(WOODBRIDGE, VA) The Potomac Nationals erupted for eight runs in the sixth and seventh innings against Jon Keck and Ryan Dennick on Wednesday night in Woodbridge, and scored an 11-3 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. For the second straight night, Potomac scored 11 runs and overcame an early deficit to lock up the series victory. The Nationals have now won 13 of the last 15 against the Blue Rocks, and have outscored them by a mind-boggling 98-42 over that span.
The Rocks surged in front with a trio of bloop base hits in the top of the first inning against Nationals' starter Evan Bronson. The last of them came off the bat of Tim Ferguson and plated a pair of runs to push the Blue Rocks ahead 2-0.
Potomac (61-66, 32-36) got a run in the second inning when Sandy Leon hit an impressive home run to straightaway centerfield. Leon's sixth blast of the season cut the Rocks lead in half, but Wilmington would grab the run back in the fourth. Joey Lewis smashed a home run to left field to push the Rocks ahead by a pair at 3-1.
Blue Rocks spot starter Allen Caldwell held the lead until the fourth inning, when three doubles pulled Potomac level. Steven Souza's two-bagger followed Destin Hood's leadoff double to get the P-Nats within one, and Leon's single to left tied the game at three.
After Lewis's homer, the two pitching staffs went in opposite directions. Bronson retired ten straight hitters to complete his outing and earn a fifth win. Caldwell, meanwhile, worked around two hits in the fifth and gave way to the bullpen in the sixth. From that point on, things unraveled for Wilmington (59-67, 23-34).
Jon Keck allowed a leadoff single to Souza and walked Brian Peacock before Leon laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both men in scoring position. Zach Walters then stepped to the plate. Before his single to left, a Deck wild pitch scored Souza and gave Potomac a lead they would not relinquish. Jose Lozada then tripled to left field to score Peacock, and Francisco Soriano closed the scoring in the inning with a single to left, and Potomac led 7-3.
Things did not get better for Ryan Dennick in the seventh. After he struck out Souza to open the inning, Brian Peacock hit a grounder to third base. Deivy Batista let the ball skirt through his legs and into left field, and Peacock then walked. Walters delivered again with a double to left that made it 8-3 Nationals. Lozada then roped his second straight triple to score a pair; Perez closed the scoring with a single to right that closed the scoring and sent the Nationals to an 11-3 advantage.
Marcos Frias pitched the eighth, and Cameron Selik the ninth as Potomac closed out the victory and secured their second straight series win.
With the victory, Potomac trimmed its magic number to seven to qualify for the Carolina League Northern Division's second playoff spot.
The Nationals will go for the sweep on Thursday evening with Adam Olbrychowski on the mound against Tim Melville at 7:05 P.M.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.