Potomac stuns Lynchburg 8-4 in extras
Down to their final five outs and down by three runs, the Potomac Nationals (14-10) plated three runs in the eighth inning and then four runs in the 10th frame in an 8-4 victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats (12-11). It was the third consecutive come from behind victory for the P-Nats, who earned their first series sweep of 2018. The P-Nats outscored Lynchburg 25-10 in the series sweep.
For the 10th straight game, Potomac surrendered the first run of the game, though the club sits 6-4 over that stretch. Lynchburg took an early 1-0 lead against RHP Tyler Mapes (ND) on an RBI groundout by CF Jodd Carter in the third inning. The Hillcats extended the lead to 3-0 in the following inning, as 2B Erlin Cerda plated a run with a double and LF Conner Capel made it 3-0 with an RBI single.
Potomac scored only one run against LHP Sam Hentges (ND), but rattled the Lynchburg bullpen in the win. 1B Ian Sagdal led off the fifth inning with a single, and then scored on an RBI double by C Jakson Reetz. Potomac gave the run back one inning later, as Capel’s RBI single off of RHP Gabe Klobosits made it 4-1 in favor of Lynchburg after six frames.
After 5.2 innings from Hentges, the Hillcats turned to LHP Ben Krauth, who surrendered just his second run of the season. Krauth got the final out in the sixth inning, worked a scoreless seventh frame, but faced just two batters in the eighth. DH Carter Kieboom began the inning with a single, while RF Juan Soto flied out. RHP Kieran Lovegrove entered for the Hillcats and saw SS Dillon Persinger immediately misplay a ground ball off the bat of 3B Jake Noll. The error proved to cost Lynchburg, as Sagdal made it a one-run game with a two-run double. Noll, who had reached on the error, then scored the game-tying run on Reetz’s second RBI hit of the game. The game was tied at four after 7.5 innings.
Both teams went quietly in the ninth, as it became the second extra innings game of the season between the two teams, and the end result proved to be the same as the first. On April 19th, RHP Luis Jimenez (L, 0-3) picked up the loss on a walk-off hit from Noll at Pfitzner Stadium. Jimenez once again proved to be the culprit of a big Potomac outburst, as he allowed four runs, three earned, in just 0.1 innings.
Noll began the 10th inning on second base as part of the new extra innings rule. After Sagdal walked, a wild pitch put men on second and third with no outs. Reetz drew a walk, which loaded the bases for SS David Masters. It appeared as though Jimenez got what he needed, as Masters popped up to shallow LCF, but the ball fell between four different Hillcats players. Noll scored, while Sagdal got thrown out at third base. 2B Edwin Lora then got hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for LF Telmito Agustin. The Hillcats went back to the bullpen, as RHP Justin Garcia made his second appearance of the series. Agustin greeted Garcia with a two-run double, the outfielder’s season-high fourth hit of the game. After the Hillcats intentionally walked CF Blake Perkins, Kieboom drew a bases loaded walk, which made it 8-4. In the bottom of the 10th inning, RHP Mariano Rivera retired all three batters that he faced, as he closed out the Potomac sweep.
With the victory, Potomac sits a season-high four games over .500 and in a tie for first place in the Northern Division with the Salem Red Sox. The two teams will meet at the end of Potomac’s upcoming six-game homestand.
The P-Nats will be back in action on Tuesday night, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks will return to Pfitzner Stadium for the second time this season. The two clubs opened the 2018 season against each other at Pfitzner Stadium and split a four-game series.
First pitch at Pfitzner Stadium 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.