Frederick, MD-Despite trailing 5-2 with only four offensive outs remaining, the Frederick Keys (6-5) earned a series split with the Potomac Nationals (6-5). Frederick plated two runs with two outs in the eighth inning, while the first four batters reach base in the ninth inning. 3B Jomar Reyes gave Frederick the win with a flare double down the right field line, which plated two runs, and turned the Potomac 5-4 advantage into a 6-5 loss.
For the third straight game, the P-Nats struck first, as Potomac plated the only two runs of the game over the first five innings. Against LHP Brian Gonzalez (ND), C Jakson Reetz hit a one-out solo home run in the second inning. In the fifth frame, CF Blake Perkins made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
LHP Matthew Crownover (ND) came one out shy of his second consecutive quality start for Potomac, but allowed two runs in his final frame. CF Ryan McKenna doubled with one out, and scored on a two-base wild pitch. Reyes drew a walk, and though Crownover struck out DH Randolph Gassaway, 2B Preston Palmeiro tied the game with a double to left field. RHP Jorge Pantoja entered for Crownover and stranded Palmeiro in scoring position.
Potomac immediately struck back against the Frederick bullpen. RHP Jhon Peluffo (W, 1-0) entered to start the seventh frame. After singles from 2B Edwin Lora and Perkins, DH Carter Kieboom put the P-Nats back up by two runs with a two-run opposite field double. Potomac then added a run in the eighth inning against Peluffo, as RF Rhett Wiseman tallied his second home run of the season.
The P-Nats' bullpen fell apart over the final two frames. Palmeiro ended Pantoja's afternoon with an RBI single, which brought RHP Ronald Pena (L, 0-1) into the game. Pena walked 1B Collin Woody on four pitches, which loaded the bases, and then walked SS Chris Clare on four pitches, which brought a run home. Pena escaped further trouble, as RF Jake Ring grounded out and stranded the bases full.
Pena struggled again in the final frame, as he gave up a leadoff single to pinch hitter JC Escarra, and then walked LF Cole Billingsley. RHP James Bourque entered as the fourth pitcher of the afternoon for Potomac, but McKenna greeted him with a bunt single down the third base line. With the bases loaded and no outs, Reyes doubled home two runs and gave Frederick the walk-off victory.
Off of the tough loss, the P-Nats will head to Salem, VA and play three games with the division leading Salem Red Sox. In the opener, RHP Sterling Sharp (1-1, 4.00) will make the start for Potomac. Sharp allowed three runs over four innings in his last start, a loss to Down East. For Salem, 20-year-old Roniel Raudes (1-0, 1.93) is set to take the mound. Last season, Raudes went 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts vs. Potomac.
First pitch on Monday is set for 7:05pm. 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 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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