Home run happy P-Nats win 9-5 in 10 innings

p-natsOne strike away from a 5-4 victory, the Potomac Nationals (17-13 Overall, 11-5 Road) saw C Joseph Odom of the Carolina Mudcats (13-18 Overall, 7-7 Home) drive home CF Keith Curcio with a single and send the game to extra innings. Much like Tuesday night’s game, the end result was noticeable fairly quickly, as the P-Nats struck for four runs in the top of the 10th inning off of RHP Zach Quintana (L, 1-3). C Matt Reistetter led off the 10th inning with his second solo home run of the game, SS Osvaldo Abreu drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, and 1B Jose Marmolejos tallied a two-run home run, his second long ball of the afternoon, as the Nationals leveled the series with a 9-5 10-inning victory.

Prior to the late inning dramatics for the second day in a row, the battle between Potomac and Carolina was back and forth all afternoon. The11:00am start time saw a crowd of more than 5,000 enter Five County Stadium, and the fans were greeted with a pair of early runs for the hometown Mudcats. RHP Boone Whiting (ND) gave up a lead off single in the second inning to Odom, and 3B Jordan Edgerton followed with a two-run home run, his second home run of 2016. Potomac trailed 2-0 after two inning, but scored five straight runs between the fourth and sixth frames.

RHP Ryan Clark (ND) had home run troubles much like Whiting. Marmolejos tallied his fourth home run of the season, a solo blast with one out in the fourth inning that made it 2-1. After DH Drew Ward singled and 2B Bryan Mejia doubled, LF Alec Keller tied the game with an RBI groundout that plated Ward. With Mejia at third base, Clark unleashed his first wild pitch of the season, which plated Mejia and put Potomac on top 3-2. Reistetter then led off the fifth inning with his first home run of the season, as Potomac led 4-2 after 4.5, and Keller had an RBI single in the sixth, which made it 5-2 in favor of the Nationals after 5.5 innings.

Despite the three-run deficit, the Mudcats chipped away. Odom led off the bottom of the sixth with an inside the park home run on a fly ball down the right field line. Potomac RF Dale Carey crashed into the wall along the foul line and flipped into the stands, as the ball trickled towards the wall, and Odom easily had his third home run of the season. RHP Mario Sanchez relieved Whiting to start the seventh inning and issued a leadoff walk to 2B Ryan Gebhardt. After a single and a failed sacrifice bunt, 1B Joey Meneses made it a one-run game with an RBI single, though Sanchez stranded men at second and third in the frame.

RHP Ryan Brinley (W, 2-0) entered in the eighth inning in search of a six-out save. Curcio led off the frame with a single, a sacrifice bunt moved him to second base, and Brinley struck out Meneses for the second out in the inning. Odom rolled Brinley’s 1-2 pitch through the right side of the infield, and Carey’s throw was just late, as the game went to extras before the P-Nats ran away with the 9-5 win.

Prior to Wednesday, Ward had Potomac’s lone multi-HR game. In Wednesday’s matinee, Reistetter hit his first two of the season, the second one in the 10th inning landed on top of the clubhouse well beyond the right field wall. Marmolejos also had two home runs to go along with three RBIs. Four different P-Nats had two hits, while Marmolejos, Keller, and Reistetter each drove in at least two runs. LHP RC Orlanpitched a scoreless 10th inning for the P-Nats and induced a game-ending double play off the bat of Tuesday night’s Carolina hero Gebhardt.

In the no-decision, Whiting recorded his fourth straight quality start, as the righty allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings. For Carolina, Clark allowed five runs on six hits over 5.1 innings.

After the extra innings victory, the P-Nats will turn to RHP Luis Reyes (2-2, 4.10) in the rubber match. For Carolina, Venezuelan RHP Enderson Franco (3-1, 7.99) looks for his fourth straight start of at least five innings and three or fewer earned runs. First pitch is set for7:00pm.

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