P-Nats DH Randolph Oduber ripped a game-winning RBI double to the gap in right center field in the bottom of the 9th in series Game Two on Tuesday evening to carry the Potomac Nationals (18-10, 9-4) to a walk-off 4-3 victory over the frederick keys (12-17, 9-8).
After winning their three-game series with the Keys, the Nationals own the best winning percentage in the Carolina League (.643) and are tied for the most wins in the circuit (18) with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Texas Rangers).
As LF Justin Miller crossed home plate to clinch the insta-victory for the Nationals it marked the third walk-off victory for Potomac in 2014.
Nationals RHP John Simms was very effective to give the Nationals offense a chance to break through late.
Simms, who did not receive a decision, gunned through 6.0 innings which served as the longest outing by a starter all season long and the righty also earned the first quality start (at least 6.0 innings and no more than three runs allowed) of the 2014 season for a P-Nats starting pitcher.
Simms scattered four base hits, walked none, and fanned two while surrendering three runs but only one earned run.
Frederick took advantage of three fielding errors committed by 3B Oscar Tejeda, CF Narciso Mesa, and SS Stephen Perez in the 1st frame to take an immediate 2-0 lead. LF Michael Burgess, a former Potomac National, rapped an RBI groundout to the right side of the infield to bring home the first run and the error by Perez allowed DH Zane Chavez, who singled to center field, to score.
Frederick added one run in the 4th inning to yield a 3-0 advantage when 3B Jason Esposito drilled an RBI single into left field against a drawn-in infield defense to score Burgess, who gashed a double to the gap in left center field that hit the wall to get aboard.
Keys RHP Brady Wager pitched 5.0 frames and came undone in the 6th inning. Wager allowed three earned runs including a home run in the frame and was chased from the contest after giving up five hits and two walks.
Wager, like Simms, did not factor into the decision.
Frederick RHP Mychal Givens, a former position player turned reliever, did not allow a run in the 6th or 7th innings.
Nationals RHP Rafael Martin turned in a pair of perfect innings in the 7th and 8th.
The Nationals offense came alive in the bottom of the 6th as Oduber led off with a two-base hit cranked to the left field wall before Perez grounded a single back up the middle to put runners on the corners. Tejeda then whalloped his second home run in three games, a lazer beam three-run shot over both tiers of signage in left center field to tie the game at 3-3.
The winning pitcher, RHP Robert Benincasa (3-0) ran into trouble in the 9th putting two runners aboard with one out before working out of the Frederick threat. Benincasa allowed a double shot to the right center field gap off the lumber of Chavez and then Burgess was intentionally walked to setup a double play. After it appeared Benincasa had fanned Esposito twice on fastballs at the knees, Esposito swung at a ball out of the strike zone to take the game to the last of the 9th.
After P-Nats C Cole Leonida struck out looking on a marginal offering on the inside corner from the eventual losing pitcher, RHP Gene Escat (1-1), Justin Miller worked a walk. Then, CF Narcisco Mesa popped out on one pitch to Esposito for the second out. Oduber came up and bashed an opposite field line drive to the wall in right center to bring Miller home from first base an ink the 4-3 walk-off triumph for the home club.
It’s a Bellybuster Wednesday at Pfitzner Stadium tomorrow night with gates opening at 6:00pm for a 7:05 first pitch.
Potomac will toss RHP Ronald Pena (2-0, 6.23) against Frederick RHP Branden Kline (2-1, 2.36)