PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Dize (Potomac Nationals)
Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (21-18, 13-10) put together their largest comeback win of the season over the Wilmington Blue Rocks (18-21, 10-13) on Wednesday night at Pfitzner Stadium with some aid from Washington Nationals RF Jayson Werth who is currently on rehabilitation assignment with the P-Nats for the second time in his career after appearing in a Potomac uniform during the 2012 season. Werth is rehabilitating a tender hamstring and is the second Washington National to suit up with the Class-A Advanced affiliate in 2013 after 3B Ryan Zimmerman appeared at The Pfitz on May 1st.
Werth went 1-for-2 at the plate with a sharply struck single into center field in the 3rd inning after grounding out to 2B Justin Trapp in the 1st frame. Werth also gunned down C Parker Morin trying to tag up from third and score in the top of the 2nd inning on a lazer beam one-hop throw to C Cole Leonida. Werth was also involved in a wild set of rundowns on the basepaths in the 3rd inning as 3B Cutter Dykstra chopped a grounder to 3B Cheslor Cuthbert who gunned to Morin who ran at the lead runner CF Billy Burns who was at third base. Morin then tossed the ball to Trapp who was following the play from his position at second base as Burns ran back to the third base bag. Werth also converged on the third base bag and when he was almost to the base, he stopped, and started running back towards second base where he originally took his lead. Trapp threw to the SS Kenny Diekroeger who tagged out Werth. However, no one ever tagged Burns and he raced to home plate and slid across as the second run of the inning to give the Nationals a 2-1 advantage after the 3rd inning.
Wilmington scored first in the 1st inning on an RBI single to right field off the stick of CF Lane Adams.
Potomac got the first run of the 3rd stanza on a missed catch ruled an error on a ball that went off the big pocket mitt of 1B Daniel Mateo scoring LF Randolph Oduber, who had doubled off the straight away center field wall.
Wilmington RHP Spencer Patton did not factor into the decision and gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits.
Meanwhile, RHP A.J. Cole, who also did not receive a decision, was left off the hook as he left as the losing pitcher of record after allowing six earned runs in 5.0 innings on six hits.
Cole allowed two runs in the 4th inning on a Morin two-run blast to the opposite field over the right field stanchion.
Wilmington took a 6-2 lead in the 6th courtesy of a three-run bomb out to right field off the lumber of DH Jared Schlehuber, his second dinger of the series.
Then, the Nationals would answer in a big way in the 7th inning taking a 7-6 lead amidst an explosion of five runs. Pinch-runner Wilmer Difo scored on a wild pitch, SS Jason Martinson cranked an RBI double to right field, LF Caleb Ramsey wrapped an RBI single through the right side of the infield, and 2B Adrian Sanchez ripped a go-ahead two-run triple out to right field.
Potomac added a cherry on top of their lead as RF Justin Miller, who replaced Werth in the field to begin the 4th inning blasted a two-run homer that hit the light pole in left field to help seal the huge comeback win for the P-Nats.
Nationals RHP Greg Holt (1-0), the winning pitcher, pitched a scoreless 7th and 8th to earn his first win of the campaign.
Conversely, RHP Malcom Culver (BS 1, 1-2), the losing pitcher of record, blew his first save of the season after surrendering the lead in the 7th inning as he was charged with three earned runs.
P-Nats closer, RHP Derek Self (SV 3) served as the fireman in the 9th inning with a 1-2-3 frame to the put the nail in the coffin and tie the three-game series up at one win a piece.
"It was a fun day down here in Potomac," Werth told press members following his exit from the field after the 3rd inning was completed.
"I got some work in today. We talked about getting two to three at-bats. I got two just because of all of the activity. I feel pretty good. We'll try again tomorrow. And then we'll see."
In Game Three the Nationals will cart out RHP Taylor Hill (3-1, 2.21) to deal against RHP Kyle Zimmer (0-2, 4.09) to decide the series.
Werth is expected to join the Potomac Nationals once again for tomorrow night's Game Three finale with the Wilmington Blue Rocks to begin with a 7:05pm first pitch. Pfitzner Stadium gates swing open at 6:00pm for a Thursday Cheers in which P-Nats faithful will be treated to drink specials courtesy of Bungalow Ale House and Yellow Cab.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming with the P-Nats Baseball Pre-Game Show at 6:50PM before the live play-by-play at 7:05pm. Broadcast coverage is accessible by heading to www.potomacnationals.com.
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. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for the summer months 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 ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!
-- Potomac Nationals --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.