Potomac Nationals walk off Wood Ducks, 4-3, in series opener

Potomac NationalsIn a wacky bottom of the ninth inning, the Potomac Nationals (14-21) picked up a 4-3 walk-off win over the Down East Wood Ducks (27-11).

With the bases loaded and two outs in the home half of the final inning, 1B Aldrem Corredor hit a ground ball deep into the hole on the left side of the infield. Down East SS Anderson Tejeda made a sliding grab, and in his best option, hurried a throw to third base in an attempt to force out CF Gage Canning and send the game into extra innings. Tejeda’s throw got to 3B Diosbel Arias in time, but the Down East third baseman couldn’t find third base. Canning was ruled safe as 3B Anderson Franco crossed the plate as the winning run.

Potomac got off to a strong start behind LHP Nick Raquet (ND), who came one out shy of a quality start for the second consecutive outing. The Potomac starter walked the first man that he faced but didn’t allow a run over his first four frames.

Raquet got early offensive boost, as RF Nick Banks led off the home half of the first frame with a single, and eventually scored on a two-out RBI single from DH KJ Harrison. Harrison’s hit off of LHP Sal Mendez (ND) gave Potomac a 1-0 lead, which lasted until the fifth frame, when Down East tied the game on an RBI double from RF Yanio Perez.

After Mendez walked the tight rope in the fourth inning, he fell apart in the fifth frame. Canning led off the inning with a single, while Banks followed with a go-ahead RBI double. Two batters later, Banks scored on a groundout from Corredor. Potomac led 3-1 after five innings.

The lead for Potomac lasted just half of an inning, as the Wood Ducks tagged Raquet for a pair of runs in the sixth. CF Leody Taveras drew a leadoff walk, while SS Anderson Tejeda followed with a single. After Raquet induced a flyout, he walked Arias, which loaded the bases. C Yohel Pozo followed with a two-run double, which tied the game and ended Raquet’s night. LHP Carson Teel entered with two men in scoring position and only one out, but he caught both 1B Tyreque Reed and Perez looking at a called third strike and kept the game tied 3-3. Teel retired all eight batters that he faced over a perfect outing.

With the game tied in the ninth inning, RHP Jhon Romero (W, 2-0) worked himself into a bases loaded and one out jam. 2B Yonny Hernandez attempted to plate the go-ahead run with a bunt, but his attempt went right to Corredor, who retired the lead runner at the plate. Taveras followed with a pop out, which ended Down East’s threat in the ninth and led to the wild walk-off finish for Potomac.

Off of the wild win, the P-Nats will look to make it consecutive victories over Down East, as the two teams are set to square off on Tuesday night. RHP Andrew Lee (1-1, 3.46) is scheduled to make his third start and eighth appearance of the season for Potomac. Last time out, Lee struck out nine over six innings in a no-decision. For Down East, LHP Jake Latz (0-1, 5.40) will make his fourth start of the season. Latz allowed just one run and struck out six in a no-decision in his last start.

First pitch at Northwest Federal Field on Tuesday night is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.

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