Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (14-9, 7-5) were stifled by the Winston-Salem Dash (9-15, 4-8) in Game One of a four-game set on Thursday evening at BB&T Ballpark after the home club tallied a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th inning to garner a 3-2 victory.
This was the first contest in 2014 in which the Nationals scored first but did not yield a win. The P-Nats are now (9-1) when tallying the first run of the game.
The Nationals are now (1-2) head-to-head with the Winston-Salem Dash in 2014.
Winston-Salem RHP Tony Bucciferro (2-2), the eventual winning pitcher, allowed an early two-run rocket to the top of the grassy hill beyond the left field fence off the lumber of P-Nats RF Brandon Miller.
The deep fly was Miller's seventh homer of the 2014 campaign and first round-tripper away from Pfitzner Stadium.
The Dash answered quickly to cut the P-Nats' lead to 2-1 via an RBI double spun to the gap in left center field by CF Jacob May which drove home the leadoff two-bagger of 3B Nick Basto.
Bucciferro, the Dash starter, gunned through 7.0 innings pitched and after surrendering the home run to Miller, retired 13 batters in a row. The righty gave up just two earned runs on the Miller blast while fanning a pair, walking none, and allowing a total of four base hits.
Bucciferro is now (2-0) pitching against the Nationals in '14 after claiming a victory on April 23rd in Woodbridge, VA.
Nationals RHP John Simms in his Carolina League debut looked for his first career professional victory but the P-Nats bullpen spoiled his chance to ink the win.
Simms, who did not factor into the decision, was solid through 5.0 innings in which he scattered four base hits, walked two, and struck out one.
Potomac RHP Ian Dickson (BS 2) (0-2), who blew his second save and was hit with the loss, dominated in the 6th stanza by striking out the side. Dickson got May swinging, 2B Joey DeMichele on a check swing, and 1B Keon Barnum down hacking.
However, Dickson imploded in the home half of the 7th when RF Jason Coats socked a solo line drive home run to the gap in left center on the first pitch of the half-inning to tie the game at 2-2. Then with two outs, Basto cranked a single into left field and DH Justin Jirschele drew a walk before LF Adam Heisler ripped an opposite field low liner that was trapped by Nationals LF Mike McQuillan but not caught allowing Basto to score from second base which propelled the Dash to a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.
Winston-Salem RHP Euclides Leyer allowed a leadoff infield single to CF Narciso Mesa but got out of trouble using a 4-6-3 double play and a flyout off the stick of 2B Khayyan Norfork to finish off the inning.
Dash RHP Bryan Blough (SV 2) made it scary for the Winston-Salem gallery but inevitably converted his second save of the season by hurling a scoreless 9th. Potomac DH Oscar Tejeda hooked a double to the left field corner and was lifted for Pinch Runner Justin Miller. 1B Shawn Pleffner earned a walk and SS Stephen Perez struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. 3B Adrian Sanchez chopped a fielder's choice to the second base bag which was picked up by DeMichele to cut down Pleffner and put the Dash in the win column.
In the second standoff of this series in the Tar Heel State, the Nationals will send RHP Ronald Pena (2-0, 6.43) to the mound to oppose Dash RHP Braulio Ortiz (0-2, 4.15).
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, which is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast Game Two on Friday night beginning with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:45pm before the live play-by-play at 7:00pm.
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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