Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (56-37, 14-10) conjured a furious rally to yield a flurry of runs late to topple the Lynchburg Hillcats (43-49, 7-16) on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium by the score of 5-3. Potomac tallied four runs in the 6th inning and one more run in the 7th to garner an advantage they would not relinquish to win their third consecutive ballgame.
Potomac RHP Brian Rauh did not factor into the decision after tossing 5.0 innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Rauh surrendered a two-run blast off the stick of 3B Kyle Kubitza towered over three tiers in the 2nd inning. This was Kubitza's ninth homer of the 2013 campaign.
The Hillcats scored an additional run in the 6th stanza to take a 3-0 lead off the eventual winning pitcher, RHP David Fischer (3-0), when RF David Rohm lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to right field. Rohm's sac fly brought home 1B Trenton Moses, who led off with a walk.
Fischer surrendered just the one earned run in 1.0 inning while yielding two base hits and one walk.
Lynchburg RHP A.J. Holland (4-6), the losing pitcher of record, was cruising through 5.0 innings in which he allowed just a pair of singles. Holland came undone in the 6th inning.
The Nationals unleashed a barrage of four runs on four hits in the home half of the 6th bringing eight men to the plate. Keyes ripped a bases loaded, sacks clearing, three run double to summon home RF Caleb Ramsey, CF Michael Taylor, and C Adrian Nieto. To set up the clutch shot, Ramsey rapped an infield single literally off the side of Holland, Taylor was hit by a pitch, and Nieto nailed a single into right field. Keyes scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch unleashed by LHP Carlos Perez.
The Nationals' insurance run was plated on an RBI single smacked into left field by Taylor in the 7th.
Potomac RHP Brian Dupra was critical to getting the game in the control of closer, RHP Richie Mirowski (6 SV), who converted his sixth save of the season to match RHP Robert Benincasa for the bullpen lead in saves.
Dupra turned in 2.0 scoreless innings and allowed no hits while fanning a trio.
Eight of the final nine outs recorded by the Hillcats defense were via a strikeout.
Mirowski allowed just a single to SS Elmer Reyes in the 9th and induced CF Matt Lipka into a game-ending popout to finish off the P-Nats' triumph.
Potomac brings LHP Matt Purke (0-2, 8.56) to the hill to gun against Lynchburg RHP Greg Ross (5-4, 3.50) in Game Three on Friday with the first pitch set for 7:05pm.
Friday night will usher in a Danny Espinosa Poster Giveaway sponsored by: Burke & Herbert Bank to the first 1,000 fans. Also "Date-An-Intern Night" and Speed Dating will be in full gear plus a sports memorabilia silent auction to benefit the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming Friday evening with the P-Nats Lead-Off Show at 6:50pm in preparation for the live play-by-play broadcast beginning at 7:05pm. Broadcast coverage of Potomac Nationals Baseball 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 to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz 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 --