Wilmington, DE -- The Wilmington Blue Rocks (67-60 / 36-30) split a doubleheader against the Potomac Nationals (72-60 / 35-31) Saturday night at Frawley Stadium. The Blue Rocks bounced back after an 8-1 loss in the opener with an 8-3- victory to earn the split. Carter Hope earned his sixth win of the season in the night cap and set new season-highs in innings pitched and strikeouts while Emmanuel Rivera paced the offense in the second game with three hits and three runs driven in. However, the Blue Rocks were eliminated from postseason contention.
The first game of the doubleheader got off to a tough start for the Blue Rocks as Potomac posted seven runs in the top of the second. Rhett Wiseman, Telmito Agustin, Bryan Mejia, Luis Garcia, Tres Barrera, Aldrem Corredor, and Andruw Monasterio all hit consecutive RBI singles to push the Nationals ahead 7-0. Potomac added another run in the top of the fourth. Barrera launched a line drive over the fence for a solo home run to extend Potomac's lead to 8-0. The first game also featured the debut of Wilmington, DE native, Kyle Hinton. The 2018 draft pick tossed two full innings, giving up only two hits, no runs and walked two.
Wilmington got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. Gabriel Cancel led the inning off with a single into left. Cancel advanced to second after a throwing error by Potomac's Agustin. After an Emmanuel Rivera fly out and a Travis Jones pop out, Vance Vizcaino roped a double into right field to score Cancel and put the Rocks on the board 8-1 to give the game its final score.
The Blue Rocks erased an early 2-0 deficit after Potomac scored a run in the first inning on a Jack Sundberg RBI single and Aldrem Corredor solo homer in the third inning. In the bottom of the frame, the Blue Rocks sent nine men to the plate to score three runs with two outs. Blake Perkins roped an RBI double to score Oliver Nunez to make it 2-1 before Rudy Martin tied the game with a run-scoring single to plate Perkins. Emmanuel followed suit two batters later with a single to push the Blue Rocks ahead, 3-2.
In the fourth inning, the Blue Crew were at it again and batted around once more. Nunez set the inning with a lead-off double and scored on an Angelo Castellano single to double the Blue Rocks' lead, 4-2. Jackson Lueck roped a double down the left field line to plate Castellano before Gabriel Cancel drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to put the Blue Crew out in front 6-2. Rivera capped the scoring frame with another RBI single to give Wilmington a comfortable 7-2 lead.
The P-Nats struck for a two-out run in the fifth inning against Blue Rocks' starter Carter Hope who worked a season-high five innings of work and set a season-high with six strikeouts to earn the victory. Wilmington added another run in the sixth thanks to Rivera's third RBI hit of the game which was a double to score Cancel.
The Blue Rocks and Nationals have another doubleheader scheduled for Sunday, September 2 with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 p.m. Wilmington will send right-hander Andres Sotillet (2-5, 6.04 ERA) to the mound in the first game while lefty Nick Raquet (4-3, 5.63 ERA) starts for Potomac. Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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Travis Jones continues to be an on-base machine for the Blue Rocks. After reaching base with a single in game one and twice in the second game, Jones extended his on-base streak to 14 games. Jones started the season-high streak back on August 19 against the Winston-Salem Dash when he went 2-for-4 with a triple and a single. The previous high for Jones was 12 games which he set from May 11 to May 24. During the streak, Jones is hitting .349 (15-for-43) with eight runs scored and three RBI.
Carter Hope turned in his best start on the mound for Wilmington. The righty earned his sixth win of the season after pitching five full innings, giving up five hits, three earned runs and two walks. Hope also set a season-high in strikeouts with six total in the outing. His previous season-high was five which was set back on April 19 while he was in Low-A Lexington.
The Blue Rocks played in their 10th doubleheader of the season on Saturday night. With a loss in game one and a win in game two, the Rocks hold a 2-2-6 record in doubleheaders (Wins-Losses-Splits). Wilmington has another doubleheader scheduled against Potomac for Sunday as the two Northern Division foes continue their five-game, three day series.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.