(WINSTON-SALEM, NC) - On a chilly night in North Carolina, the Winston-Salem Dash used a great start from Andre Rienzo to beat Potomac 4-1. The Nationals left the bases loaded in the ninth with a chance to tie or take lead.
With the temperature in the mid 40s, the Dash got the scoring started off Potomac starter RHP Matt Swynenberg in the first. Michael Early and Carlos Sanchez led off the game by both reaching on errors. Trayce Thompson knocked in Early on a sac fly down the right field line to open the scoring of the contest. Bradley Shoemaker smacked a single that scored Sanchez to extend the Dash lead to 2-0. Both runs were unearned.
The P-Nats opened their scoring off Winston-Salem pitcher Andre Rienzo in the second. Michael Taylor walked to start the inning and Kevin Keyes knocked him in on a fielder choice to cut the Dash advantage to 2-1.
Swynenberg (1-1) settled in after the first tossing four and third scoreless after his first inning of work. It wasn't easy though for the sinkerballer as the Dash had runners on every inning he pitched. They left two on in the second and the bases loaded in the third. Swynenberg ended up not giving up an earned run while scattering nine hits and walking none. Swynenberg was the tough luck loser.
On the other side, Rienzo (2-0) was again excellent for the Dash earning the victory. After the run he yielded in the second, he retired 13 straight Nationals and just one base runner reached base the rest of the way. Rienzo struck out eight, walked two and gave up three hits. For the fourth time in four starts, he gave up one or less runs.
The Dash added insurance in the seventh off of Potomac reliever Ryan Demmin. A walk by Dan Black and double by Shoemaker but runners at second and third with no one out. Black scored on a fielders choice hit by Marcus Semien. Shoemaker scored on a suicide squeeze from catcher Miguel Gonzalez which made the score 4-1 in favor of Winston-Salem.
The Nationals couldn't get anything going against the Winston-Salem bullpen either. Potomac did load in the bases in the ninth with two out against Dash closer Leroy Hunt. However, Sean Nicol struck out swinging as the go ahead run and Hunt picked up his fourth save of the season in four tries.
The Dash put runners on base every inning and left runners on base in every inning with 14 total left. The Nationals had just one base runner during a 18 batter stretch from the second to the eighth inning.
Tomorrow the P-Nats send RHP Kyle Winters (1-1, 3.71) to the mound to face LHP Spencer Arroyo (0-1, 10.80) for a 7:00 PM start at BB&T Ballpark. The game can be heard live on www.potomacnationals.com. Potomac returns home for three with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans starting on Friday. Call us at 703-590-2311 for tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.