Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (44-34, 6-3) shocked the Frederick Keys (34-44, 2-9) with seven runs in the 8th inning in the aftermath of a terrific starting pitchers' duel to eclipse their regional Northern Division rival 7-1 at Pfitzner Stadium on Sunday evening.
This triumph was Potomac's 19th win of the season when the team is tied or trailing after six complete innings.
The P-Nats' victory guarantees a rubber match clash for Monday evening.
The Nationals are (2-1) in their rubber match affairs in 2014.
A scoreless stalemate lasted six innings amidst the epic pitcher's standoff between Nationals RHP Austin Voth and Keys RHP Mark Blackmar.
Both were dominant deep into the contest as Voth went 7.0 innings and Blackmar spanned 6.0 stanzas.
Voth retired 11 batters in a row after issuing a walk to Frederick C Wynston Sawyer and a single to 2B Jerome Pena in the 3rd inning. Voth struck out seven, walked one, and surrendered two total base hits including a solo home run to Keys 1B Trey Mancini in the 7th which broke up a scoreless tie.
The fireballer left the game on the hook for the loss but a surge of offense in the 8th allowed Voth to receive a no decision.
Blackmar was very effective in the no decision as he gave up just two hits but no runs while walking three and striking out four.
With the Keys holding a 1-0 lead and Blackmar in line for the win, losing pitcher, RHP Jimmy Yacabonis (0-1) came apart suffering a nightmare 8th inning. The Nationals plated seven runs on six hits and brought 10 men to the plate. Potomac C Pedro Severino walked and 2B Tony Renda sprayed a double to right-center field before Yacabonis balked in the tying run. Nationals SS Stephen Perez chopped an RBI single up the middle against a drawn-in defense on the infield to give the home club a 2-1 lead. The inning spiraled out of control for the Keys as LF Mike McQuillan roped a two-run single into right field and on the play received second base on an obstruction call. Yacabonis contacted McQuillan on his round of first base and thus McQuillan was granted second base. Then, 3B Khayyan Norfork blasted an RBI triple into the alleyway in left-center. Keys LHP Lex Rutledge in relief of Yacabonis entered and served up a two-run dinger to left field off the lumber of CF Will Piwnica-Worms, his third longball of the 2014 season.
Nationals RHP Sam Runion (1-0) was the winning pitcher after hurling a spotless 8th inning that featured one strikeout.
Potomac RHP Gilberto Mendez closed the Game Two proceedings out with a one-two-three 9th inning. Keys CF Glynn Davis popped out to Norfork in foul territory, RF Mike Yastrzemski grounded out to first base, and Mancini was down on a corner-to-corner grounder to wrap the game.
Monday night is Dollar Monday sponsored by: The Washington Post with $1 hot dogs and $1 general admission tickets available only at the Potomac Nationals Ticket Office.
In the game three finale on Monday evening with first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm, the Nationals will send RHP Blake Schwartz (1-0, 2.70) to the mound.
The Frederick Keys have yet to announce a starting pitcher.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, accessible by heading online to www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast live coverage of the rubber match Game Three on Monday evening in Woodbridge, VA starting with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:50pm before the play-by-play at 7:05pm.
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. The Potomac Nationals have claimed four Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, and 2010) and eight division championships. Most recently, the P-Nats earned a 2013 Carolina League Northern Division pennant. P-Nats 2014 season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 season and beyond are available. Plan your corporate outing now for the 2014 season 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 Potomac Nationals Ticket Office at 703-590-2311 for more information!
-- Potomac Nationals --