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Potomac falls 7-3 in opener vs. Dash

Potomac NationalsDespite a home run from SS David Masters for the fourth consecutive game, the Potomac Nationals (11-18) failed to capitalize on an early 2-0 lead in a 7-3 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash (16-13). Potomac led 2-0 after the opening inning, but lost the lead in the fifth frame, and eventually fell behind by three runs courtesy of a three-run seventh inning from the Dash.

For the fourth consecutive outing, RHP Blake Battenfield (W, 1-0) notched a quality start for the Dash. The right-handed starter had allowed just one earned run over his previous three starts and hadn’t picked up a victory, though Battenfield pulled out his first win of the season despite a three-run performance on Friday night. LF Telmito Agustin notched a two-run home run for Potomac in the opening inning, but Battenfield settled in and allowed just one more run over his next five frames, the fifth inning home run for Masters.

Opposite Battenfield, LHP Grant Borne (ND) pitched with a lead early for Potomac but failed to hold the advantage. The Dash got on the board with a sacrifice fly from C Carlos Perez in the second inning, while Borne struggled with command in the fifth frame. A one-out walk to DH Tate Blackman started the rally for the Dash, while 2B Nick Madrigal plated a pair of runs with a double, which gave the Dash a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning.

Masters’ home run led off the home half of the fifth inning for Potomac and tied the game, though the P-Nats failed to score throughout the rest of the night. After 5.1 innings from Borne, Potomac turned to RHP Luis Reyes (L, 0-3) for his second relief appearance of the season. Reyes worked out of a jam in the sixth inning but failed to post a scoreless seventh frame. RF Tyler Frost drew a leadoff walk, while Madrigal reached on a throwing error by Masters. 1B Jameson Fisher gave Winston-Salem a 4-3 lead with an RBI single, while SS Zach Remillard followed with an RBI single of his own. LF Craig Dedelow capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly, as the Dash led 6-3 after 6.5 innings.

RHP Alec Hansen worked two-shutout frames out of the bullpen for Winston-Salem, while RHP Luis Ledo maneuvered around a HBP in a scoreless ninth inning for the Dash. The home run from Masters was his eighth of the season, which tied his career high, and also tied the shortstop for the league lead.

In an effort to level the series, Potomac will send LHP Nick Raquet (1-4, 8.72) to the mound on Saturday night. Raquet has been charged with at least four earned runs in each of his last three starts and has been tagged with a loss in four consecutive outings. For the Dash, RHP Lincoln Henzman (1-0, 3.75) will make his second consecutive start vs. Potomac. On 4/29, Henzman picked up the victory, as he allowed three runs over five innings in Winston-Salem, NC.

First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Saturday night is set for 6:35pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:20pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.