P-Nats drop series with Mudcats
The Potomac Nationals (34-40) lost its third consecutive game 7-4 to the Carolina Mudcats (39-33) on Sunday afternoon to drop the first series of the second half. Carolina clobbered 15 hits for the second time in four games on the way to the three-run victoy. Despite the loss, six of nine Potomac starters registered a hit in the game.
For the fourth time in four games, the Mudcats jumped out first against the P-Nats. Carolina tallied three times in the top of the first against RHP Luis Reyes (L, 5-7). 1B Jake Gatewood singled in the first run of the game with runners on first and third and one out in the frame. RF Trent Clark plated the second run with a fielder’s choice groundout to first base. SS Luis Aviles added another with an RBI single to left to put the Mudcats up 3-0 after the first inning.
The Mudcats outscored The Red, White & Blue 8-1 in the first inning in the four-game series. Carolina collected 13 first-frame hits and finished with a .500 batting average in the inning. The Brewers Carolina-League affiliate scored eight runs in the first over the final three games of the series.
Carolina increased the lead to four off of another Gatewood RBI in the top of the second. With one out, LF Troy Stokes, Jr. and 3B Lucas Erceg both singled and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch from Reyes. Gatewood grounded to third, but the P-Nats could only get the out at first on the fielder’s choice, allowing the third Mudcats run to score.
Potomac chipped into the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second. 3B David Masters began the inning with a single to left. With one out, SS Edwin Lora reached on an infield single to third base to put two runners on. 2B Bryan Mejia singled in Masters with a two-out hit to center field. CF Victor Robles followed immediately with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2 after two innings.
The P-Nats pulled within one in the bottom of the fifth inning. Robles recorded his team-leading sixth triple of the season with one out. LF Jack Sundberg knocked in his 10th RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to left field. The Mudcats were clinging to a 4-3 lead after five.
LHP Frank Lopez (W, 1-2) allowed only three earned runs and earned the win in his first start with the Carolina Mudcats. Lopez signed with the Breweres on June 22nd. He previously posted an 11.70 ERA in six games for the Down East Wood Ducks in 2017.
The Mudcats would not allow Potomac to get any closer. They added insurance runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to pull away from the P-Nats in the finale. Stokes, Jr. drove in two of the final three runs in the sixth and the eighth. DH Cooper Hummel tripled in the third as Carolina finished off it’s series victory.
The P-Nats finished with eight hits on Sunday. Robles registered his 17th multi-hit game of the season finishing 2-5 at the plate. 1B Ian Sagdal, who recently entered MLBPipeline.com’s Top 30 prospects list, finished 2-3 at the plate as well. Despite taking the loss, seven of nine Potomac starters reached base and six recorded a hit.
Over the four game series, Robles and Sundberg each put in fantastic efforts. Robles went 7-for-17 (.412) with four runs, six runs batted in, three doubles, two triples and a home run. Sundberg finished 6-for-15 (.400) with two runs, three runs batted in, a double and a triple.
Potomac hits the road for an eight-game road trip against Southern Division foes. The trip begins with a four-game set against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The P-Nats and Pelicans face off on Monday night at 7:05 pm at TicketReturn.com field. RHP Nolan Sanburn (2-1, 3.81) starts the opener for Potomac against RHP Adbert Alzolay (6-1, 2.83) for Myrtle Beach.
Coverage of the opener begins at 6:50 pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show on the Potomac Nationals baseball network. The broadcast will air live on potomacnationals.com and can also be accessed using the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.