Potomac takes series finale from Salem Red Sox

salem red soxThe Nationals rallied for three runs off Henry Owens in the top of the fourth inning, enough offense to overcome Salem’s otherwise strong pitching in Potomac’s 4-2 victory on Wednesday at LewisGale Field. Owens struck out seven in five solid innings, but fell to 0-1 in the year because the Salem Red Sox offense could not generate much against Potomac’s pair of hardthrowing righties. Taylor Jordan went the first seven innings, permitting just a pair of unearned runs, while Tyler Herron slammed the door shut in the final two frames, striking out five in two perfect innings to help the Nationals finish off the series sweep over Salem.

Salem outhit Potomac 6-5, but delivered just two unearned runs, one each in the first and seventh innings. In the opening frame, Sean Coyle reached on an infield single, moved to second on Felix Sanchez’ sacrifice bunt, stole third, and scored as the catcher’s throw soared into left field. Later on, Nick Natoli’s single brought home Brandon Jacobs during an inning that was extended by Adrian Sanchez’ fielding error for Potomac.

But Adrian Sanchez delivered the key blow for the Nationals offense, smacking a two-out, two-run double off Owens in the top of the fourth. The clutch hit gave Potomac a 2-1 lead, and Natoli’s error on Justin Miller’s ground ball allowed Sanchez to score and make it 3-1.

While the Sox inched within one in the seventh, Herron emerged to dominate in the eighth, striking out the side convincingly. In the top of the ninth, Nationals’ catcher Cole Leonida added an insurance run for Potomac, blasting a solo homer to left off Nefi Ogando to give the Nats a 4-2 advantage. Herron proved the insurance run to be unnecessary with a 1-2-3 last of the ninth, featuring two more strikeouts.

Jordan earned the win, dealing seven innings and allowing just six hits and two unearned runs with five strikeouts and no walks. Owens suffered the loss, despite only allowing runs in one inning.

The Red Sox head to Lynchburg on Thursday for a four-game series with the Hillcats. Kyle Stroup will pitch against Mark Pope in the opener, scheduled for a 6:05 first pitch at City Stadium.

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