Late homer, defensive heroics pace Potomac to 5-4 win
The Potomac Nationals (18-18, 48-55) got a three-run homer from DH David Masters to turn around a late deficit and defeat the Frederick Keys (11-23, 40-63) by a score of 5-4 in the series opener on Friday night.
Masters went deep in the eighth inning to give the P-Nats a 5-3 lead, and RF Gage Canning made an acrobatic catch over the wall in foul territory to end the game. LHP Nick Raquet (W, 7-8) pitched his longest outing of the year, going seven strong in his third straight quality start.
Frederick struck first in the second inning, getting a solo homer from LF Will Robertson to take a 1-0 lead. They would add to the advantage in the fourth, as 3B Patrick Dorrian hit a two-run shot to make the score 3-0.
Keys LHP DL Hall was dominant through five innings, re-taking the league strikeout lead with six Ks of Potomac hitters. In the sixth, however, C Jakson Reetz led off with a walk and LF Aldrem Corredor followed with an RBI double to put the P-Nats on the board. It was the league-best 70th RBI of the season for Corredor, and the first of two doubles for the slugger. 1B KJ Harrison brought Corredor home with a run-scoring groundout to cut the Frederick lead to 3-2.
Raquet settled down after allowing the two early home runs, recording outs in the seventh inning for the first time this season. He was the pitcher of record when, in the top of the eighth, Potomac rallied to take their first lead. RHP Tyler Joyner (L, 0-2) allowed a one-out single to Reetz and a subsequent double to Corredor before Masters hit his team-leading 11th home run to make the score 5-3.
RHP Ryan Tapani struck out the side in the eighth before RHP Jhonatan German (S, 6) entered for the ninth. German allowed a leadoff walk and a pinch-hit double to Brett Cumberland before hitting CF Cole Billingsley to load the bases with no outs. 2B Sean Miller hit a grounder deep into the hole at short to score a run, but Potomac SS Gilbert Lara made a heads-up play to get the force out at third and keep the potential tying run at second. RF Robert Neustrom lined out to right field before DH Jomar Reyes sent a deep drive foul down the right field line, caught by a leaping Canning just before flipping out of play onto the berm.
The P-Nats continue their series against Frederick on Saturday as LHP Tim Cate takes on Keys RHP Ofelky Peralta. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm from Nymeo Field, with the P-Nats Leadoff Show beginning at 5:45 on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. Fans can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.