Potomac Nationals drop third straight
In the series opener, Carolina (57-54-Overall, 35-24-Home, 23-18-Second Half) scored two runs in the first, a run in the second and four in the fourth to cruise to a 9-4 victory over Potomac (50-60-Overall, 24-32-Road, 17-23-Second Half) at Five County Stadium on Friday night.
Carolina, at one point led 7-0 over Potomac, before the P-Nats made a game of it by scoring two runs in back-to-back innings before the Mudcats added two tallies in the bottom of the eighth to put the 9-4 game away.
RHP Ian Dickson (1-2, 4.24) made his fourth start for Potomac since coming off the disabled list July 2nd and for the second consecutive outing issued a lead-off walk. This time to 2B Keith Curcio in the bottom of the first. Two batters later LF Dustin Peterson reached on an error charged to SS David Masters, who just joined the team tonight, and then with two outs 3B Carlos Franco drove them both in with a two-run double for a 2-0 lead.
RHP Brandon Barker (7-3, 3.13), after a scoreless top of the first, went on to hold Potomac off the scoreboard until the top of the fifth, only allowing two hits in his first four shutout innings.
Carolina added to their lead with a solo run in the bottom of the second inning off Dickson when 1B Tanner Krietemeier led the inning off with a walk. A wild pitch moved him to second base and he scored two batters later on CF Connor Lien’s RBI base knock for the 3-0 lead.
Dickson recorded a one, two, three third inning before the wheels fell off in the fourth, his final frame. RF Joey Meneses began the rally with a one out single. Krietemeier followed with a walk for the second straight plate appearance. SS Johan Camargo hammered an RBI single into right field that went off the glove of 1B Grant DeBruin and ricocheted into the outfield for a 4-0 Mudcats lead. A two out walk to Lien loaded the bases and then Peterson was plunked, pushing home Krietemeier for a 5-0 lead. The DH Jacob Shrader then shredded a two-out double down the left field line to score both Camargo and Lien for a 7-0 Carolina advantage.
Dickson pitched four innings and was tabbed with seven runs (five earned) on seven hits, a season high five walks and a season high tying five strikeouts in his second loss of the season.
Potomac cracked the scoreboard in the fifth against Barker with a lead-off single by hot-hitting LF Alec Keller. 3B Khayyan Norfork followed with a double and C Craig Manuel brought home Keller with an RBI groundout to the right side to make it 7-1. Masters, in his first game with Potomac, then skied a ball out to left field that was deep enough to score Norfork to cut it to 7-2. For Masters the sacrifice fly netted his first RBI of the season with Potomac.
After RHP Tyler Mapes hung a zero in the bottom of the fifth, Potomac brought home two more in the sixth against Barker. With two outs DH John Wooten doubled. DeBruin walked and Keller lined an RBI single into left field for a 7-3 ballgame. Norfork stepped up and lined an RBI single right back up the middle to make it 7-4 Carolina.
The combination of Keller and Norfork went a combined five-for-eight with two runs and two RBIs in the loss.
Barker pitched seven innings and allowed four runs (all earned) on eight hits, a walk and he struck out two in the win, his seventh of the year.
Mapes added a perfect sixth inning to keep it a 7-4 game. For Mapes, he pitched two innings and didn’t allow a base runner while striking out two.
LHP Justin Thomas entered and hurled a scoreless seventh frame but relinquished the final two runs to Carolina in the bottom of the eighth. 2B Reegie Corona committed the second error of the game for Potomac to begin the frame, allowing Meneses to reach base. Krietemeier banged a single that pushed Meneses to third and Camargo flied a sacrifice fly out to right field for an 8-4 lead. After an infield bunt single by Curcio put runners on first and second, Peterson capped the scoring with an RBI single for a 9-4 Muddies advantage.
Thomas pitched two innings and gave up two runs (none earned) on three hits, a walk and he struck out.
RHP Carlos Salazar (SV 1) entered for Barker in the eighth and logged two scoreless innings to close out the 9-4 win and earn his first save of the season. Salazar walked two and allowed one single in his two frames of work.
Potomac is now 11-4 against the Carolina Mudcats and the loss dropped them to their low water mark of the season, now ten games under .500 and six behind the Lynchburg Hillcats for the second half Northern Division race.
In Game Two of the series Potomac will send RHP Austen Williams (2-3, 2.70) to the mound against RHP Andrew Thurman (5-3, 3.33) for the ‘Cats.
First pitch is set for 6:00 pm from Five County Stadium and you can listen live via the TuneIn Radio app or at www.potomacnationals.com starting at 5:45 pm with the P-Nats lead-off show.
– Source: Potomac Nationals