Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (12-13, 6-6) swept a doubleheader with the Carolina Mudcats (10-15, 2-9) on Tuesday night at Pfitzner Stadium after a pair of seven innings contests. A misty rain blanketed the proceedings throughout as the P-Nats prevailed in a 5-0 shutout triumph in the frontend of the twin bill and a 4-3 walk-off victory in the second game, their third blanking of the season and first last at-bat win of the 2013 campaign.
Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman was expected to make a rehabilitation start in the first game of the doubleheader but was a late scratch due to the already wet grounds and threat of continued rainfall. Zimmerman will start with the Potomac Nationals in Game Three of the series scheduled for Wednesday night at 7:05pm.
Potomac RHP Blake Schwartz (2-0), the winning pitcher, was pristine in his second outing of the season with the Nationals as he dueled with Mudcats LHP Shawn Morimando (1-3), the losing pitcher of record, for the second consecutive start.
Schwartz went the requisite 5.0 innings to qualify for the win, and did not allow a run. Amidst the shutout feat, Schwartz scattered three singles to CF Tyler Naquin, C Charlie Valerio, and 3B Justin Toole while walking just one and striking out six men.
Morimando surrendered five earned runs on eight hits with one walk.
Potomac plated two runs in the 3rd inning as RF Caleb Ramsey, as part of a 3-for-3 effort, ripped an RBI double to left center field to score 2B Adrian Sanchez, who singled to get aboard. 3B Cutter Dykstra then nailed an RBI one-base knock through the hole at shortstop to bring home Ramsey.
A trio of additional runs were summoned home by the P-Nats in the 5th frame when CF Michael Taylor lined a two-RBI single through the six hole scoring the bunt single of Ramsey and DH Randolph Oduber, who singled to center, and SS Jason Martinson lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to dead center field to bring in Taylor.
Nationals LHP Matt Grace upped his scoreless innings streak to 11.0 innings with a duo of shutdown frames to seal the shutout win for Potomac.
In the true night contest, the Carolina Mudcats were able to tie the game at 3-3 in the 6th stanza but faltered late as the Nationals earned their first walk-off victory of the season.
Carolina DH Francisco Lindor, the Cleveland Indians number one overall prospect per Baseball America, tattooed a solo home run in the 1st inning over all three tiers of signage in right field.
Lindor would go on to miss hitting for the cycle by a triple as he went 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs.
The Nationals answered with two runs in their half of the 1st as Dykstra stayed hot by ripping an RBI single the other way through the second base hole to score DH Billy Burns, who walked and stole two bases. Ramsey, swinging a very hot stick in the twin bill, doubled home Martinson, who reached on a fielder's choice.
Potomac took a 3-1 lead in the 2nd inning when 1B Justin Miller bulleted a leadoff single into center field and later scored via a throwing error by RHP Rob Nixon, who did not factor into the decision.
The Mudcats scored individual runs in the 3rd and 6th innings on a Lindor RBI double sliced to the left center field gap and a run scoring single to center field off the stick of 2B Zack MacPhee, respectively.
Nationals RHP Derek Self (1-1) got the win after mowing down all of the batters he faced through 1.1 scoreless innings.
Burns walked to lead off the last of the 7th inning against Mudcats RHP Enosil Tejeda (0-1), the losing pitcher. Burns swiped second base to get into scoring position. Then, Taylor blasted a deep line drive over the head of LF Luigi Rodriguez to win the game for the Nationals in walk-off fashion.
With Washington Nationals MLB rehabilitation star, Ryan Zimmerman in Woodbridge, Game Three will feature LHP Robbie Ray (2-1, 1.55) clashing with Carolina RHP Joseph Colon (0-0, 0.00) as game action will get underway at The Pfitz with a 7:05pm first pitch.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming with the P-Nats Baseball Pre-Game Show at 6:50pm before the live play-by-play at 7:05pm. Broadcast coverage is accessible by heading to www.potomacnationals.com.
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. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for the summer months 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!
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