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P-Nats hang on for tight 3-2 win over Carolina

potomac nationalsPotomac Nationals (16-22-Overall, 8-10-Home) RHP Nick Pivetta dealt seven innings, defeating the Carolina Mudcats (19-16-Overall, 6-8-Road) 3-2 in Game One of the series on Tuesday night at Pfitzner Stadium.

In the first of three between the Mudcasts and the Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium, Pivetta (2-3, 1.60) pitched seven innings allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits, a walk and he struck out six, tying his season high of seven innings pitched.

Potomac got on the board first against RHP Andrew Waszak (1-2, 3.27) in the bottom of the first inning when SS Stephen Perez walked. Obstruction was called on the 1B Joey Meneses that moved Perez to second base. LF Isaac Ballou singled him to third and C Spencer Kieboom brought him home for a 1-0 lead with an RBI groundout. For Kieboom it was his 14th RBI of the season.

Pivetta went to work after retiring the Mudcats in order in the first and second frames before running into a bit of trouble in the third. CF Connor Lien began the inning by singling. SS Johan Camargo tripled him home to tie the game at 1-1. The very next hitter, 2B Reed Harper hit a fly ball to centerfield that brought home Camargo for a 2-1 Carolina lead. For Harper is was his first RBI of the season in just his fifth game with the Mudcats.

Potomac countered in the bottom of the fourth against Waszak in what proved to be his final inning of work. Kieboom reached an infield single and on the play a throwing error charged to the shortstop Camargo moved him up to second base. 3B Drew Ward singled and Kieboom moved to third and came home on the misplay by LF Keith Curcio for a 3-2 Potomac advantage.

Carolina never scored again against the combination of Pivetta, RHP Jake Johansen and LHP Nick Lee (SV 3). Johansen pitched a scoreless inning and a third and was lifted with one out in the ninth for Lee, who closed out the 3-2 Potomac victory for his third save of the season. Lee walked the first man he faced and he then moved to second base on C Jose Briceno’s ground out. Lee punched out RF Connor Oliver looking with the tying run on second base to seal the win.

Pivetta improved to 2-3 after finally getting enough run support to give him the victory and Potomac won the first game of the three game series while Waszak took the loss and fell to 1-2 on the year.

Game Two from Pfitzner Stadium has a scheduled first pitch of 7:05 pm and the Nationals will send RHP Lucas Giolito (0-2, 5.23) to the mound for his third start in 2015. Carolina will counter with LHP Blair Walters (1-0, 2.41).

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage of the game starting at 6:50 pm with the P-Nats Lead-Off Show.

Tomorrow night at The Pfitz is a Belly Buster Wednesday, which takes place in the WashMyDeck picnic area beginning at 6:00 pm when the gates open. Tickets are $16 and the Belly Buster runs until the sixth inning and features catering from the The Bone BBQ as well as hamburgers, hotdogs and various sides.