Woodbridge, VA- The Wilmington Blue Rocks picked up another one-run victory with 4-3 triumph in the back end of the doubleheader to avenge a 7-3 loss in the opener of the twin bill at Northwest Federal Field Saturday night.
In the first game of the doubleheader, it was Potomac's offense, who got off to a quick start against Wilmington's starter Marcelo Martinez who allowed a career-high seven earned runs in a losing effort. The P-Nats scored a run in the first on an RBI single by Telmito Agustin to take a 1-0 lead before hanging a four spot on the board in the bottom of the second. Potomac sent eight men to the plate with the first five reaching base, highlighted by a three-run double by Aldrem Corredor to take a 5-0 advantage.
The Nationals added two more runs in the fifth inning on an RBI double from David Masters and then a run-scoring triple two batters later by Gage Canning. Wilmington authored a response in the sixth and scored three runs thanks to RBIs from Dennicher Carrasco , MJ Melendez and Cristian Perez to make it a 7-3 ballgame. In the top of the seventh, the Rocks attempted a rally and had first and second, but Seuly Matias lined out sharply to third base to end the threat and ballgame.
Potomac' start Nick Raquet earned the win after he tossed the first five innings in scoreless fashion before the Rocks got to the lefty in the sixth inning while Martinez suffered his first loss of the season with five innings of work.
The second game saw the Blue Rocks hold on to another one-run win as the Blue Rocks' 4-1 lead almost slipped away in the bottom of the sixth inning. Right-hander Collin Snider ran into trouble in the frame and exited the game with one out and the bases loaded. Tad Ratliff entered the game and walked Gage Canning and Anderson Franco to make it a 4-3 ballgame. The Carolina League leader in saves buckled down and got back-to-back strikeouts to strand the bases loaded to hold on to the one-run lead entering the final inning.
Ratliff came out for the seventh and tossed a clean final inning to earn his league best 11th save of the season.
Wilmington tied the game up at one run apiece thanks to a Seuly Matias sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth inning and staked its first lead of the game in the sixth when Matias ripped a two-run double down the third base line and Carrasco singled home Matias to make it a three-run advantage for the Blue Crew.
Southpaw Rito Lugo turned in another solid spot start with four innings of one-run ball in a no-decision. Snider ended up picking up the win despite leaving the game with the bases loaded as Wilmington earned their second doubleheader split of the season.
The Rocks will go for the series win on Sunday, May 19 with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. with left-hander Daniel Tillo making the start for the Blue Crew while righty Andrew Lee starts for Potomac. Fans can catch the action with Voice of the Blue Rocks Cory Nidoh on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
The Rocks have had to deal with Mother Nature quite a bit over the first six weeks of the 2019 campaign. In the first game of the doubleheader, heavy rain swept through the area, but the teams were still able to finish the game without a delay. Wilmington has had six games rained out this year. Saturday marked the Blue Crew's fifth doubleheader of the season, with another coming this weekend at Potomac. The Rocks earned their third doubleheader split of the year and are now 4-4 in twin bill games on the season. Wilmington also had a game against the Mudcats canceled due to wet weather last week and consequently will play only 139 total games and 69 first-half contests in 2019.
The Rocks improved to an impressive 15-3 record in one-run ball games this season, counting for 60% of the teams total wins this season (25). In eight of their last games that have been decided by one run, the Rocks are a perfect 8-0 with their last loss in a game decided by a single tally coming all the way back on April 20 in the back end of the doubleheader at home against the Down East Wood Ducks.
Tad Ratliff earned his league-leading 11th save of the season as he earned a multi-inning save to close out the back end of the doubleheader. Ratliff has now earned a save in each of his last six appearances and hasn't allowed a run since April 24, a span of 7.1 innings. Ratliff's lone blown save on the year came back on April 22 and has been perfect ever since.
Wilmington has had an odd schedule to start the 2019 season. Wilmington opened the campaign with a series against Salem and then played 17 consecutive games against CL South opponents. The Rocks went 9-8 during that stretch. The Blue Crew are now in the midst of playing 24 out of 26 against the CL North. The Rocks are 14-7 so far during this divisional-heavy portion of the slate and 14-9 on the year against CL North foes.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.