P-Nats mash their way to series victory
In a series that featured 30 combined runs and 42 combined hits through the first two games, the Potomac Nationals (16-11) came out swinging once again in Thursday night’s series-clinching victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (12-14).
The first game played at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium was certainly a memorable one, as Washington National Anthony Rendon made his first appearance as a P-Nat since 2015 while on a rehab assignment for his left toe injury.
Potomac sent eight men to the plate in the bottom of the first, putting up four runs to start the game against LHP Cristian Castillo (L, 1-3). RF Juan Soto hit his first home run of the game (3), a three-run blast that gave the P-Nats the lead. 1B Ian Sagdal capped off the inning two batters later, scoring 3B Jake Noll with an RBI double.
The Blue Rocks picked up a run in the third, but The Red, White, & Blue answered for three more runs in the bottom half of the inning. After Rendon doubled to start the inning and Soto followed with a single, Noll padded the lead with a two-run double. Sagdal, the next batter, picked up his second RBI double of the game in what would be Castillo’s final inning of the night.
With the lead sitting at a comfortable six runs, Anthony Rendon tagged RHP Justin Camp with an RBI single to give the P-Nats an 8-2 lead. Rendon finished the game 2-4 with two runs scored, reaching base three times.
P-Nats starting pitcher Sterling Sharp (W, 3-2) was able to work his way out of trouble in the fifth after he walked in CF Khalil Lee with the bases load to force in a run. Sharp retired 3B Emmanuel Rivera the next at-bat, stranding three Blue Rocks to put himself in line for the win.
The bullpen kept Wilmington off the board for the rest of the game, as RHP Jorge Pantoja gave up just one hit over three innings and RHP Gabe Klobosits worked a perfect ninth inning to close out the win.
The Potomac offense added more insurance for the bullpen, as the recent power surge continued at the plate. LF Telmito Agustin drilled his third home run of the season in the eighth inning, a two-run shot to extend the lead to 11-2.
Before the game was in the books, Juan Soto, fresh off being named South-Atlantic League Player of the Month, clubbed another home run (4) to put the exclamation point on the 12-2 win. Soto’s five-RBI night set a new season high amongst P-Nats batters this season.
Following their series victory, Potomac is set to welcome in the Salem Red Sox (15-12) for a three game series at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium. RHP Joan Baez (1-1, 4.87) takes the ball for Potomac, as RHP Jake Thompson (0-2, 4.01) will get the start for the Red Sox in the series opener.
First pitch on Thursday night is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.