Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (2-4, 2-4) hosted Middle School Science Day on Wednesday afternoon during a rubber match contest with the visiting Salem Red Sox (2-4, 2-4) at Pfitzner Stadium. Despite the raucous crowd filled with screaming youngsters, the amped atmosphere was not enough to rally the P-Nats as the home club was stifled for just a pair of runs and were downed by a final score of 7-2.
LHP Robbie Ray (1-1), the eventual tough luck losing pitcher, tossed a quality start going 6.0 innings in which he allowed three runs, only two earned, on five hits, while striking out seven.
After four innings of scoreless baseball, Salem struck first with three runs in the 5th inning courtesy of a David Renfroe solo home run just inside the left field foul pole, his first of the season, as well as an errant throw from C Adrian Nieto on a double steal attempt by C Carson Blair and CF Henry Ramos that allowed Ramos to come home. DH Felix Sanchez then singled on the infield to the 1B Kevin Keyes and Blair came in to score.
Renfroe was the poignant hitting star of the contest, going 4-for-4 at the plate, with two runs scored and two RBIs, while missing the cycle by a triple.
Red Sox LHP Mickey Pena (1-1), the winning pitcher, was terrific on the mound as he gave up just two earned runs on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Salem reliever, RHP Heri Quevedo, was dominant in back of Pena's start tossing 4.0 scoreless frames and allowing just a single base hit. Quevedo fanned five over that duration.
Potomac answered quickly with two runs in the home half of the 5th frame when Nieto ripped an RBI double into the left field corner scoring 2B Cutter Dykstra, who finished the game with two hits. LF Caleb Ramsey knocked an RBI groundout to first base bringing in Nieto to put the Nationals within one run of Salem, 3-2.
Salem created some insurance cushion in the 7th stanza by driving in one run when 2B Jose Garcia lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to center field summoning home Renfroe, who doubled to center.
With the series deciding game in favor of the Red Sox, 4-2, the visitors tacked on three more runs in the 8th inning on a Garin Cecchini two run-double deposited in bloop fashion up the left field line passed the outstretched arm of 3B Francisco Soriano and then plated an additional run with a Renfroe RBI single bulleted to left-center field.
Potomac RHP Derek Self struck out the side in the top of the 9th inning and the P-Nats threatened by loading the bases in the bottom of the 9th, but Dykstra would inevitably bounce into a 6-3 double play to end the tilt and the series which went in favor of Salem two wins to the Nationals' sole victory.
After an off-day on Thursday, Potomac travels to Lynchburg, VA to begin a three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats (4-1) beginning with a 6:05pm first pitch on Friday, April 12th.
The Nationals will send RHP Taylor Jordan (0-0, 0.00) to face RHP A.J. Holland (0-0, 7.71) in Game One.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Renew your season tickets at Pfitzner Stadium for only $50 per seat. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for next season as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!
-- Potomac Nationals --