Potomac Nationals rally from behind in 9-7 win
In the penultimate regular season home game in the history of the Potomac Nationals (64-67, 34-30) on Wednesday night, the P-Nats erased a mid-game 7-3 deficit, as they scored the final six runs of the night in a 9-7 come from behind win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (54-78, 33-32).
Potomac scored four times in the seventh frame against a combination of Pelicans’ pitchers, while the Potomac pitching staff retired the final 13 batters that it faced.
Potomac got out to a quick start against LHP Brendon Little (ND), as 1B Ryan Zimmerman made it 1-0 three batters into the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single. Two batters later, DH KJ Harrison gave the P-Nats a 3-0 advantage with his 10th home run of the season, a two-run blast.
RHP Francys Peguero (ND) struggled with his command for Potomac in his third start and eighth appearance of the season. Peguero worked around a single in the first inning and a pair of walks in the second frame, but failed to complete the third inning. CF D.J. Artis led off the third inning with a walk while 2B Carlos Sepulveda followed with a single. One batter later, 3B Cam Balego knotted the game with a three-run home run to left field. Peguero retired the next two hitters but gave up consecutive two-out hits to 1B Luke Reynolds and RF Delvin Zinn. LF Kevonte Mitchell ended the Potomac starter’s night with a two run single, as Myrtle Beach led 5-3 in the third inning.
The Pelicans increased their lead to 7-3 with two runs in the fifth inning against RHP Ryan Tapani (W, 1-3). Zinn and SS Aramis Ademan each picked up an RBI in the inning, as Tapani threw 28 pitches in the frame. The right-handed Potomac reliever got the final out of the inning and then retired the side in order in the next three frames on 33 total pitches.
The Myrtle Beach bullpen imploded late and blew a 7-4 lead. Little gave up in the fifth inning a run on a two-base sacrifice fly from LF Aldrem Corredor, which plated Abreu from second base. RHP Jesus Camargo (L, 4-3) and RHP Scott Effross worked the final three innings for the Pelicans out of the bullpen. Camargo gave up a run in the sixth inning on Abreu’s second double of the night, while the right-handed reliever then allowed the first four batters of the seventh inning to reach base.
Zimmerman reached on a lazy throwing error by Ademan to begin Potomac’s seventh inning rally. Corredor and Harrison followed with consecutive singles, as the P-Nats loaded the bases with no outs against Camargo. C Alex Dunlap, who began the night 0-3 with three strikeouts, ripped a two-run single to left field, which tied the game 7-7. Myrtle Beach turned to Effross who quickly got RF Gage Canning to ground out. Canning’s groundout put runners at second and third base with only one out for 3B Omar Meregildo. Like Dunlap, the Potomac third baseman had been hitless until the seventh inning, though he provided the eventual game winning hit, a two-run single over the second base bag an into centerfield. Potomac scored four times in the seventh inning and took a 9-7 lead.
After Tapani worked three consecutive perfect innings, the P-Nats turned to RHP Frankie Bartow (SV, 9), who also spun a perfect frame. The right-handed reliever induced three groundouts and secured Potomac’s come from behind victory, 9-7.
Gaining a game in the Northern Division playoff race with a victory on Wednesday night paired with a loss by the Salem Red Sox, Potomac heads into the series finale vs. the Pelicans on Thursday night 2.5 games back of the Red Sox for a playoff spot. In the finale, LHP Carson Teel (6-3, 3.21) is scheduled to pitch for Potomac. The left-handed starter has spun consecutive seven-inning outings yet has picked up a no-decision in each. For the Pelicans, RHP Enrique De Los Rios (1-2, 2.27) is set to make the start. The right-handed starter has made 14 relief outings and only one start this season for Myrtle Beach. In his lone start, De Los Rios allowed just one run over five innings in a no-decision on 8/3.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium 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.