Potomac Nationals storm back, stun Carolina, 11-8
The Potomac Nationals (56-46, 18-15) completed their largest comeback of the season with an 11-8 victory over the Carolina Mudcats (48-54, 19-16) on Friday night at Pfitzner Stadium. LF Randolph Oduber fell a triple shy of the cycle to go along with an inside-the-park home run.
The wild contest began with ten runs in the first inning between the two teams. Carolina put up a six spot in the top of the first aided by a C Jeremy Lucas grand slam. Lucas went 4-for-5 on the night. RHP Brian Rauh couldn’t get out of the first inning for Potomac allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits.
In the bottom of the first, 1B Shawn Pleffner and DH Oscar Tejeda supplied RBI-singles to make it a 6-2 game. With two outs, Oduber launched a skyball to centerfield that ricocheted off the glove of CF Todd Hankins. Oduber traveled the full 360 feet for the rare inside-the-park homer. The P-Nats added a C Pedro Severino solo shot in the second off starter LHP Ryan Merritt to pull within one.
Potomac tied the game up in the fourth with back-to-back doubles from Oduber and 3B Khayyan Norfork.
With the game tied at six, the Mudcats plated two in the sixth to take the lead. 2B James Roberts and RF Luigi Rodriguez contributed with the RBIs off RHP Cody Davis (W, 1-0). Oduber would come back in the bottom of the inning with his third RBI to score SS Stephen Perez.
The P-Nats pulled away in the seventh with three runs off reliever RHP Rob Nixon (L, 1-5). Severino led off with a single followed by a game-tying double from newcomer CF Isaac Ballou. Potomac then took the lead when Pleffner reached on an infield single. A throwing error on the play by SS Yhoxian Medina put the Nats ahead for good. Perez added insurance with a double and RF Justin Miller came home in the eighth on a wild pitch.
Recently recalled LHP Bryan Harper (Sv, 2) recorded a two-inning save by retiring all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth.
The two teams combined for 19 runs on 28 hits with four errors in the opening contest of the three-game set.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, which is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast the second game of a three game series against Carolina on Saturday, July 26th. Broadcast coverage will begin with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:20pm in preparation for the 6:35pm start. The P-Nats will send RHP Ian Dickson (2-8, 5.61) to the mound while the Mudcats will throw RHP Michael Peoples (7-7, 4.57).