P-Nats rally in 7-2 win over Lynchburg Hillcats
With seven unanswered runs on Saturday night, the Potomac Nationals (27-33) knocked the Lynchburg Hillcats (29-31) out of playoff contention with a 7-2 win. Potomac trailed 2-0 after 3.5 innings but answered with a pair in the second frame, four runs in the sixth inning, and a run in the club’s final trip to the plate.
LHP Carson Teel (ND) worked around three straight walks in the opening inning and worked a shutout until the third batter of the top of the fourth frame. With a runner on second base and one out, C Jonathan Laureano hit a towering two-run home run off of the video board in left-centerfield. Laureano’s home run was the lone run-producing play of the night for the Hillcats.
Potomac answered immediately with a pair of runs and tied the game with two outs in the home half of the fourth inning. With a runner at second base and two outs, LHP Adam Scott (L, 3-6) struck out RF Gage Canning on a pitch in the dirt that got past Laureano behind the plate, which allowed Canning to reach base. SS Osvaldo Abreu followed with an RBI single to left field, which plated C Alex Dunlap. On the single, LF Jodd Carter misplayed the ball in left field, which allowed Canning to score. The teams were tied 2-2 after four innings.
Scott pitched into the sixth inning and departed in a tie game with a runner on second base and two outs. LHP Hector Hernandez entered out of the Lynchburg bullpen and uncorked a wild pitch, which put SS Osvaldo Abreu at third base as the potential go-ahead run. LF Nick Banks gave Potomac the lead with an RBI double, the third of his four hits on the night. After 2B Cole Freeman walked, DH Aldrem Corredor connected on his fifth home run of the season. Corredor’s three-run blast to right field gave him a league-best 44 RBIs on the season and made it 6-2 in favor of Potomac.
After five innings from Teel, Potomac turned to RHP Jeremy McKinney (W, 1-1), who spun two perfect innings out of the P-Nats’ bullpen. RHP Jorge Pantoja and RHP Jhonatan German each followed with a scoreless inning for Potomac. The P-Nats wrapped up the scoring and made it 7-2 on Banks’ RBI double in the eighth inning, as the Potomac outfielder matched a season-high with his fourth hit of the night.
With a chance at the series win, Potomac is scheduled to send LHP Nick Raquet (4-5, 5.06) to the mound on Sunday afternoon. Raquet has won two consecutive starts and hasn’t allowed an earned run in either outing. For the Hillcats, LHP Juan Hillman (3-5, 2.90) is set to pitch for the series split. Hillman is among the top three in qualified Carolina League starting pitchers in ERA, OBA, and WHIP.