Nine-run eighth leads P-Nats into All-Star break with win
The Potomac Nationals (30-37) wrapped up the first half of the 2019 season with a resounding win on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (31-38) by a score of 15-4. LF Nick Banks hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning, setting in motion an offensive outburst that put the game out of reach.
Potomac scored nine runs on four hits in the eighth, with all nine runs scoring with two outs. They added three more in the ninth for good measure to earn a series split in the four-game set.
RHP Andrew Lee didn’t allow a hit through 4.2 innings, but allowed an opposite-field solo homer to DH Scott Manea just after 1B Aldrem Corredor gave the P-Nats a brief 1-0 lead in the fifth with a sacrifice fly.
2B Bryan Mejia hit a pair of triples in the ballgame off starter RHP Jojanse Torres, and his RBI three-bagger in the sixth put Potomac back in front 2-1. 3B Omar Meregildo followed with an RBI single to extend the lead to 3-1.
Lee allowed another homer to CF Chandler Taylor in the bottom of the sixth, and left with two runners on base and two outs in a 3-2 ballgame. LF Corey Julks put Fayetteville ahead with a two-run double off RHP Jorge Pantoja, with both runs charged to Lee.
The game would remain 4-3 until the eighth, when RF Gage Canning drew a two-out bases-loaded walk off RHP Cesar Rosado (L, 2-2) to tie the game. RHP Leovanny Rodriguez entered with the bases still loaded, and his first pitch to Banks was sent over the right field wall to put Potomac ahead 8-4. A two-run double from DH Telmito Agustin and a single from Mejia took advantage of Fayetteville miscues and made it a nine-run inning.
RHP Aaron Fletcher (W, 1-0) pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first Carolina League win. Singles from Banks, Agustin and C Jakson Reetz stretched the lead to 15-4 in the ninth before RHP Andrew Istler closed it out in the bottom half.
The P-Nats will send Lee, Reetz, Banks, Corredor and 2B Cole Freeman to the Carolina League All-Star Classic on Tuesday night in Frederick, Maryland. They return home to Northwest Federal Field on Thursday night for a weeklong homestand against the Carolina Mudcats and Wilmington Blue Rocks.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and 10 CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats’ 2019 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate picnic outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. 2019 Potomac Nationals season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2019 season tickets, mini plans, group outings, picnic packages, fundraisers, and all things Red, White, and Blue, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com, follow the P-Nats on Facebook (@PotomacNationals), Twitter (@PNats42), and Instagram (@pnats42), or call the Potomac Nationals’ Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.