P-Nats survive in 5-4 win in 10 innings
Closing out the regular season, the Potomac Nationals (74-63, 37-32) lost an early lead, tied the game late, and escaped with a 5-4 win in 10 innings over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (68-72, 37-33). Potomac plated three runs in the top of the 10th inning off of RHP Tyler Zuber (1-4), while the Blue Rock scored two runs against RHP Jeremy McKinney (SV, 4) in the home half of the 10th, but left the bases loaded and fell 5-4.
Potomac struck in the opening frame of the regular season finale, as 3B Ian Sagdal doubled, and later scored from second base on a wild pitch/E2 combination. That was Potomac’s only run until the eighth inning, as RHP Ofreidy Gomez (ND) dazzled throughout the rest of his outing. The Wilmington starter retired the final 15 batters that he faced and departed after just 77 pitches over seven innings.
The Blue Rocks put up a pair of runs and took the lead in the second inning. 2B Gabriel Cancel led off the frame with a double, while RHP A.J. Bogucki (ND) then picked up two quick outs. 1B Travis Jones tied the game with a two-out RBI double, while LF Vance Vizcaino followed with an RBI single. Wilmington led 2-1 after two innings. Bogucki allowed just two runs on five hits over five frames in his first start of the year.
The Wilmington lead lasted until the eighth inning, as RHP Justin Camp entered in relief of Gomez and quickly surrendered the advantage. Camp issued a leadoff walk to C Matt Reistetter, while a single from 2B Bryan Mejia put runners on first and second base with no outs. DH Luis Garcia grounded out, which advanced Reistetter to third base, while Sagdal tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
Deadlocked at 2-2 after nine frames, the teams went extras, and both teams put up a crooked number in the 10th inning. A one-out RBI single from Mejia scored LF Telmito Agustin and gave Potomac a 3-2 lead, while Sagdal doubled home a run two batters later. After the Blue Rocks intentionally walked 1B Aldrem Corredor, SS Andruw Monasterio provided what proved to be the game winning RBI, as he scored Garcia on a sacrifice fly.
After scoreless relief outings from LHP Taylor Guilbeau, RHP Steven Fuentes, and RHP Jacob Condra-Bogan (W, 1-2), McKinney entered out of the Potomac bullpen. C Chase Vallot plated the free baserunner with a leadoff RBI single, while McKinney issued two consecutive walks, which loaded the bases for SS Angelo Castellano. Castellano made it a one-run game with a sacrifice fly, and McKinney followed it with a walk of CF Blake Perkins. Ahead 5-4 with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, McKinney got RF Rudy Martin to pop out to Mejia, while DH D.J. Burt flied out to RF Rhett Wiseman to end the game.
Potomac finished the second half in second place in the Northern Division, and thanks to the club’s first half Northern Division championship, will have home field advantage in the Northern Division Championship Series.
Potomac will open the playoffs on Wednesday night. First pitch at City Stadium is set for 6:30pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:15pm 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.