldrem Corredor struck out, which ended his 19-game hit streak and sent the game to the 10th inning. The Dash sent nine men to the plate in the extra frame, tallied five hits, and scored five runs in the 10th inning, while Potomac left the bases loaded in the final inning of a 9-4 loss.
Potomac jumped out to an early lead against LHP Konnor Pilkington (ND), though the left-handed starter settled in and recorded a quality start. The P-Nats loaded the bases with no outs in the opening inning before Pilkington picked up consecutive strikeouts. One strike away from the Houdini act in the inning, Pilkington left an 0-2 curveball over the heart of the plate that C Jakson Reetz roped off the left field wall. Reetz’s double plated two runs and gave Potomac a 2-0 lead, Potomac’s only lead of the night.
RHP Malvin Pena (ND) faced the minimum over his first four innings and maintained a Potomac lead over his five-inning outing. Pena gave up a leadoff home run to RF Craig Dedelow in the fifth inning, one of four extra base hits on the night for the Winston-Salem right fielder. Pena allowed one run on three hits over five innings before he gave way to RHP Jacob Howell for the sixth inning.
The Dash got to Howell quickly in the right-handed reliever’s lone inning of work. 3B Yeyson Yrizarri led off the inning with a single, while a one-out double from SS Johan Cruz put two men in scoring position. DH Andrew Vaughn tied the game on a fielder’s choice groundout paired with a throwing error by SS Gilbert Lara. Dedelow followed with an RBI single, which gave the Dash a 3-2 lead. Two batters later, an RBI groundout from LF Mitch Roman made it 4-2 Winston-Salem.
An error by Cruz in the home half of the sixth inning led to a run for Potomac. After CF Cole Freeman led off the frame with a single, 1B KJ Harrison reached on Cruz’s throwing error, which put runners on the corners with one out. 3B Austin Davidson made it a one run contest at 4-3 with an RBI groundout, but Potomac left Harrison at third base as the tying run. The P-Nats left either the game-tying or game-winning run in scoring position in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. The P-Nats went just 3-15 with RISP in the loss and left 12 runners on base, nine on either second or third base.
Down 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, Potomac rallied against RHP Will Kincanon (W, 3-3). Eight for nine in save chances prior to Friday night, Kincanon blew the save due to a two-out rally from Potomac. 2B Osvaldo Abreu singled with one out, while Lara followed with a strikeout. Down to their final out, the P-Nats got consecutive singles from LF Jack Sundberg and Freeman, which loaded the bases with two outs for Zimmerman. After the rehabbing designated hitter fouled off a 3-2 pitch from Kincanon, the Washington veteran took ball four, which plated Abreu and tied the game. With the winning run at third base, Corredor pinch hit for 1B Omar Meregildo, but Kincanon escaped, as Corredor chased a high fastball for strike three, which sent the game to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, things fell apart for Potomac and RHP Ryan Tapani (L, 0-3). C Carlos Perez pinch hit for Yrizarri to start the inning and doubled home LF JJ Muno, the free baserunner, on the first pitch from Tapani. Two batters later, Cruz made it 6-4 with an RBI single. Vaughn and Dedelow followed with consecutive hits, as Dedelow’s second double of the night gave the Dash a 7-4 lead. After Potomac intentionally walked 1B Jameson Fisher, which loaded the bases, Roman put the game away with a two-run double. Winston-Salem plated five runs against Tapani in the 10th frame.
The fourth Dash pitcher of the night, LHP Andrew Perez nearly put the tying run at the plate in the final half inning, as Potomac loaded the bases with only one out. Perez buckled down and struck out both Abreu and Lara, as he closed out the Dash’s 10-inning victory 9-4. Lara finished 0-5 with four strikeouts.
With eight losses in their past 11 games, Potomac will enter the weekend two games back of the Salem Red Sox for a playoff spot after Salem’s Friday night game was suspended prior to the 11th inning in a 4-4 game with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The P-Nats will turn to LHP Carson Teel (6-3, 3.46) on Saturday night in an effort to level the series. Teel is 0-1 in his last two starts but has allowed just three runs over 13 innings between the two starts. For the Dash, RHP Jonathan Stiever (6-3, 2.44) is scheduled to start. A top 10 prospect in the Chicago White Sox system according to MLB.com, Stiever is 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA over his past five starts.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Saturday night is set for 6:35pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:20pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.