P-Nats drop series finale to Keys
Justin Bloxom collected three hits for the P-Nats, but Keys starter Oliver Drake only allowed four and Potomac lost 4-1 to Frederick at Harry Grove stadium on Friday night. Despite the loss, the P-Nats took two out of three and have won three straight series.
Drake was in a groove right from the get-go. The Gardner, MA native retired the first eight batters of the game, including two strikeouts. The P-Nats (9-7) didn’t get their first base runner until the top of the third when centerfielder Eury Perez worked a walk. The speedy Perez swiped second for his 25th stolen base of the season. That ties him with Ryan Strausborger (Myrtle Beach) for second place in the Carolina League. Potomac second baseman Jeff Kobernus is first with 34.
It wasn’t until the top of the fourth that the Nationals grabbed their first hit. First baseman Justin Bloxom, the thirteenth batter of the game for Potomac, roped a base hit to right field and jump-started a strong night for the Phoenix, AZ native. After Oliver Drake retired nine consecutive Nats, Bloxom came up again the top of the seventh and drilled a double to right.
The switch-hitter’s biggest knock came in the top of the ninth. Frederick sent starter Oliver Drake out to the mound to go for the complete game shutout. The US Naval Academy product struck out Jeff Kobernus to lead off the inning, but Destin Hood followed with a double down the left field line. That’s when Bloxom came up for the fourth time. Bloxom hit a line drive single to score Hood from second and give the P-Nats their first run of the game. His 35th RBI of the season made it a 4-1 game. It also chased Drake from game. The 6’4″ righty’s final line was 8.1 IP, four hits, one run, two walk, and nine strike outs. Bloxom finished 3-4 with a double and an RBI.
Keys manager Orlando Gomez went to the pen and pulled out the Carolina League leader in saves Sean Gleason. The righty erased Cutter Dykstra and Sand Leon to give the Keys a 4-1 win. Gleason’s 24th save tied a Frederick single-season record.
The Keys scored all the runs they needed in the bottom of the second. They pushed across three runs, two of which scored on a base hit from first baseman Jacob Julius. Despite being the back-up first baseman and hitting less than .200, Julius is second on Frederick in RBIs with 24.
P-Nats starter Danny Rosenbaum was effective, but not as sharp as he normally is. The lefty’s final line was 5 IP, six hits, four runs, one earned, three walks, and four strikes.
The bus rolls into Lynchburg to start a three-game series with the Hillcats on Saturday at 7:05 pm. Adam Olbrychowski (2-4, 4.93) throws for Potomac against the Carolina League leader in innings pitched, Zeke Spruill (6-7, 3.19).