Woodbridge, VA-One night removed from a tough 10-inning loss, the Potomac Nationals (57-59, 27-22) gave up five early runs to the Lynchburg Hillcats (55-59, 23-24) in route to an eventual 14-4 loss. Potomac nearly erased a 5-0 second inning deficit but came up one run shy before the Hillcats rattled off nine unanswered runs. The Hillcats tallied a 2019 Carolina League high 23 hits in the win.
After a double play led to a three-batter first inning for RHP Malvin Pena (L, 5-8), the Potomac starter allowed five runs on seven hits in the second frame. LF Will Benson gave the Hillcats a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run to right field, while 3B Jonathan Laureano made it back-to-back home runs with a solo home run to left field. After Pena retired the next two hitters, four consecutive Hillcats tallied two-out singles, as both SS Tyler Freeman and 1B Mitch Reeves each picked up a two-out RBI single. The Hillcats took a 5-0 lead into the home half of the second inning.
On the mound for the Hillcats, RHP Cody Morris (ND) worked a perfect first inning but gave up a pair of runs in each of his next two trips to the mound. SS Gilbert Lara put the P-Nats on the scoreboard with a two-out, two-run single in the second inning, while DH Aldrem Corredor and C Alex Dunlap each picked up an RBI in the third frame. Lynchburg led 5-4 after three innings.
While Pena followed the five-run second inning with a scoreless third frame, he failed to keep the Hillcats off the board in the fourth inning. SS Tyler Freeman made it 7-4 Lynchburg with a two-run single off of Pena in the frame, while the Potomac starter then retired the next two batters and finished off four frames.
RHP Luis Reyes entered out of the Potomac bullpen for the fifth frame and saw his defense plague him, as the P-Nats committed three errors in the inning. Laureano tallied an RBI single in the frame, RF Jodd Carter plated a run with a double, while 1B Mitch Reeves picked up an RBI on a single. Lynchburg batted around in the fifth inning, the second time the Hillcats did so in their victory. Lynchburg led 11-4 after five innings.
The Hillcats went scoreless for three innings with the score 11-4 but plated three runs and set a new 2019 Carolina League single game high in team hits with a three-run ninth inning against RHP Angel Guillen . Lynchburg sent nine men to the plate in the frame, the third time in the game that at least nine Hillcats players came to the plate. Four hits in the inning plus a pair of HBP's led to the three runs, as Lynchburg took a 14-4 lead, the eventual final. Out of the Lynchburg bullpen, RHP Felix Tati (W, 3-1) allowed just one hit over 2.1 innings of shutout relief.
In an effort to salvage the series and avoid the sweep, LHP Carson Teel (6-2, 3.81) is set to pitch for Potomac. Last Sunday, Teel picked up the victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks, as the left-handed starter didn't allow a run over five innings. With a chance to pull one game closer in the Northern Division playoff race, RHP Brock Hartson (0-1, 3.78) is scheduled to start for the Hillcats. Battling back from injury, Hartson has made five appearances, three starts, for Lynchburg this season, with no appearance longer than four innings. Hartson pitched for the Hillcats in 2016 and 2017.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Sunday afternoon is set for 1:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 12:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and 10 CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats' 2019 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate picnic outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. 2019 Potomac Nationals season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2019 season tickets, mini plans, group outings, picnic packages, fundraisers, and all things Red, White, and Blue, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com, follow the P-Nats on Facebook (@PotomacNationals), Twitter (@PNats42), and Instagram (@pnats42), or call the Potomac Nationals' Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.
Fredericksburg Baseball is set to begin Carolina League play in 2020 at a brand new, state of the art stadium facility, located at Celebrate Virginia South on Carl D. Silver Parkway near the Fredericksburg Expo & Convention Center in Fredericksburg, VA. Celebrate baseball in The 'Burg and stay up to date with the progress of the new ballpark facility and the team online at www.fredericksburgbaseball.com, and follow Fredericksburg Baseball on Facebook (@FredericksburgBaseball), on Twitter (@FXBGBaseball20), and on Instagram (@fredericksburgbaseball).
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