Ninth-inning P-Nats rally comes up short
The Salem Red Sox took the lead in the top of the first with 2B Brett Netzer’s first professional home run of his career. They broke out in their next trip to the plate with a five-run top of the second, the single highest scoring inning of the season for Salem. LF Kyri Washington highlighted the inning with a three-run home run (2), his first of the night.
RF Rhett Wiseman put the P-Nats on the scoreboard for the first time with a solo home run (5) in bottom of the second.
After allowing six runs in his first two innings of work, RHP Joan Baez (L, 1-2) settled down to throw two consecutive scoreless innings before his night was done.
Salem’s offense continued to provide insurance for RHP Jake Thompson (W, 1-2). In the top of the sixth, Washington connected on his second home run (3) of the night to give the Red Sox a 7-1 lead. Potomac responded in the bottom of the inning on RF Juan Soto’s two-run home run (5). 3B Anthony Rendon scored on the long ball, capping off a night in which he went 3-4 with two singles and a double.
As the P-Nats drew closer, trailing 7-3 after six, Kyri Washington struck again. The 7-hitter in Salem’s lineup, who came into the night with one home run and four runs batted in on the season, hit his third home run of the game. The solo shot was RBI number five on the evening for the left fielder.
C Roldani Baldwin hit a solo home run in the top of the ninth off of RHP James Bourque, giving the Red Sox a 9-3 lead entering the final frame of the ballgame.
With RHP Jared Oliver coming in to close out the game, 2B Edwin Lora started the inning with an infield single. Oliver walked the next two batters, LF Telmito Agustin and CF Blake Perkins, to load the bases for SS Carter Kieboom. Kieboom cleared the base paths, unloading his second grand slam of the season (5) to bring the P-Nats within two. After he struck out 3B Jake Noll, who came in as a replacement for Rendon, Oliver was pulled in favor of RHP Matthew Gorst (SV, 4). Gorst struck out Soto and got C Tres Barrera to fly out to close out the game and seal the win.
The series-opening victory tied the Salem Red Sox with the Potomac Nationals atop the the Carolina League Northern Divison standings. Tied for first place, both teams return on Saturday night for game two. RHP Kyle McGowin (0-0, -.–) makes his first start of the season for Potomac, facing off against RHP Bryan Mata (1-1, 1.56).
First pitch on Saturday night is set 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.