Frederick, MD-In their first effort away from Pfitzner Stadium in 2018, the Potomac Nationals (4-4) ran into the league's hottest offensive team in the Frederick Keys (5-3) on Thursday Night. The Keys scored six runs over the first two innings, and led by as many as seven, in route to an 11-6 victory. RHP Joan Baez (L, 0-1) allowed six runs, five earned, over just three innings, while RHP Steven Fuentes followed with three innings of four-run baseball.
The Keys got off to a great start courtesy of their first home run of the season. Two batters into the game, CF Ryan McKenna took Baez deep over the left field wall. Baez retired the next two hitters and appeared to get into a rhythm, but things fell apart in the second frame. The Keys sent nine men to the plate in the inning and scored five runs. RF Jake Ring made it 2-0 with an RBI single, C Daniel Fajardo made it 3-0 with an RBI single, CF Cole Billingsley added a run with an RBI double, a wild pitch made it 5-0, and McKenna capped off the scoring in the inning with an RBI single. Frederick led 6-0 after two frames.
After Frederick made it 7-0 with a run in the fourth inning, the P-Nats offense came alive against RHP Cristian Alvarado (W, 2-0). Alvarado, who didn't give up a hit over the first four innings, walked and hit the first two batters of the inning respectively. After a single by RF Rhett Wiseman , 3B David Masters got Potomac on the board with an RBI groundout. 2B Edwin Lora followed with an RBI single, but the P-Nats left two men on in the inning.
In the sixth, the P-Nats pulled within four runs, as 1B Jake Noll tallied his team-leading third home run of the season. Noll's home run knocked Alvarado out of the game, but that was as close as the P-Nats got in the defeat.
Frederick plated three runs in the sixth inning against Fuentes, as 3B Jomar Reyes had an RBI single, 2B Preston Palmeiro had an RBI double, his third hit of the game, and SS Chris Clare made it 10-3 with a sacrifice fly.
The P-Nats tagged LHP Matt Trowbridge for a pair of runs in the seventh on a bases loaded double by Noll, but the Keys responded with an RBI single from Reyes in the home half of the inning. Potomac wrapped up the scoring and made it 11-6 with a run in the eighth inning, but never pulled closer than four runs.
With their first road game out of the way, the P-Nats will turn to RHP Tyler Mapes (0-0, 1.80) on Friday night. Mapes allowed just one run over five innings in his first outing of the season, his first appearance with Potomac since 2015. For the Keys, former first round pick RHP Cody Sedlock (0-0, 6.75) is set to make his second start of the season. Sedlock went winless in three starts with a 6.28 ERA against Potomac in 2017.
First pitch on Friday night is set for 7:00pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Carolina League affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The Potomac Nationals have claimed five Carolina League Championship titles (1982, 1989, 2008, 2010, and 2014) and nine CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats' 2018 season and beyond are available, as well as all-inclusive corporate picnic outings to watch the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz. 2018 Potomac Nationals season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2018 season tickets, mini plans, group outings, picnic packages, fundraisers, and all things Red, White, and Blue, visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com, follow the P-Nats on Facebook (@PotomacNationals), Twitter (@PNats42), and Instagram (@pnats42), or call the Potomac Nationals' Extreme Custom Collision Ticket Office at 703-590-2311.
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