P-Nats hang on for win over Winston-Salem, end losing skid
The P-Nats (10-11-Overall, 6-4-Road) withstood a ninth inning rally to hold on for a 5-4 win in the series finale with the Winston-Salem Dash (10-10-Overall, 4-5-Home) to snap their five-game losing streak on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark.
Potomac sent swingman RHP Dakota Bacus (0-0, 3.21) to the mound trying to play stopper and get the P-Nats back into the win column.
Winston-Salem sent RHP Robinson Leyer (0-3, 3.60) to the hill in search for his first win of the season.
SS Stephen Perez began the ballgame with a bang for Potomac in the bottom of the first with a one out, solo home run to right-centerfield, the home run was his first of the year in his first at-bat since joining the P-Nats Thursday afternoon and it gave Potomac a 1-0 lead.
The Nationals added a run in the top of the third when C Spencer Kieboom extended his hitting streak to nine games with a one-out double. He moved to third on a groundout and came home to score on a throwing error charged to Leyer on the mound for a 2-0 Potomac lead.
Leyer lasted five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits, he walked three and struck out three. He subsequently took his third loss of the season.
Still leading 2-0 in the top of the sixth, LHP Brian Clark came out of the bullpen for Winston-Salem. Clark ran into trouble immediately issuing a lead-off double to RF Brandon Miller. Two batters later with Miller on third, LF Narciso Mesa hit a fielder’s choice ground ball. Miller was caught in a run down and ultimately tagged out on the play but Mesa was able to get to second base. CF Isaac Ballou followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0 Potomac and Perez followed with a single that moved Ballou to third, on the play the LF Nick Basto could not field the ball cleanly and that allowed Ballou to score for a 4-0 P-Nats advantage. Perez himself moved up to second courtesy of the miscue, a passed ball allowed him to advance to third and he came on a wild pitch thrown by Clark for a 5-0 Potomac lead.
Bacus pitched four innings, a season high, allowing six hits and no runs. He did not issue a walk and he struck out four. He did not factor in the decision but Bacus pitched a gritty outing, stranding runners on base in every inning and three times in scoring position.
The tall RHP Jake Johansen relived Bacus and pitched 3.2 innings. He was hit for two runs on two hits and two walks but he struck out six in his outing. Johansen now has 22 strikeouts in 16 innings on the mound and he earned his first win of the year for his relief work.
Winston-Salem scored their first two runs in the bottom of the sixth off Johansen when 1B Keon Barnum reached on an infield single. A groundout moved Barnum to second base and Basto doubled him home for a 5-1 game. Basto was able to move to third on his double thanks to an error charged to Mesa in left field and he scored on SS Cleuluis Rondon’s RBI groundout to cut the lead to 5-2.
The Nationals went to their closer RHP Brian Dupra (SV 2) to finish out the eighth, which he did uneventfully. Dupra came back out for the ninth and ran into some trouble. With one out RF Keenyn Walker doubled. CF Adam Engel followed with an RBI double to make it 5-3 Potomac. 2B Jake Peter lined an RBI single into centerfield to score Engel and make it a one-run ballgame. Dupra uncorked a wild pitch to move Peter up to second base with two outs. The batter was 3B Trey Michalczewski facing Dupra with the tying run on second base. Dupra won the battle by inducing a chopper to 2B Christopher Bostick who fielded the ball and threw out Michalczewski to end the ball game and earn his second save of the campaign.
1B John Wooten, who entered the game batting .208 put together a four-hit night, including a double in the win.
The Nationals now jump on the bus and head to Salem, VA to begin a four-game set with the Red Sox. First pitch in Game One is scheduled for 7:05 pm and features LHP Matthew Spann (0-3, 5.82) for Potomac vs. RHP Kevin McAvoy (1-1, 1.72) for Salem.
The “P-Nats Lead-Off Show” will begin the broadcast at 6:50 pm and take you up to first pitch and you can listen live at www.potomacnationals.com and via the TunIn Radio App.