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Mudcats steal win with eight late runs against Potomac

What looked like a comeback win for the second straight night for the Potomac Nationals (34-38, 1-1) turned into a massive come from behind 11-6 victory for the Carolina Mudcats (37-33, 1-1). Carolina scored the first two runs, Potomac then scored six straight, while the Mudcats scored the final nine runs of the game. The Mudcats plated three runs in the eighth inning, which tied the game, while five runs in the top of the ninth inning and gave Carolina the victory.

p-natsCarolina scored two runs in the top of the first inning against LHP Hector Silvestre (ND), but the Potomac starting pitcher battled back, tossed five innings, and struck out a season high seven.

Carolina started the game with three straight hits and notched four hits in the first inning. CF Corey Ray led off the game with a double, while DH Troy Stokes Jr. put men on the corners with a single. 3B Lucas Erceg made it 1-0 Mudcats with an RBI single, and two batters later, SS Isan Diaz made it 2-0 Carolina with an RBI single of his own. Silvestre stranded two men on base in the frame and did the same in the second inning.

The P-Nats answered right away with a run in the home half of the first inning. LF Jack Sundberg drew a one-out walk and stole second base. With two outs, C Taylor Gushue got Potomac on the scoreboard with a two-strike RBI single.

RHP Trey Supak (ND) gave up the lead in the second inning, as Potomac tallied another two-out RBI hit. RF Rhett Wiseman doubled with one out, while 3B David Masters followed with a walk. After Supak retired SS Edwin Lora, CF Victor Robles plated two runs with a two-out triple into the right-centerfield alley. Robles’ fifth triple of 2017 made it 3-2 Potomac.

Potomac extended the lead in the third inning, as DH Matt Page followed a double by 2B Austin Davidson with a shallow RBI single to centerfield. Supak escaped further damage, as the P-Nats took a 4-2 lead into the fourth inning.

The Red, White, & Blue built their biggest lead of the night courtesy of Robles in the fourth inning, as the P-Nats put together another multi-run frame. Masters led off the inning with a single, and two batters later, Robles hit an opposite field two-run home run, which knocked Supak out of the game. The righty allowed six runs, all earned, over just 3.1 innings. LHP Quintin Torres-Costa entered for Supak, gave up a single to Sundberg, but tallied consecutive strikeouts and ended the frame.

Though Silvestre gave up two runs in the first inning, they were the only runs against him. After the first frame, in which he surrendered four hits, the left-handed starter allowed just four more hits and posted four consecutive scoreless innings.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Tyler Skulina allowed a run in the top of the sixth inning on a double and two fly outs, worked a scoreless seventh inning, but failed to record an out in the eighth frame. A walk and a single knocked the right-handed reliever out of the game, as RHP Ronald Pena (L, 2-3) became Potomac’s third pitcher of the night. Pena got C Max McDowell to ground out, but then issued a walk to 2B Luis Aviles, which loaded the bases. Ray then stepped in and cleared the bases with a three-run double into the right field corner, though he got caught in an attempted steal of third base.

In the ninth inning, the first five Carolina hitters reached base, four against Pena, and the fifth against RHP Jorge Pantoja. 3B Lucas Erceg began the inning with a single, 1B Jake Gatewood followed with a base hit, while Diaz’s two-run double gave Carolina the lead for good. After Pena hit LF Monte Harrison with a pitch, the righty departed for Pantoja. RF Trent Clark greeted Pantoja with a three-run home run, which capped the scoring and made it 11-6 in favor of Carolina. RHP Eric Hanhold (W, 4-2) retired all four batters that he faced, as the Carolina bullpen retired the final 10 Potomac batters of the night.

Robles shined brightest offensively for Potomac, as the centerfielder tallied a double, a triple, a home run, and four RBIs in the loss. Eight different P-Nats recorded at least one hit, as Wiseman finished with Potomac’s other multi-hit game. The Carolina bullpen combination of Hanhold and Torres-Costa struck out nine and did not allow a run over 5.2 innings.

The third game of the brief four-game homestand is set for Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:20pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.