Home Salem overcomes lineup snafu, tops Potomac

Salem overcomes lineup snafu, tops Potomac


Despite batting out of order and nearly losing the game because of it, the Salem Red Sox (14-9) escaped with a walk-off win over the Potomac Nationals (12-10) Sunday afternoon. 3B Jose Sermo, who homered in each of the final two games of the series, tallied a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 9th inning in the 5-4 Red Sox victory.

p-natsThe Red Sox plated the first run of the game, but fell to 10-2 when they score first. With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, CF Tate Matheny hit a solo home run off of LHP Matthew Crownover (ND). Crownover allowed just one run over five innings. The left-handed Potomac starter struck out three and surrendered only three hits.

LHP Daniel McGrath (ND) did not get any help from his defense in the fourth inning, as the P-Nats plated three runs in the frame. An error by 2B Chad De La Guerra allowed the first to Potomac hitters to reach safely, McGrath retired the next two, but with two outs, C Jake Lowery put Potomac in the lead with a two-run double, and LF Telmito Agustin plated Lowery with a double, as Potomac took a 3-1 lead. All three runs were unearned.

The score remained 3-1 until Salem chipped away in the bottom of the sixth inning vs. RHP Ronald Pena. With one out, Sermo homered over the left field wall, his second home run in as many games. The P-Nats quickly answered and built the lead back to two runs against RHP Gerson Bautista. Agustin drew a leadoff walk in the seventh inning, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by 2B Bryan Mejia, and scored on an RBI single by 3B Austin Davidson. Potomac left Davidson at third base, and got just one more baserunner in the game.

Potomac’s bullpen faltered once again in the eighth inning, as the first three men reached vs. RHP Mariano Rivera (BS, 1). Rivera gave up two singles and walked one before an RBI groundout from LF Mike Meyers cut Potomac’s lead to one. RF Kyri Washington followed with a game-tying RBI single, while 1B Josh Ockimey followed with a pinch-hit intentional walk.

That’s where craziness ensued. With the bases loaded, SS Deiner Lopez grounded out to Mejia, who’s throw to the plate went to the backstop, which allowed two runs to score. At least it appeared that way. Potomac manager Tripp Keister stepped out of the Potomac dugout and began a conversation with home plate umpire Austin Jones, pointing to his lineup card. After a conversation between the two umpires, it was determined that the lineup card presented by Salem at the beginning of the game had Lopez as the nine hitter, not in the eighth position as he had been batting. C Jhon Nunez was ruled out while standing on deck, and Sermo was then thrown out at the plate on a ball that initially got away from Lowery behind the plate. Despite the miscue, Salem left the eighth with a tie game.

The P-Nats got a leadoff walk from Agustin in the top of the ninth inning, but that was all the team managed against RHP Adam Lau (W, 1-2). In the bottom of the ninth, RHP Sam Held (L, 0-1) walked the first two men that he faced. After DH Michael Chavis flied out to the warning track in left field, Sermo followed with a ball that got caught in the wind, and dropped out of the reach of Agustin in left field. The walk-off single gave Salem a 5-4 win and kept the Red Sox in first place in the Northern Division.

Off of a tough series loss, the P-Nats will head down to Kinston, NC and begin a three-game series with the Down East Wood Ducks Monday night. RHP Luis Reyes (1-3, 4.91) is set to start for Potomac in the series opener. Reyes allowed three earned runs over five innings in a loss to the Wood Ducks as part of a doubleheader on 4/18. For Down East, RHP Richelson Pena (1-1, 3.07) will make his third start and sixth appearance of the season. Pena allowed two earned runs over three innings in a loss to Potomac as part of the same doubleheader on 4/18. First pitch from Grainger Stadium is set for 7:00pm on Monday night. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.



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