P-Nats avoid sweep vs. Blue Rocks with come-from-behind victory
On the backs of a pair of home runs from C Jakson Reetz and a quality start from RHP Malvin Pena (W, 5-4), the Potomac Nationals (37-47, 7-10) avoided a sweep with a 6-1 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (53-33, 9-8) on Saturday night.
Pena allowed just one run over six innings while Reetz gave Potomac the lead with a two-run blast in the sixth frame and capped off the night with three-run shot in the seventh inning, both against RHP Walker Sheller (L, 0-2).
For the third consecutive game, the Blue Rocks struck first, though the top-ranked pitching team in the Northern Division failed to hold on to the lead. Pena gave up consecutive two-out hits to SS Cristian Perez and CF Brewer Hicklen in the third inning, as the latter made it 1-0 with an RBI single. Pena surrendered just six hits and only one extra base hit over six frames.
LHP Rito Lugo (ND) pitched well enough for the win but saw very little offensive help. Lugo stranded a man in scoring position in each of the first two innings and held Potomac scoreless until the sixth frame. The Wilmington starter gave up a leadoff single to 1B Aldrem Corredor before the Blue Rocks went to the bullpen and brought in Sheller. The right-handed reliever quickly retired DH KJ Harrison, though Reetz followed with a two-run home run, which gave Potomac a 2-1 lead.
An inning later, Corredor made it 3-1 Potomac with his league-high 24th double and league-best 64th RBI of the season. Harrison followed with a four-pitch walk, which brought Reetz back to the plate. The All-Star catcher jumped on the first pitch from Sheller, as Reetz launched a 400+ foot blast to left field. His three-run home run made it 6-1 Potomac, the eventual final.
After six frames from Pena, Potomac got three-shutout innings from the bullpen. LHP Aaron Fletcher allowed one hit over two-scoreless innings while RHP Frankie Bartow worked a perfect ninth frame as Potomac avoided the sweep with a 6-1 win.
Off of the win, the P-Nats will welcome the Fayetteville Woodpeckers to Northwest Federal Field on Sunday night. The upcoming series will be the first trip to Woodbridge, VA for the Woodpeckers since they opened up their 2019 season at the home of the P-Nats.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Sunday night is set for 6:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 5:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.