Wiseman goes deep twice in Potomac Nationals win

Potomac NationalsDown 1-0 midway through the series opener at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium, the Potomac Nationals (23-17) scored the final three runs of the night in a 3-1 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (17-26). RF Rhett Wiseman tied the game with a solo home run in the seventh inning, and then put Potomac ahead for good with a two-run blast one inning later.

The first of four games between the two teams in the series cruised through the first four innings, though both sides had chances. Potomac left men at the corners in the first inning and a man at second base in the third frame, while the Blue Rocks left a runner on base in the first, third, and fourth innings.

After four innings of zeroes, the Blue Rocks finally got to RHP Sterling Sharp (ND). 2B Gabriel Cancel reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second base on a groundout, and scored on an RBI single by CF Nick Heath. That was the only run that Sharp allowed, as the righty pitched more than six innings for the first time this season. Sharp surrendered eight hits over 6.2 innings.

The Potomac starter escaped a jam in the seventh inning, as the Blue Rocks had a chance to expand on their 1-0 lead. 1B Chris DeVito led off the frame with a single, while Cancel singled two batters later. A throwing error on Cancel’s single put runners at second and third base with only one out, but Sharp struck out SS Angelo Castello, one of Sharp’s six strikeouts in the game. Potomac then went to the bullpen, as LHP Hayden Howard caught Heath looking and stranded two men in scoring position.

The P-Nats immediately made Wilmington pay for the squander, as Wiseman homered with one out in the home half of the seventh inning. RHP Jace Vines (ND) had allowed just two men to reach second base prior to Wiseman’s home run, but the long ball knocked the starter out of the game. LHP Vance Tatum entered and loaded the bases, but the lefty got CF Blake Perkins to fly out to right field and end the frame.

One inning later, a two-out home run from Wiseman gave Potomac its only lead of the night. 1B Jake Noll reached on a fielder’s choice, which retired SS Carter Kieboom at second base. With two away, Wiseman tallied his league-leading ninth home run of the season. The two-run blast made it 3-1 Potomac, the eventual final.

Howard worked a perfect eighth inning, while RHP Jordan Mills (SV, 4) bounced back from the loss on Sunday with a perfect ninth inning. Mills retired all three batters that he faced via the strikeout, as Potomac pitching picked up 11 strikeouts in the victory. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the P-Nats.

Off of the victory, the Potomac will look to make it consecutive wins against the Blue Rocks, as RHP Wil Crowe (5-0, 2.79) is set to start on Tuesday night. Crowe enters Tuesday’s matchup tied for the league lead in wins, and has the ninth best ERA among qualified starters in the Carolina League. For the Blue Rocks, RHP Anthony Bender (1-2, 6.21) will aim to even the series. In two starts this season vs. Potomac, Bender has allowed just two earned runs over 8.2 innings.

First pitch at Northwest Federal Field on Tuesday 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.

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