P-Nats split doubleheader with Frederick Keys
The Potomac Nationals (30-28, 60-65) kept pace in the pennant race on Wednesday night, finishing Tuesday’s suspended game against the Frederick Keys (21-34, 50-74) with a 6-3 win before dropping their regularly scheduled game 1-0.
The P-Nats picked up right where they left off in the suspended game, taking a 2-0 lead in the middle of the first inning and scoring the first four runs to put LHP Tim Cate (W, 5-4) at ease. Neither team managed much offense in the nightcap, but CF Robbie Thorburn brought home the game’s only run with a bases-loaded groundout in the fifth inning.
An RBI double from DH Aldrem Corredor off RHP Blaine Knight (L, 1-10) highlighted Potomac’s two-run first inning on Tuesday night before rain forced the game’s suspension. Cate worked a quick bottom of the first when the game resumed, putting the offense back to work against new Frederick RHP Ofelky Peralta. In the second, rehabbing 1B Ryan Zimmerman grounded an RBI double down the third base line before a Corredor RBI groundout put Potomac ahead 4-0.
C Jakson Reetz, who was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded on Tuesday, led off the third inning with a solo home run to extend the Potomac lead to 5-0. It was the team-leading 12th home run for the catcher, with 11 coming in the second half. Reetz also drew a walk, one of 11 dished out by Frederick pitchers to only five hits.
A run-scoring double play off the bat of 3B Austin Davidson gave Potomac a 6-0 lead in the fourth, and from there Cate went to work. The lefty tied a career high with 7.0 innings of three-hit, one-run ball, striking out nine batters to earn the win. C Daniel Fajardo’s RBI double in the fifth was the only blemish, as the P-Nats took a 6-1 lead into the late innings.
RHP Angel Guillen struggled in the eighth, surrendering two runs as SS Sean Miller hit an RBI single, but RHP Frankie Bartow (S, 6) pitched a scoreless ninth to lock down the save.
In game two, Corredor extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a first inning single off RHP Scott Burke but neither team could string together a rally. Burke worked around doubles from C Alex Dunlap and DH KJ Harrison in the second and fourth innings to keep the game scoreless until the fifth, when the Keys loaded the bases off RHP Francys Peguero (L, 0-1) and Thorburn delivered the game-winning groundout. RHP Reed Hayes (W, 1-2) pitched two innings of relief for the win, and RHP Tim Naughton (S, 8) stranded two runners in the seventh to earn the save.
The P-Nats will look to take the rubber match from the Keys on Thursday night. RHP Malvin Peña faces off against RHP Brenan Hanifee in the finale. First pitch at Nymeo Field is set for 7:00 pm, with the P-Nats Leadoff Show starting at 6:45. Fans can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.