Midweek doubleheaders are a tough go, especially when the first game goes longer than seven, so I apologize in advance for folks looking for a hands-on writeup for both games…
On a chilly night the Potomac Nationals and Winston-Salem Dash played 17 innings and scored 10 runs, with each team taking a 3-2 decision.
In Game One, the two teams traded goose eggs for the first three innings, as the P-Nat bats started cold for the second straight game and starter Paul Demny allowed just a two-out single in the first.
A leadoff single in the Dash fourth was quickly erased by Sandy Leon (his second CS in six attempts) before Demny allowed a two-out walk and single before escaping the jam with a groundout.
The P-Nats broke up the no-no three innings earlier than Monday night with a Rick Hague single to left. Steve Souza put a coat on a hanger for a two-run shot three batters later for his third home run of the season to give the Pfitz tenants a 2-0 lead.
Demny was lifted with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first in favor of Ryan Demmin who returned the fourth-inning favor with a curve that didn’t that was smacked by Dash’s veteran first baseman Ian Gac for a game-tying two-run shot.
Bad baserunning erased the last true threat of the night for Potomac in the sixth as J.P. Ramirez attempted to take third base from first base on an infield single by Destin Hood. Walks to Leon and Francisco Soriano in the seventh and eighth and a leadoff bunt single by Souza in the ninth was the extent of the offense the rest of the way.
Adam Olbrychowski followed Demmin on the mound and turned in two solid innings of relief with a just a walk allowed and a two strikeouts. Carlos Martinez took the loss in the 10th inning on a lucky break as a grounder up the middle bounced off his ankle towards right field, away from second baseman Jeff Kobernus who was tracking the ball behind the bag. Unable to reverse direction fast enough, the would-be groundout turned into a game-winning single.
The P-Nats took the nightcap in the regulation seven innings with a 3-2 win. Starter Mitchell Clegg turned in four innings, allowing both Winston-Salem runs on four hits and a walk. He also struck out three. Josh Smoker got the win in relief for his 1-2-3 inning while Pat Lehman did likewise for two more for this first save of the season.
With the split, Potomac now stands at 2-3 and has its lone scheduled day off in April before heading up the highway to visit Wilimington for the weekend, coming back next Monday-Wednesday for three-game set against the Frederick Keys.
Byron Kerr is reporting that Rick Hague has injured his shoulder during Game One. This was seen by yours truly but he did not come off the field in apparent distress, so it was attributed to simply playing it safe and giving the bench some playing time. This morning, when looking through the boxscores, I knew something was awry when Dykstra was put in at third base, an unusual move given his defensive struggles.