Woodbridge, VA-Despite a chance for a fourth walk-off win in their past seven home games, the Potomac Nationals (57-58, 27-21) failed to capitalize on a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave up three runs in the 10th frame in a 6-4 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats (54-59, 22-24) on Friday night.
Lynchburg struck first in the series opener, as LHP Tim Cate (ND) struggled in comparison to his previous two outings but gutted his way into a quality start. The Hillcats took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single from C Gavin Collins. Lynchburg added a run in the third frame on a wild pitch and a run an inning later on a safety squeeze bunt from 2B Luke Wakamatsu.
The P-Nats turned the early 1-0 deficit into a lead with a three-run second inning against LHP Juan Hillman (ND). C Jakson Reetz led off the inning with a double, while LF Jack Sundberg tied the game 1-1 with an RBI single. Two batters later, SS Gilbert Lara put Potomac on top 3-1 with a broken bat bloop two-run single to right field.
Neither team scored until extra innings after the Hillcats tied the game in the fourth inning, as the teams combined for 11 consecutive scoreless half innings. Lynchburg left at least one man in scoring position in the fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, while each team had a runner thrown out at the plate late in the game.
After Potomac didn't capitalize on a leadoff single from RF Gage Canning in the ninth inning, the Hillcats posted a three-run 10th frame against LHP Jacob Howell (L, 0-1). 3B Jonathan Laureano plated RF Cody Farhat with an RBI double. Two batters later, CF Steven Kwan connected with his third hit of the night, an RBI triple that made it 5-3. SS Tyler Freeman capped off the inning and made it 6-3 with a sacrifice fly to shallow left field.
In the bottom of the 10th inning against LHP Yapson Gomez (W, 1-4), Potomac got an RBI single from 2B Osvaldo Abreu , which plated the free baserunner from second base. As the potential tying run at the plate, CF Cole Freeman struck out, while 1B Aldrem Corredor ended the game with a groundout, as the Hillcats took the series opener 6-4 in 10 innings.
Still in first place in the Northern Division by 0.5 games, Potomac will turn to RHP Malvin Pena (5-7, 5.82) in an effort to level the series on Saturday night. Pena has gone at least five innings in each of his last three starts, which includes a pair of six-inning, one earned run performances. For the Hillcats, RHP Cody Morris (2-0, 3.25) will try to pitch the Hillcats one game closer in the playoff race. Morris allowed just one run on three hits over six innings in his last start, a win over the Salem Red Sox last Sunday.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Saturday night is set for 6:35pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm 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 Northwest Federal Field 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 10 CL Northern Division Championships. Sponsorship opportunities for the P-Nats' 2019 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. 2019 Potomac Nationals season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. For more information on Potomac Nationals 2019 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.
Fredericksburg Baseball is set to begin Carolina League play in 2020 at a brand new, state of the art stadium facility, located at Celebrate Virginia South on Carl D. Silver Parkway near the Fredericksburg Expo & Convention Center in Fredericksburg, VA. Celebrate baseball in The 'Burg and stay up to date with the progress of the new ballpark facility and the team online at www.fredericksburgbaseball.com, and follow Fredericksburg Baseball on Facebook (@FredericksburgBaseball), on Twitter (@FXBGBaseball20), and on Instagram (@fredericksburgbaseball).
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