Potomac stymied by Castillo in 3-1 loss
For the second time in three days, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (47-41, 8-10) held the Potomac Nationals (39-47, 6-10) to just one run, as the Blue Rocks came away with a 3-1 victor Sundayafternoon at Pfitzner Stadium. Potomac did not score until the final frame, and has just three men reach base over the first eight innings against LHP Cristian Castillo (W, 6-4).
Back with Potomac for the first time since the end of the 2016 season, RHP Austen Williams (L, 0-1) took the mound for The Red, White, & Blue. The righty, who had a tough stint with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators through the first half of the season, allowed just one hit and an unearned run over four innings. Wilmington 2B D.J. Burt led off the game with a single and immediately stole second base. With CF Nick Heath, the second batter of the game, still at the plate, Burt tried to steal third base. The throw from C Matt Reistetter beat Burt to the third base bag, but 3B Dan Gamache had the ball go off his glove and roll into the outfield. The error on Gamache allowed Burt to score, as the Blue Rocks led 1-0 before Potomac even stepped up to the plate.
The P-Nats failed to muster much of anything offensively against Castillo, who retired the first seven batters that he faced. Over his eight-inning outing, Castillo worked five perfect frames and allowed just three hits, all singles. The left-handed starter struck out six and did not issue a walk. RF Rhett Wiseman singled in the third inning, Gamache singled in the fourth frame, and LF Dale Carey led off the eighth inning with a single.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of Wilmington until the top of the sixth inning, when RHP Nolan Sanburn gave up a run in his second inning of work. Sanburn issued a leadoff walk to 1B Colton Frabasilio, who advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. After Burt grounded out for the second out of the inning, Heath tallied his first hit of the series, a two-out RBI double. Heath had been 0-10 against Potomac in the series.
A leadoff walk came back to bite Potomac again in the eighth inning, as RHP Kyle Schepel walked RF Jose Sanchez. After Schepel retired the next two hitters, he walked Burt, which gave Heath another opportunity at a two-out RBI. Once again, the centerfielder came through. A two-out RBI single made it 3-0, which was more than enough for Castillo.
The Wilmington starter gave way to RHP Jacob Bodner (SV, 3) for the ninth inning, and though Potomac rallied, the hometown team never got the tying run on base. CF Jack Sundberg led off with a walk and advanced to third base on a double by 2B Bryan Mejia. Bodner then struck out Gamache, while 1B Ian Sagdal plated a run with a groundout. Bodner got DH David Masters to fly out to left field to end the game, as the Blue Rocks tallied their second win in three days.
Needing a win to avoid a series loss, Potomac is set to start LHP Taylor Guilbeau (2-1, 3.88) Monday afternoon. Guilbeau has tossed three consecutive quality starts and has surrendered just six earned runs over his last 27.1 innings. Scheduled to start for the Blue Rocks is RHP A.J. Puckett (7-7, 4.11). Last time out, Puckett went a career high eight innings in a victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats.
First pitch is set for 12:05pm Monday afternoon. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 11:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.