Potomac Nationals fall to Winston-Salem
A three-run triple by Cyle Hankerd in the seventh inning powered Winston-Salem to a 6-4 win over the Potomac Nationals at BB&T Ballpark. The P-Nats have gone winless in 14 games in North Carolina including eight in Winston-Salem.
The contest was tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs and none on when Michael Earley walked against Potomac lefty reliever Ryan Demmin. Trayce Thompson walked and Dan Black reached on catcher interference to load the bases. Cyle Hankerd tripled off the right field wall scoring all three runners and gave the Dash a decisive 6-3 lead. Potomac right fielder Steven Souza Jr. ran into the right field wall and had to be helped off the field on the play.
The P-Nats took an early lead off of Winston-Salem starter Steve McCray with two solo homers. Adrian Sanchez hit a one-out solo shot in the first inning and Souza Jr. hit his second homer with the Nationals in the second to build a 2-0 lead.
Winston-Salem got on the board against North Carolina native Rob Gilliam who was making his first start in his home state in the second inning. Mike Blanke’s RBI single to cut the Potomac advantage to 2-1.
A Michael Taylor single that scored Erick Fernandez in the fifth frame increased the Nationals lead to 3-1. McCray ended up going six innings giving up three runs and striking out eight batters. He didn’t factor into the decision.
Winston-Salem came back with a run in the fifth on an odd play. Daniel Wagner singled to right advancing to Juan Silverio to third. An errant throw by Souza Jr. to third allowed Silverio to score and cut the P-Nats lead to 3-2. The Dash tied the game 3-3 in the sixth with Blanke knocking his second RBI of the game. Gilliam lasted six innings and got a no-decision with five strikeouts and no walks.
After the three run seventh from Winston-Salem, Potomac had a chance to tie in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Francisco Soriano singled in a run that kept the bags loaded and brought Potomac within 6-4. But Stephen King struck out then Fernandez grounded out to end the threat.
Demmin (1-2) took his second loss of the season by giving up all three runs in the seventh inning. J.R. Ballinger (1-2) got his first win of the season tossing one and a third innings yielding a run. Taylor Thompson recorded the last two outs of the eight and final three of the game to earn his eighth save in as many chances for the Dash.