Woodbridge, VA-In the final game with the moniker Potomac Nationals (70-67, 40-30), the P-Nats ran away with the regular season finale 11-2 over the Frederick Keys (53-84, 24-44) on Monday afternoon. As the franchise transitions to Fredericksburg, VA for the 2020 season, the on-field squad wrapped up the campaign about as well as possible, with seven straight wins and victories in 10 of the final 11 games. Though the P-Nats saw the Salem Red Sox also win 10 of the final 11 games to secure a playoff berth, The Red, White, & Blue closed out the season with a five-game sweep of the Keys.
Behind solid pitching and four home runs, Potomac took a lead early and never looked back in the series finale. RHP Ofelky Peralta (L, 3-3) retired the first two batters of the game for Frederick but then allowed three straight Potomac hitters to reach base. DH Austin Davidson singled on a two-strike pitch, 1B KJ Harrison walked on a 3-2 offering, while a wild pitch put two men in scoring position for C Alex Dunlap . Down two strikes in the count, Dunlap plated two runs with a single to centerfield. Potomac took a 2-0 lead before RHP Francys Peguero (W, 1-1) threw his first pitch of the game.
Peguero needed just seven pitches in a 1-2-3 first frame, while the right-handed starter worked around a leadoff single in a scoreless second inning. Potomac went to the home run well in the top of the third frame, as Harrison launched his 11th home run of the season, a three-run home run to left field. Peguero then surrendered a leadoff home run to CF Robbie Thorburn in the home half of the inning, as Potomac led 5-1 after three frames.
Each side plated a run in the fourth inning, as out of the Frederick bullpen, LHP Zach Matson gave up an RBI single to CF Gage Canning . In the bottom of the inning, a single, an E4, and a sacrifice fly plated Frederick's final run of the contest. Peguero allowed two runs, one earned, over five innings in the victory.
The home runs continued for Potomac in the fifth and seventh frames against the Keys' bullpen. 3B Omar Meregildo hit a two-run blast off of Matson in the fifth inning, while RHP Matthias Dietz gave up a two-run home run to 2B Osvaldo Abreu and a solo blast to SS Gilbert Lara in the seventh frame.
The Potomac bullpen was nearly flawless after five innings from Peguero. RHP Jacob Howell retired all six batters that he faced over the sixth and seventh frames, while RHP Ryan Tapani loaded the bases with one out in the final inning but got 3B Irving Ortega to ground into a game-ending 5-4-3 double play. The clean sheet from the Potomac bullpen secured an 11-2 win, which capped off Potomac's season.
Seven straight wins, three games over .500 overall, and 10 games over .500 in the second half were all the high-water marks for Potomac set on the final day of the season. Despite that, Potomac finished the season two games behind the Red Sox for a playoff spot.
With that, the era of the Potomac Nationals comes to an end. The organization became such in 2005 when the Washington Nationals moved to D.C. and will continue to be affiliated with Washington as the organization moves to Fredericksburg, VA for 2020. The season concluded the organization's tenure at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium, where the organization has played its home games since the 1984 season.
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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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.