Small ball helps P-Nats top Blue Rocks
The Potomac Nationals (17-17, 47-54) missed out on an opportunity to defeat the Wilmington Blue Rocks (17-16, 61-41) in the resumption of their suspended game on Wednesday morning, but followed through in the afternoon with a 3-2 win to split a modified doubleheader.
Wilmington walked off the first game, which was picked up in a 2-2 tie in the eighth, thanks to 3B Dennicher Carrasco’s RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning. Potomac used three consecutive bunts to set up DH Aldrem Corredor’s two-run single in the fifth inning of the regularly scheduled contest, ultimately leading to a 3-2 win.
In game one, Wilmington RHP Tad Ratliff and Potomac RHP Andrew Istler (L, 1-2) swapped two scoreless innings to send the game to extras. LHP Josh Dye (W, 4-1) stranded Potomac’s automatic baserunner in the 10th to keep the game tied, and Istler allowed Carrasco’s RBI single in the bottom half for a 3-2 Blue Rocks win.
Game two saw the P-Nats strike early and hold the lead through the rest of the afternoon as they evened the three-game series. In the second, 1B KJ Harrison reached on the first of his three hits before 3B Omar Meregildo doubled him home for a 1-0 Potomac advantage.
LHP Carson Teel (W, 5-2) didn’t allow a run through his first four innings, and saw his hard work rewarded with two more runs of support in the fifth. 2B Bryan Mejia and LF Jack Sundberg started the frame with back-to-back bunt singles off LHP Marcelo Martinez (L, 5-5), and a sacrifice bunt from CF Gage Canning put two in scoring position for Corredor. The Potomac designated hitter returned to a tie atop the league leaderboards with his 68th and 69th runs batted in on the year, lining a single to right to extend the Potomac lead to 3-0.
The Blue Rocks would answer back in the bottom of the fifth, getting a leadoff single from 1B Nick Pratto before SS Cristian Perez dropped an RBI double to left-center. LF Colby Schultz followed with an RBI single to cut the Potomac lead to 3-2, but was thrown out trying to advance to second. With the tying run at first and two outs, Teel fanned RF Blake Perkins in a 14-pitch at-bat to complete the inning and qualify for the win.
LHP Hayden Howard pitched 3.0 scoreless innings of relief to send the game to the ninth, and RHP Frankie Bartow (S, 5) worked an easy ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.
The P-Nats go for the series win against Wilmington in the finale on Thursday night. RHP Kyle Johnston takes on Blue Rocks LHP Daniel Tillo, with a first pitch of 6:35 pm. The P-Nats Leadoff Show will begin at 6:20 on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, and fans can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.