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Minors Roundup: P-Nats win in extras, ‘Cats end losing skid, Sox continue surge

P-Nats outlast Frederick in 13  In a game that spanned 13 innings and lasted more than four hours, Potomac beat Frederick 8-6 at Harry Grove Stadium.  It was the longest game of the year for the P-Nats in terms of innings and time this season.

The Nationals put up a three spot in the third inning off of Frederick starter Trent Howard.  Randolph Oduber and Blake Kelso hit back-to-back singles and Ricky Hague came up with two on and two out.  Hague belted a double to the left-center gap scoring both Oduber and Kelso to give Potomac a 2-0 lead.  The next batter David Freitas hit a bloop single to right that scored Hague and increased the Nationals lead to 3-0.

Frederick started their scoring off P-Nats starter Matt Swynenberg in the fifth inning with two runs — just one earned.  Bobby Stevens, who started the game with three straight hits, had an RBI single as did Jeremy Nowak to cut the Nationals advantage to 3-2.

Justin Bloxom smashed a two-run homer right handed in the sixth inning to increase the Nationals lead to 5-2.   Howard lasted six innings giving up five runs.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Keys put together their biggest inning of the game.  A single and a walk put two runners on with one out for Ty Kelly who hit a three-run homer off of Swynenberg to tie the game 5-5.  Kelly was the last batter Swynenberg faced as he gave up five runs over six and a third innings.

Both teams bullpens took over with scoreless eighth, ninth and tenth innings setting up an exciting 11th.  Against Ryan Berry, the Nationals had Michael Taylor at second with two outs.  J.P. Ramirez knocked Taylor in on a single to left and Potomac led 6-5.

Neil Holland, who hasn’t allowed a run since April 30th, tried to close it out in the bottom half of the inning.  He walked two batters then hit another to start the inning loading the bases with no out.  Rob Wort came on and gave up a single to Scott Thomas to tie the score at 6-6.  But Wort would strike out two batters in a row then get a groundout to get the game to the 12th.

After a scoreless 12th, Potomac’s David Freitas got his fifth hit of the day to start the 13th.  Francisco Soriano pinch ran for Freitas and took second on a passed ball.  He scored on a groundout by Taylor and Potomac took the lead for the fourth time with the score 7-6.  The next batter Bloxom hit a monster homer left-handed off the right field scoreboard for his ninth home run of the season. Bloxom homered from both sides of the plate becoming the first P-Nat to have a multi-homer game in 2012.

Jimmy Barthmaier pitched a 1-2-3 13th inning to preserve a 8-6 Potomac win.  It was his second save of his pro career that spans over 700 innings.  Rob Wort (1-2) got the win tossing two scoreless innings.  Kenny Moreland (2-3) took the loss as he pitched the 13th inning.

Weirdly, all three games Potomac that have gone to extra-innings have been against Frederick with Matt Swynenberg starting.  The Nationals are 3-0 in those games.


‘Cats end losing skid Holding on to just a half game lead in the Northern Division entering action today, the Hillcats snapped their season-worst eight-game losing streak with a blow out 8-1 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The offense erupted with a seven-run third inning, highlighted by a three-run blast for Matt Weaver. Meanwhile, LHP Dimasther Delgado and LHP Matt Chaffee combined to limit the Pelicans to just six hits and one run.

Lynchburg broke a scoreless tie initially with a two-run, one out double from Nick Ahmed in third. Ahmed had not driven in a run since May 25, going ten games without an RBI until tonight. Following Ahmed’s lead, Tommy La Stella laced an RBI-triple into the right field corner. Edward Salcedo added an RBI single, and Weaver put the exclamation point on the rally with a three-run shot to left. Weaver hit three home runs in his first seven games as a Hillcat this year, but had gone 18 games without a long ball until his third inning moon shot.

Delgado (4-2) didn’t let up with a seven run lead. He sat the side down in order in the bottom of the third and continued to hold the Pelicans scoreless through five innings. He gave up just two hits, walked three, and struck out five in his winning effort.

Chaffee entered in the sixth and retired three in a row. Myrtle Beach then broke up the shutout in the seventh. Chaffee surrendered a leadoff double to Brett Nicholas and a single to Santiago Chirino. With runners at first and third, Jake Skole lifted a sacrifice fly to left field and Nicholas jogged home from third. The ‘Cats still led 7-1 heading into the eighth.

Lynchburg added another run in the eighth when Salcedo singled home Chris Garcia.

Chaffee continued to pitch the eighth and ninth frames scoreless and recorded his fourth save of the season. It was the first time Chaffee had complete more than three innings in a single appearance in his career. The only time he had finished three was September 3, 2011 with Rome.

With the win the Hillcats put themselves 1.5 games ahead of the Wilmington Blue Rocks who lost to the Carolina Mudcats tonight. Lynchburg is back above .500 at 29-28 on the season.


Sox continue surge Miguel Celestino dealt six superb innings as the Salem Sox inched back within a half game of the first-place Winston-Salem Dash with Wednesday’s 4-1 triumph at LewisGale Field. The righthander struck out six and limited the Dash to just four hits and one unearned run over six frames, the ninth time in his 11 starts that he has allowed two earned runs or fewer. Offensively, Travis Shaw’s bases-loaded double drove in three runs to break a scoreless tie in the third inning, while Xander Bogaerts crushed his sixth homer of the season in the eighth to cap the Salem scoring.

Celestino struck out the side in the first and was perfect in half of his innings on the mound. Winston’s lone tally came as a result of a passed ball in the fifth inning, when Daniel Wagner singled, moved to second on Adalberto Ibarra’s passed ball, and scored on Juan Silverio’s fielder’s choice grounder to third. Celestino improved to 4-2 on the year and his ERA shrunk to 2.84.

Winston’s Jon Bachanov faced the minimum through two innings, but Salem capitalized on Bachanov’s erraticness in the third. A single, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with two outs, and Shaw squared up a 2-0 fastball and blasted it off the right-center field fence to clear the bases, giving Salem a 3-0 lead. With 41 RBI on the year, Shaw is second in the league, behind only Carolina’s Jeremie Tice.

With two outs in the last of the eighth, Bogaerts eviscerated a fastball from Tarence Marin, sending a majestic solo homer over the left field fence. The round tripper gave Salem a 4-1 lead and gave Bogaerts his 32nd RBI of the season.

Andrew Jones followed Celestino with a pair of scoreless innings, while Mike Olmsted recorded his 11th save by shutting down the Dash in the ninth. Both Jones and Olmsted struck out two Winston hitters apiece as the Sox improved to 33-24, just a half game behind the 34-24 Dash.

Salem and Winston meet for the final time in the first half on Thursday night, with Ryan Pressly scheduled to face Jake Petricka. First pitch in this battle for first place is slated for 7:05.