Sundberg’s walk-off earns Potomac Nationals series split
Down to their final four outs, the Potomac Nationals (2-2) rallied from a 1-0 deficit, plated two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, gave up the lead in the top of the ninth frame, but walked off with a victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (2-2) Sunday afternoon. DH Jack Sundberg’s single to centerfield plated pinch runner Jakson Reetz, and garnered Potomac a 3-2 victory.
Over the first 7.5 innings, the teams combined for just one run, which came in the top of the first frame. RHP Tyler Mapes (ND) made his first start in more than a year, and despite two quick outs, surrendered back-to-back two-out extra base hits. 3B Emmanuel Rivera’s RBI double made it 1-0 Wilmington, which is where the score stayed until the bottom of the eighth inning. Mapes allowed just one run and six hits over five innings.
Opposite Mapes, RHP Gerson Garabito (ND) spun a gem for the Blue Rocks. In his Carolina League debut, the righty allowed just one hit and struck out nine over six innings. Garabito faced just two over the minimum, but saw the Wilmington bullpen falter after he departed.
RHP Justin Camp relieved Garabito to begin the seventh inning, and despite two consecutive singles to begin the frame, he escaped unharmed due to a spectacular leaping grab by SS Angelo Castellano.
The eighth inning didn’t fare as well for Camp, as the Wilmington defense faltered behind him. After Camp retired the first two batters of the inning, LF Telmito Agustin singled. CF Blake Perkins followed with a walk. With SS Carter Kieboom at the plate, Agustin stole third base on a pickoff attempt, and an error by 2B D.J. Burt on the play allowed Perkins to reach second base. Kieboom then grounded out to 3B Emmanuel Rivera, but Rivera’s throw went off the glove of 1B Chris DeVito. The error on DeVito allowed both Agustin and Perkins to score.
After two scoreless frames out of the bullpen for RHP Ronald Pena, RHP Gabe Klobosits (W, 1-0) worked a perfect eighth inning. Following Potomac’s two-run home half of the eighth inning, Klobosits issued a one-out walk to LF Kort Peterson in the ninth. After Burt reached on a bunt single, CF Rudy Martin drew a walk, which loaded the bases. Castellano tied the game with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. After RF Khalil Lee walked, Klobosits retired Rivera, as the Blue Rocks stranded the bases loaded.
RHP Walker Sheller (L, 0-1) entered the game for Wilmington to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. C Tres Barrera led off the frame with a double, and after Reetz pinch ran at second base, Sundberg singled to centerfield. The throw from Martin bounced off of the mound and slowed down dramatically, yet it was still a tight play at the plate. Reetz was ruled safe, as Sundberg picked up the walk-off hit, and salvaged the series split for Potomac.
With the first series of the season in the books, the P-Nats will welcome in the Down East Wood Ducks for a three game series, which gets underway Monday night.
First pitch on Monday 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.