PHOTO CREDIT: Gary Dize (Potomac Nationals)
Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (70-47, 28-20) worked out of a season-worst four-game losing streak with a 2-0 shutout win over the Carolina Mudcats (49-69, 27-21) at Pfitzner Stadium on Monday evening in series Game Two. The triumph was Potomac's 70th win of the season in the 140-game campaign.
The Nationals earned their ninth shutout victory with the 2-0 blanking of the Mudcats and now own the best winning percentage in the Carolina League in shutout contests with a 9-3 record in 2013 (.750).
Potomac RHP Blake Schwartz (10-4) won his tenth game of the season with a sparkling performance featuring 7.0 shutout frames in which he allowed just four base hits while walking two and fanning one.
Schwartz surrendered just a groundball double to RF Jordan Smith in the 1st inning, singles to SS Erik Gonzalez in the 2nd and 7th stanzas, and a one-base knock to 3B Paddy Matera in the 6th.
This was the third time Schwartz has kept the Mudcats scoreless in five starts against the Southern Division foe.
Potomac plated the first run of the game in their opening offensive frame against the losing pitcher, Carolina RHP Nick Pasquale (4-7) on a bases loaded RBI groundout rattled to Matera along the third base line by LF Brandon Miller.
The Mudcats threatened to score their first run of the game in the 3rd inning when LF Todd Hankins led off with a walk before stealing second base and advancing to third base on a deep fly ball to right field off the stick of CF Tyler Naquin. On a fly out to left field into the glove of Miller from 2B Joey Wendle, the Nationals turned a double play on a one-hop bullet throw from Miller to C Cole Leonida who blocked home plate and applied the tag to the sliding Hankins for the final out of the inning.
The P-Nats tacked on their second and final run of the contest on a solo home run crushed by Leonida out to left field in the 4th inning. This was Leonida's 10th four-bagger of the current campaign which ranks him tied for third most with fellow C Adrian Nieto among the club's 2013 home run leaders.
As Carolina RHP Josh Martin tossed a pair of scoreless innings out of the bullpen behind Pasquale's quality start, the Nationals put RHP Travis Henke (SV 1) on the mound in the 8th inning for his Potomac Nationals debut with the opportunity to garner a two-inning save.
Henke stranded two singles ripped by Naquin and Matera in the 8th by getting Smith to fly out to CF Michael Taylor before garnering strikeouts of Wendle and DH Bryson Myles.
Henke made it a 1-2-3 9th inning as C Alex Lavisky skied out to left field leading up to back-to-back comebackers to the mound knocked by Gonzalez and 1B Jerrud Sabourin to end the game.
The Game Three finale on Wednesday afternoon scheduled for 12:05pm will serve as the rubber match with Potomac throwing RHP Brian Rauh (3-1, 3.02) against Carolina RHP Robert Whitenack (0-1, 4.30) who faces the Nationals for the first time in 2013.
Gates to Pfitzner Stadium open at 11:00am for a summer camp and day care day with a "splash down" theme in which area children will blanket the ballpark for matinee baseball.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming Tuesday afternoon with the P-Nats Lead-Off Show at 11:50am in preparation for the live play-by-play broadcast beginning at 12:05pm. Broadcast coverage of Potomac Nationals Baseball 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 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 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.