Wilmington bats wake up late in 7-3 win over P-Nats
After going hitless through seven innings, the Wilmington Blue Rocks stormed back with three runs in the eighth and four in the ninth to beat the Potomac Nationals 7-3. The loss for Potomac was just the third when leading after seven innings.
The Nationals carried a no-hitter into the top of the eighth inning until Angel Franco lined a single into right field off of Olbrychowski. It would have been the first no-hitter in Potomac Nationals history.
Washington Nationals reliever Cole Kimball made the start for Potomac on rehab assignment. Rehabbing from a right shoulder injury, Kimball tossed two shutout innings allowing two batters to reach on an error and a hit by pitch. Of the 26 pitches he threw, 19 of them were for strikes.
For the second straight game, Kevin Keyes homered against the Blue Rocks. His two-run shot in the second inning gave Potomac a 2-0 lead. Since the start of the second half, Keyes is 5-for-11 with two home runs and five runs batted in.
After Franco broke up the Nationals no-hitter in the eighth, the Blue Rocks began to mount their comeback. Orlando Calixte and Cheslor Cuthbert then walked with one out to load the bases. A bases-loaded walk to Lane Adams brought the deficit to one run before Matt Fields delivered a two-run single to put Wilmington on top 3-2.
Potomac battled back to tie the game in the next half inning. Blake Kelso led off with a walk and was moved up to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Adrian Sanchez. With two outs and Kelso at third, reliever Matt Ridings uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Kelso to score and tie the game at 3-3.
But Wilmington would not be denied as they retook the lead in the ninth with four runs. Juan Graterol and Franco reached with singles to start the inning before Neil Holland came out of the bullpen to replace Rob Wort. After a fielder’s choice by Whit Merrifield, Calixte connected with his first home run as a Blue Rock, a three-run shot, to give Wilmington a 6-3 lead. Brett Eibner added an insurance run two batters later doubling home Cheslor Cuthbert to put the Blue Rocks up 7-3.
Tonight’s game was a pitcher’s duel for most of the night between Yordano Ventura and Olbrychowski. Ventura matched his longest outing of the season lasting seven innings yielding two runs on four hits while striking out seven batters. Out of the bullpen, Olbrychowski went five and one-third innings of work surrendering two runs on just one hit.