Late lead slips away from P-Nats in 7-4 loss
After a 22 minute rain delay to start tonight’s game, the Potomac Nationals (23-18) dropped Tuesday night’s matchup with the Wilmington Blue Rocks (18-26) in heartbreaking fashion, blowing a 4-3 lead in the ninth in the eventual 7-4 defeat.
Wilmington took their first lead of the game in the top of the second on a home run from 2B Gabriel Cancel (2). The two runs off the bat Cancel were the only runs given up by Potomac starter Wil Crowe (ND). Crowe worked five innings of two-run baseball, giving up just four hits while striking out three batters.
The lead wouldn’t last for long, as Potomac struck for a four-run bottom of the fourth against Wilmington’s RHP Anthony Bender (ND). After C Tres Barrera walked to start the inning, LF Jack Sundberg and 1B David Masters connected on back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out. 2B Edwin Lora drove in the first run of the game for The P-Nats on a sacrifice fly, setting the stage for CF Blake Perkins. Perkins gave Potomac the lead on a two-run single and SS Carter Kieboom followed with an RBI single of his own to push the advantage to 4-2.
LHP Taylor Guilbeau entered in the sixth for Crowe, picking up five outs in his sixth appearance of the year. The lefty gave up a run on a single from DH Kort Peterson, but preserved a 4-3 lead for The Red, White, & Blue.
The score remained 4-3 as the game entered the ninth, where chaos quickly ensued for The P-Nats. After RHP James Bourque (L, 2-2) retired the first batter of the inning, three straight Blue Rocks reached to load the bases. A walk from RF Nick Heath and consecutive singles from LF DJ Burt and CF Khalil Lee put the game-tying run just 90 feet away for Wilmington.
Bourque struck out 3B Emmanuel Rivera to bring The P-Nats just one out away from victory, but Peterson worked a walk to tie the game at 4-4. The next pitch from Bourque hit 1B Chris DeVito in his leg to force in another run, giving Wilmington the lead. Two more runs scored with Cancel, the next batter, at the plate, as Lee crossed home on a Bourque wild pitch and Peterson scored after Cancel ripped a single into centerfield.
With a 7-4 lead in hand, RHP Bryan Brickhouse (W, 1-0) retired The P-Nats in order in the bottom of the ninth to nail down the win.
After the loss, Potomac turns to tomorrow night’s game, the third game between the Northern Division foes. RHP Joan Baez (2-2, 5.52) gets the start for the P-Nats, looking to put Potomac back in the win column. Wilmington will counter with RHP Ofreidy Gomez (1-3, 4.80), the #30 prospect in the Kansas City Royals farm system.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field on Wednesday night is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.