Power took a back seat to efficiency, as Brad Peacock struck out just four but went the distance on 99 pitches to record a five-hit shutout against the Wilmington Blue Rocks last night.
Sixty-four of those 99 pitches were for strikes, but more impressive: just five of the 27 outs were flyballs to the outfield, though the final one had folks holding their breath as Mike Burgess chased down a deep drive to right-center off Wilmington’s cleanup hitter Jamie Romak. Twelve of the 27 outs were on the ground, with Peacock dashing over to first three times on balls that first baseman Bill Rhinehart had snagged or knocked down, twice beating speedy lefthanded batters.
Peacock faced just four batters over the minimum, thanks in no small part to Chris Curran gunning down Eric Hosmer at second to lead off the fourth, and a round-the-horn double play in the sixth. He would retire the last 11 batters he faced and had five 1-2-3 innings en route to winning his third game of the season.
It was the first nine-inning shutout thrown by a Potomac pitcher since Michael O’Connor blanked the Kinston Indians on August 27, 2005.
Meanwhile, on offense, the P-Nats gave Peacock five runs of support on ten hits, highlighted by a two-out double by Nick Moresi in the first and two-out triple in the bottom of the eighth, which sat down Dan Leatherman who had been warming up to pitch the top of the ninth.
With the win, Potomac improves to 5-6 in the 2nd half and takes a 2-1 series lead against first-place Wilmington. Lefty Evan Bronson (3-5, 3.94) is scheduled to face off against Ivor Hodgson (4-6, 4.97) in the finale tonight.