(WILMINGTON, DE) The Potomac Nationals lost both games in a Sunday doubleheader in Wilmington to conclude a series sweep at the hands of the Northern Division-leading Blue Rocks. Masterful pitching in Game One helped the Rocks cruise to a 6-0 shutout, and Wilmington overcame a four-run deficit in game two to take the finale 6-5.
With the victory, the Blue Rocks moved to 7-2 while the Nationals dropped to 2-6.
Noel Arguelles and Michael Mariot limited Potomac to just three hits in the first ballgame, and got plenty of offensive support. Catcher Ryan Eigsti hit a home run in the third inning off Nationals starter Trevor Holder in the third inning - and that would be more than enough for the Rocks' pitching. For good measure, they tacked on three more. After a Nick Francis triple with one out John Whittleman brought him home with a ground ball to first base. Off the bat it appeared Steven Souza would field and keep Francis at third, but Souza's throw went past Steven King at third. After a single by Tim Ferguson, Joey Lewis doubled to right field to score a pair and make it a 4-0 game.
Mariot replaced Arguelles in the fifth, and the Rocks didn't miss a beat on the mound. He worked around a leadoff double from Steven King, and would retire the next nine Nationals hitters to end the game.
The P-Nats appeared on track to salvage the series finale. Two runs in each of the first two innings staked the Nats to a 4-0 lead, but the Rocks chipped away beginning in their half of the second. Nick Francis hit a home run to deep left field off Alex Caldera in his return to Frawley Stadium. They cut the lead in half in the third; After a one-out single, Whit Merrifield stole second base. Deivy Batista then walked. Merrifield scored when Rey Navarro dropped a bloop single inside the left field line.
The Rocks got two more back in the fourth inning. Whittleman homered to start the inning and Jose Bonilla walked, forcing Carlos Martinez to come in the game. He yielded a single to Carlo Testa; Testa and Bonilla moved into scoring position on a Joel Lewis sacrifice bunt. Adam Frost tripled them both home and would score on a Merrifield sacrifice fly, and the Blue Rocks had stormed ahead 6-4.
The Nationals got a run back in their half of the fifth and a chance to tie the game. J.P. Ramirez drove in Jeff Kobernus with a double to right and moved to third on the throw home. Destin Hood then grounded out to third and Souza struck out for the fifth time in the doubleheader to end the threat.
Potomac had chances in the sixth and seventh. But with runners at second and third and one out, Chris Curran hit a hot shot to third that was turned into a double play when Frost snared it and dove back to the bag and beat Steven King.
Eury Perez led off the seventh with a walk but Kobernus grounded into a double play before Ramirez flied out to complete the sweep.
The Nationals have relocated their three-game series to Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick due to drainage issues at Pfitzner Stadium. All three games will be played at 1 P.M. All tickets to Pfitzner Stadium will be honored at Harry Grove Stadium, general admission tickets will be available for $5 and all kids under 12 will be admitted for free.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.