augusta free press news

P-Nats lose rain-shortened Game One

With the Frederick Keys batting in the bottom of the sixth inning and leading 5-1, play was suspended at Harry Grove Stadium. With torrential rain falling and more predicted through the night, the game was called and the Keys had a rain-shortened victory to open the Northern Division Series.

Potomac surged to an early lead on Steven Souza’s solo home run in the second inning. Paul Demny, the Nationals starter, was steady in the first two innings and worked around trouble in the third, inducing a double play to escape a double and a walk.

In the bottom of the fourth, Demny appeared to make another pitch that would get him out of a jam. With one out, Jacob Julius hit a hard one-hopper to second base, but the ball was bobbled by Jeff Kobernus. The split second prevented the Nationals from turning the double play – and that proved costly. Miguel Abreu blasted a three-run homer to left field that gave the Keys a lead they would not relinquish. Brian Ward then followed with a back-to-back homer that put Frederick ahead 4-1.

Keys starter Jake Pettit was fantastic and earned his third win against Potomac in 2011. Other than the homer to Souza, Pettit allowed just two other hits, struck out four and retired Potomac twice in order.

Abreu struck again in the sixth and final inning. With one out, Demny allowed a single to Jacob Julius and Demny was sent to the clubhouse. Rob Wort came on, and Julius stole second base. Abreu then singled to left to score Julius and put Frederick in front, 5-1. Wort then struck out Ward, but walked Bobby Stevens and Dale Mollenhauer to load the bases.

With two outs and a 2-1 count to Jonathan Schoop, the rain became too heavy to continue, and play was called. A driving rain continued through the night and forced the game to be finalized.

Game Two is scheduled for Thursday in Frederick. Potomac will send Sammy Solis to the mound against lefthander Rick Zagone at 7:05 P.M.