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Minors Roundup: P-Nats split two, Richmond falls 1-0

P-Nats split two The Potomac Nationals and Frederick Keys split a pair of contests at Harry Grove Stadium tonight in Maryland.  The Keys took the first game 8-5 while Potomac won the second 3-1.

Frederick 8, Potomac 5: The Frederick Keys used seven runs in the first two innings to beat the Potomac Nationals 8-5 in game one of the DH.  Potomac had the tying run up in their last at-bat but couldn’t force extra-innings.

Making his first start ever for Potomac, RHP Nathan Karns ran into trouble against the Keys in the first inning.  The first three batters Karns faced all reached base to load the bases with no out.  Aaron Baker reached on a fielding error by Karns to make it 1-0 Keys.  Frederick scored two more runs on a fielders choice hit into by Justin Dalles where the throw to first was in the dirt and the Keys led 3-0.

The problems continued for Potomac in the second. A double, hit batter and walk again loaded the bags for Frederick.  With two outs, Baker knocked a two-run single to increase the lead to 5-0 chasing Karns from the game.  The next batter Kipp Schutz hit a two-run double off of reliever Paul Applebee and the P-Nats trailed 7-0.

Potomac wouldn’t do any damage to Frederick starter LHP Rick Zagone until the fourth inning.  With the bases loaded and two-out, Randolph Oduber had a two-run single to cut the Frederick lead to 7-2.

After a Justin Dalles solo homer increased the Keys lead to 8-2, Potomac chipped away in the sixth.  J.R. Higley knocked an RBI single — his first RBI with Potomac this year to bring the Nationals within 8-3.  A bases loaded walk from Blake Kelso and sac fly from Adrian Sanchez brought the P-Nats within 8-5.  All three runs were off of Clay Schrader who had yieled just 2 total earned runs in his first 28 innings of work this year.

In the seventh and final inning, Potomac put two runners on base against David Walters to bring up the tying run in J.P. Ramirez.  However, Ramirez would ground out to second and the Keys held on to a 8-5 victory.

Karns (0-1) took the loss yielding seven runs with four earned, walking three and striking out three over one a two-third innings.  Zagone (3-0) stayed perfect in the Carolina League this year with five solid innings.  David Walters earned his fourth save in seven chances.

Potomac missed a bunch of chances leaving nine on base and drawing eight walks.  Frederick was able to score 8 runs off of just 12 base runners.

Potomac 3, Frederick 1: The Nationals got a outstanding start from Trevor Holder and beat the Keys 3-1 in game two of the doubleheader.

Potomac started the scoring in the third inning off of spot starter RHP Brandon Erbe who was making his first start of 2012.  Francisco Soriano started the frame with a walk and scored on a wild pitch to give Potomac their first lead of the five-game series in the 19th inning of it.  JP Ramirez hit a sac fly scoring Blake Kelso to increase the lead to 2-0 for the P-Nats.

Andy Loomis relieved Erbe and kept the Keys in the game with three scoreless innings out of the bullpen striking out six.

Frederick finally scored off of Potomac starter RHP Trevor Holder in the fifth.  Scott Thomas led off the inning with a single and scored on a single by Jeremy Nowak to cut the Nationals advantage to 2-1.  But Frederick would leave two on of the seven they left on base in the game to keep the score 2-1.

The P-Nats added another run in the seventh on a Zach Walters sac fly.  In the bottom of the seventh, Rob Wort struck out three Keys to shut the door on a Potomac 3-1 victory.

Erbe (2-1) took the loss giving up two runs in three innings.  Holder (3-1) had his second consecutive six inning start and yielded just one run for the second straight time as well.  He struck out a tied for season-high five batters.  Rob Wort picked up his third save of the year.

The Nationals continue their series with the Keys tomorrow at 7:00 PM at Harry Grove Stadium. RHP Matt Swynenberg (4-3, 4.74) takes the bump for the P-Nats.  Potomac returns home on Friday, June 8th to begin a series against the Salem Red Sox with a doubleheader starting at 6:05 PM. The Potomac Nationals are celebrating their 35th Anniversary of professional baseball and family fun, for all your ticket needs please call the box office at 703-590-2311 or visit


Richmond falls 1-0 Ryan Cavan’s solo-home run and eight strong innings from right-hander Craig Westcott carried the Richmond Flying Squirrels (27-31) to a, 1-0, shutout win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (21-35) on Tuesday night.  The shutout was the seventh of the season for the Squirrels in the opener of a six-game road trip to New England.

New Hampshire right-hander Joel Carreno retired the first eight Squirrels batters of the ballgame.  Cavan was the ninth, and he supplied the only run of the night with a solo-home run to right field.  Cavan belted his third of the season on a hanging-breaking ball from Carreno for a 1-0 lead.  Carreno went on to retire 19 of the first 20 Richmond hitters.

Meanwhile, Westcott (6-4) was cruising as well.  He allowed three two-out singles over his first two innings and then didn’t allow the Fisher Cats another hit through six innings.  He conceded a lead-off single in the seventh to snap a run of nine consecutive Fisher Cats retired, but promptly got a double-play and faced the minimum in the inning.  Westcott also worked a perfect eighth inning, and was given the chance to come back out for the ninth.  Brian Bocock singled to right field to lead off the inning, and Westcott retired to the win over eight innings plus one batter.  It matched his career-long outing, as he blanked the Fisher Cats on five hits, walked two and struck out four.

Carreno (1-3) took an extremely hard-luck loss.  All told, he worked seven innings, allowed just a lone run on two hits.  Carreno didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.  Right-hander Scott Gracey retired all six Squirrels batters that he faced in relief.

Richmond lefty Tom Vessella came on in relief of Westcott in the ninth inning.  He was credited with a strikeout of Ryan Goins, when Goins was unable to lay down a sacrifice-bunt.  He then induced Mike McDade into a game-ending 4-6-3 double-play.  Vessella earned his second save of the season for the Squirrels.

Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for 7:05 PM on Wednesday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.  Richmond RHP Andy Reichard (0-2, 6.48) will make the start against New Hampshire LHP Brett Cecil (3-2, 3.63).  Pregame coverage will begin at 6:35 PM on Sports Radio 910 and