The first two games of the Northern Division Championship Series were each determined by one run but game three was different. The Potomac Nationals won the third game of the best-of-five game series, 7-1. The P-Nats scored two runs in the first and one in the second as they cruised to an easy victory. After the defeat, Frederick trails Potomac two games to one in the NDCS.
Following a scoreless top of the first, the Nationals jumped out to a quick lead against Keys starter, RHP Zach Clark. 2B Sean Nicol led off with a single and DH Derek Norris followed with a RBI double off the centerfield wall. C Sean Rooney capped of the first with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Norris. Potomac scored another run in the second to lead by three runs after two innings.
Veteran pitcher, Jimmy Barthmaier, was on top of his game on Friday night. Over 5.2 innings pitched, Barthmaier did not surrender a run. He allowed just two hits while striking out seven and walking one on the night.
RHP Jose Duran pitched well in relief of Clark. Duran tossed three shutout innings with three strikeouts and one walk.
The Nationals extended their three run lead in the bottom of the seventh when they scored four runs off RHP David Walters. In his Carolina League debut, Walters gave up a three-run shot to RF Bill Rhinehart to make the score 6-0 Potomac. Carolina League MVP, 1B Tyler Moore, belted a solo shot to make it back-to-back jacks for the P-Nats.
The Keys got on the board in the top of the eighth when RF Ronnie Welty scored on a wild pitch by RHP Patrick McCoy but that was all they could muster as Frederick fell 7-1.
Zach Clark got the loss in game three while Jimmy Barthmaier picked up the win.
Frederick and Potomac will play game four from Pftizner Stadium on Saturday night. The Keys will start RHP Luis Noel while the Nationals will send RHP Marcos Frias to the hill. First pitch is set for 6:35 from Woodbridge, VA with coverage starting at 6:05 on the Frederick Keys Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.