P-Nats rally, square semifinal series

Garcia caps three-run eighth inning with two-run single

By Marisa Ingemi / MiLB.com | September 8, 2018 10:53 PM

Resilience seems to be the norm for Potomac.

Third-ranked Nationals prospect Luis Garcia capped a three-run eighth inning with a two-run single as Potomac rallied for a 7-4 victory over Lynchburg on Saturday, tying its best-of-5 Carolina League semifinal series at 2-2. 

Gameday box score

The P-Nats dropped the completion of suspended Game 3 earlier in the day and fell behind in Game 4, 4-3, when Austen Wade drilled a grand slam in the seventh inning.

But Potomac tied it in the bottom half on an RBI single by Carolina League batting champion Ian Sagdal and loaded the bases in the eighth for Jakson Reetz, who was hit by the pitch to drive in the go-ahead run.

"It was a 3-2 count, so he had a good at-bat. It was a really good at-bat," Nationals manager Tripp Keister said. "He fouled off a tough pitch with two strikes and took a good borderline pitch for a ball. Now at 3-2, he hit him. It was a good at-bat, and we had a bunch of those in that inning before Garcia hit the big two-run single. Good at-bats in leverage spots, it's fun to watch."

One out later, Garcia stepped to the plate and grounded a single to center field to plate Nick Banks and Jack Sundberg with a pair of insurance runs.

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"We had some leads in the late innings and they came back and scored, so any add-on runs you can get are a big deal," Keister said. "Luis had a really good at-bat, and he had good at-bats all day, really. It was good to see him come through and get us two more."

Jacob Condra-Bogan (1-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen, allowing one hit over 1 2/3 scoreless frames and striking out the side in the ninth to force a decisive fifth game on Sunday.

Nationals No. 18 prospect Nick Raquet took a two-hit shutout into the seventh, but the Hillcats loaded the bases with one out on a walk, an error and a hit batter.

"It was a quality start. He pitched well and deserved a better fate," Keister said. "He was in control. He had everything going tonight. We had a long inning and he came back out and stuff wasn't the same in the seventh. We made an error, which hurt. But give them credit, they capitalized in that inning."

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Wade greeted reliever Hayden Howard with his first homer of the series, turning Lynchburg's 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead.

But the P-Nats responded.

"We played really well tonight and came out today, and they just played better than we did at the end of that first game," Keister said. "We had to regroup. We played for our season in the second game tonight. We had a lead and gave it up again but got it back. It was an emotional swing, but our guys played hard for a long time and we have a chance to play tomorrow."

In other Carolina League playoff action

Hillcats 6, Nationals 4

Lynchburg took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 series lead in the completion of a game suspended due to rain on Friday. Dillon Persinger capped a five-run seventh inning with a three-run homer and Gavin Collins also went yard for the Hillcats. Nick Banks drove in three of the P-Nats' four runs. Box score

Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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