P-Nats win wild one in extras

The Potomac Nationals (43-56) won a wild game over the Down East Wood Ducks (38-62) 11-9 in 11 innings on Monday night at Grainger Stadium. The opener of a three-game set saw six lead changes and two ties before Potomac pulled away for the final time in the 11th. RF Rhett Wiseman drove in four runs and smashed the go-ahead two-run home run in the victory.

p-natsCF Daniel Johnson began his Carolina League career with a lead-off home run on the second pitch he saw out of the hand of RHP Emerson Martinez. Johnson received a promotion from the Hagerstown Suns on Monday morning and made his debut in the lead off spot with Potomac on Monday evening. His first career Carolina League home run gave the P-Nats a 1-0 lead after a half inning.

After Down East tied the score in the bottom of the first, the P-Nats answered with a two spot in the top of the second. 3B Ian Sagdal singled to begin the inning and was advanced to second on a soft ground ball to first by SS Edwin Lora. Wiseman drove in his first run of the game on an RBI single to right. The right-fielder now has an RBI in four straight games. With two outs, 2B Bryan Mejia singled to put runners on first and third. Johnson delivered again in his second at bat with an RBI single to right to put Potomac up 3-1.

The Wood Ducks broke out for four runs against RHP Luis Reyes in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, 2B Luis La O and RF Josh Altmann drew a walk. Then, DH Chuck Moorman singled in La O from second on a RBI base knock to left field. LF LeDarious Clark followed with his team-leading ninth home run of the season. The three-run homer gave the Wood Ducks a temporary 5-3 lead after three frames.

Potomac responded with a four-run frame of it’s own in the top of the third. DH Austin Davidson doubled and C Taylor Gushue singled to put runners on the corners to begin the inning. Two batters later, Lora plated the fourth P-Nats’ run on a single to center. Once again, Wiseman delivered with runners in scoring position with a double to right-center to tie the score at five. Then, 1B Matthew Page pushed Potomac ahead with a two-run double to right. The P-Nats held a 7-5 lead after just three innings.

The P-Nats extended the lead to 8-5 with a sacrifice fly by Lora in the top of the seventh. But, Down East had one more rally in it’s system in the bottom of the eighth. The Wood Ducks used it’s second four-run inning to take their second lead of the game. With the bases loaded and two outs, La O doubled on a blooper down the right-field line to cut the deficit to one. Altmann tied the game on a RBI ground out to second. Moorman made it 9-8 on a sacrifice fly to center.

Down to their final three outs, Lora played hero once again tying the game with his third RBI of the game in the top of the ninth inning. The six, seven, and eight hitters in the lineup drove in nine of the eleven Potomac runs in the series opener. RHP Kelvin Vasquez walked the first two batters in the inning. Sagdal sacrificed the runners to second and third. Then, Lora singled to left to tie the score at nine.

Wiseman finished off the Wood Ducks with his 10th home run of the season in the top of the 11th. Playing in it’s 24th inning in two games, Down East turned to a position player to pitch for the second consecutive night. Their right fielder, Altmann, came in to pitch in the 11th. After getting the first two outs, the right-fielder turned pitcher hit Lora and surrendered a two-run round-tripper to Wiseman. With the long ball, Wiseman extended his home run streak to three consecutive games.

LHP RC Orlan (SV, 2) finished off the game with his first Potomac save since 4/9 against Wilmington. He threw a perfect bottom of the 11th. LHP Jordan Mills (W, 1-1) also pitched well out of the bullpen throwing three perfect innings with three strikeouts in his return to the Nationals.

Eight of nine Potomac starters reached base in the contest as the P-Nats recorded 16 hits in the contest. Six starters recorded a multi-hit game. The game featured 20 total runs on 27 total hits and 33 total base runners. Johnson completed his debut 3-6 with two RBIs and a home run.

After a wild game on Monday night, the P-Nats and Wood Ducks will face off in the middle game of a three-game set on Tuesday night at Grainger Stadium. Potomac puts RHP Nolan Sanburn (3-3, 4.56) back into the starting rotation against LHP Brett Martin (1-5, 5.40) for the Wood Ducks. The P-Nats have now won the first eight of eleven contests against the Wood Ducks.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm. Coverage begins at 6:45 pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. The broadcast will be streamed live online at potomacnationals.com or through the TuneIn Radio or MiLB First Pitch apps.

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