Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (20-15, 10-7) were shut out by the Frederick Keys (16-20, 6-12) 7-0 on Tuesday night at Harry Grove Stadium as Keys RHP Parker Bridwell flirted with the first no-hitter in the Carolina League since Aaron Northcraft (Lynchburg Hillcats) dealt a seven-inning "no-no" during the 2012 season.
This was the first time in 2014 the Potomac Nationals suffered a shutout defeat.
A rubber match is now set up for the series finale tomorrow at 11:00am as both clubs have claimed a victory in this series.
Bridwell (1-5), the winning pitcher, tossed a career-high 8.1 innings en route to his first victory of the 2014 campaign and allowed just a single to P-Nats 2B Tony Renda that was lined in to center field with one out in the 9th inning. The 9th round selection out of the 2010 MLB Draft fanned eight batters and walked a pair.
The 6'4", 186 pound righty retired the first 16 batters he faced before C Cole Leonida stepped into the batters' box in the 6th inning. With Bridwell's perfect game still intact, Leonida popped a foul ball in the air behind home plate and Keys C Steel Russell had the baseball go off the padding of his catcher's mitt amidst swirling winds and the ball dropped to the grass. Leonida then worked a base-on-balls to serve as the first baserunner of the contest for the Nationals.
After the perfect game bid was smudged, Bridwell retired the next eight batters before walking LF Justin Miller in the 9th frame. Renda then whacked the one-base knock into center field to break up the no-hitter.
A series of great catches in the outfield were made to keep the no-hitter intact until the 9th inning. RF Lucas Herbst made a diving to play to rob CF Randolph Oduber in the 5th frame and Herbst also stole a hit from 1B Shawn Pleffner in the 7th on a spikes-first sliding catch. Frederick LF Michael Burgess leaped up into the left field wall to take extra bases away from DH Mike McQuillan to end the 8th.
Frederick scored in each of its first five innings off the losing pitcher, LHP Brett Mooneyham. In the 1st, 3B Jason Esposito lined an RBI sacrifice fly to left field and in the 2nd, 1B Creede Simpson lazered a solo homer, his fifth of the season, out to left-center field. Two runs scored in the 3rd frame via a Burgess sac fly and a wild pitch from Mooneyham. The pair of runs in the 4th were brought to the home plate when CF Brenden Webb sprayed an RBI triple to the right field corner and DH Glynn Davis knocked an RBI 5-3 groundout along the third base line.
The final run of the game in the 5th inning came to the dish on Herbst's run-scoring two-bagger blasted to the right field barrier giving Frederick a 7-0 lead they would not relinquish.
Mooneyham allowed seven runs for the third consecutive start on six hits including one home run while walking three, striking out three, and he he two batters.
Nationals RHP Travis Henke was spotless in two scoreless innings out of the Potomac bullpen.
Potomac RHP Gilberto Mendez hung a zero after heaving in the 8th inning.
Frederick RHP Jesse Beal induced the last two outs of the game as 3B Khayyan Norfork (who entered as a defensive substitution in the 7th inning) knocked a fielder's choice groundball that cut down Renda's single at second base, and 3B Oscar Tejeda popped out to SS Adrian Marin to seal the combined one-hitter tossed by Bridwell and Beal.
The rubber match on Wednesday afternoon will begin at 11:00am as the Frederick Keys will host Senior Day at Harry Grove Stadium.
The Nationals send RHP Dakota Bacus (1-1, 2.36) to the mound to do battle with Frederick LHP Matt Taylor (4-1, 1.09) in the series finale.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, which is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast the series deciding Game Three from Frederick tomorrow afternoon as the Nationals wrap their three-game road trip set with the Frederick Keys. Broadcast coverage will begin with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 10:45am in advance of the 11:00am first pitch.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed four Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, and 2010) and eight division championships. Most recently, the P-Nats earned a 2013 Carolina League Northern Division pennant. P-Nats 2014 season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the 2014 season and beyond are available. Plan your corporate outing now for the 2014 season to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the Potomac Nationals Ticket Office at 703-590-2311 for more information!
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.