Frederick, MD-The Potomac Nationals (12-19) saw a ninth-inning lead slip away on Wednesday night against the Frederick Keys (14-17), but ambushed the Keys in the tenth inning to win 5-4 and even up their road series.
The 10-inning win marked the first extra inning victory of the season for Potomac, who snapped a two-game losing skid in the process. Back-to-back doubles from SS Osvaldo Abreu and 3B Anderson Franco in the extra frame proved to be the difference as the P-Nats came back from a demoralizing ninth inning Keys rally.
RHP Andrew Lee was brilliant for the P-Nats in his second start of the year, tying a team season high with nine strikeouts over 6.0 solid innings. The righty received a no-decision, but turned in just the fifth quality start for the P-Nats this year in support of some early offense.
Abreu put Potomac ahead in the second inning with a solo home run to left off RHP Mike Baumann, his second homer of the year and just the first allowed by the flamethrowing Keys righty. It marked the only blemish on a dominant start for Baumann in the midst of a seven-strikeout performance.
The P-Nats added a run in the fourth on C Jakson Reetz's RBI single, but missed an opportunity for more when Abreu struck out and Franco hit into an inning-ending double play to strand a runner at third.
Frederick scored their only run against Lee in the bottom of the fourth as 3B Willy Yahn led off with a double and DH Jomar Reyes followed with an RBI single. But Reyes was caught advancing to second on a pitch in the dirt, and was ejected from the game after disputing the call. It was the third runner thrown out by Reetz, who helped Lee with consistent work behind the plate.
In the sixth, DH KJ Harrison led off with a walk against reliever LHP Cameron Bishop and made his way home after another walk and a pair of hit batsmen. Bishop didn't allow a hit in the inning, but plunked CF Gage Canning with the bases loaded to give Potomac a 3-1 lead.
Lee fanned the side in order in the bottom of the sixth to end his outing on a high note, and LHP Hayden Howard pitched a tidy seventh. RHP Frankie Bartow worked a clean eighth, but ran into trouble in the ninth as he tried to close out the save opportunity.
Yahn led off the ninth with a single, and two batters later 1B JC Escarra singled to put runners at first and second. Bartow fanned the next batter to put the Keys down to their final out, but C Jean Carrillo singled home a run to keep the game alive. Pinch hitter Will Robertson batted next, and lined an RBI single to center field to tie the game 3-3.
Bartow was lifted for RHP Jhon Romero (W, 1-0), who entered with the winning run at second base. He got 2B Yeltsin Gudiño to pop out to first base, sending the game to extras.
With Reetz the designated runner to start the tenth, Abreu bluffed a bunt against new Keys reliever LHP Cameron Ming (L, 1-2). With a 1-0 count, he swung away and lined an RBI double down the first base line to put Potomac ahead 4-3. A batter later, Franco lined a double of his own to the right-center gap for the eventual game-winning hit. Romero allowed his designated runner to score in the bottom of the tenth on a SS Sean Miller sacrifice fly, but got the final three outs to nail down the thrilling victory.
The P-Nats will look to take the series on Thursday morning as they send RHP Malvin Pena to the mound against a Keys starter to be determined. First pitch from Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium is set for 11:00 am, with the P-Nats Leadoff Show beginning at 10:45 on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network. Fans 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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.