P-Nats play fifth straight one-run contest, fall 5-4 in 10 innings

Potomac NationalsFor the fifth consecutive game, the Potomac Nationals (63-56, 26-26) played a game decided by just one run. In their first matchup at the home of the Carolina Mudcats (59-63, 25-27) in 2018, Potomac fell victim to a walk-off, as the Mudcats picked up a 5-4 win in 10 innings.

The Mudcats got off to a scorching start on Friday night, as they plated four runs in the home half of the first inning. LHP Nick Raquet (ND) allowed all four runs in the frame, but only two were earned. C Mario Feliciano reached on a one-out error by 3B Ian Sagdal, while CF Demi Orimoloye drew a walk. DH Weston Wilson put the Mudcats on top 2-0 with a two-run double, while RF Cooper Hummel plated Wilson with an RBI double of his own. Two batters later, 1B Ryan Aguilar made it 4-0 with an RBI single. Carolina didn’t score again until the final batter of the night. Raquet struck out four and allowed eight hits over four innings.

Potomac went quietly in the opening frame against RHP Christian Taugner (ND), but got a leadoff single from C Tres Barrera in the second inning. 1B Aldrem Corredor followed with a towering two-run home run to right field. Corredor’s fourth home run of the season cut Potomac’s deficit in half, as the Mudcats led 4-2 after 1.5 innings.

The score remained 4-2 Carolina until the top of the sixth inning, as Potomac loaded the bases with nobody out on a single from 2B Bryan Mejia, a single from SS Luis Garcia, and a walk drawn by Sagdal. Taugner got consecutive groundouts from Barrera and Corredor to SS Trevor Morrison, but each plated a run, as the P-Nats tied the game at 4-4. Potomac left the potential go-ahead run at third base in the inning, and went 0-9 with RISP in the loss. Taugner allowed four runs on five hits over six innings in his second career Carolina League start.

Both teams got quality work out of their respective bullpen, as RHP Carlos Acevedo spun three shutout innings for Potomac, while RHP Alec Keilvort and LHP Daniel Brown (W, 6-3) combined for four-shutout frames for the Mudcats. Brown entered with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning, but escaped on a groundout and a fly out, and then got out of a 1st & 3rd nobody out jam in the top of the 10th inning.

DH Jack Sundberg started the 10th inning as the free baserunner at second base for Potomac against Brown. Mejia bunted a ball back to the mound, and Brown’s throw to 3B Dallas Carroll was there in plenty of time, but the Carolina third baseman tripped and failed to apply the tag. With men on the corners and no outs, Garcia groundout out to Aguilar, who threw to the plate, where Feliciano eventually tagged Sundberg out near third base. With Sagdal up to bat, Mejia stole third base, while the pitch from Brown got past Feliciano, which put Garcia at second base. Sagdal couldn’t plate the man from third, as he fouled out to Feliciano, while Brown then struck out Barrera, and kept the game tied.

RHP Steven Fuentes (L, 3-2) worked a scoreless eighth frame and then a perfect ninth inning for the P-Nats, but fell victim to a walk-off in the 10th. Wilson began the frame as the free baserunner at second base, and took third base on a balk from Fuentes. The Potomac reliever then hit Hummel with a two-strike pitch, who then advanced to second base without a throw on an offering to the plate from Fuentes. With men at second and third and no outs, Carroll flied out to CF Nick Banks, who’s throw to the plate was up the third base line, which resulted in a walk-off sacrifice fly for the Carolina third baseman, as the Mudcats won 5-4.

The middle game of the weekend set is scheduled for Saturday night. RHP Joan Baez (7-9, 4.03) is set to start for Potomac. Baez has allowed just two total earned runs over his last four starts, good for a 0.79 ERA over that span. For the Mudcats, RHP Alec Bettinger (1-4, 6.44) will look to secure a series victory. Bettinger allowed eight runs on nine hits over just 1.1 innings in a loss to Potomac on 7/29.

First pitch at Five County Stadium on Saturday is set for 5:00pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 4:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com, at http://bit.ly/P-NatsBroadcast, or on the TuneIn Radio App.

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