The Potomac Nationals picked up where they left off on Saturday night and rolled to a 7-1 victory in the completion from Saturday night. Then they did it again in the 7-inning game that followed with a 7-2 win to extend their streak to five games and hold onto a share of first place in the Carolina League north.
Tyler Herron took the mound and tossed three scoreless to get the win in the completion, walking one and striking out four. Between Herron and Taylor Hill’s effort the night before, the game was well in hand but Kevin Keyes removed all doubt with a three-run HR off the LF foul pole. It was also the third time in the game Potomac had hit safely back-to-back-to-back with two outs.
In the second game, Blake Schwartz walked the first two batters he faced then threw away the ball on a pickoff attempt. He rolled a grounder to send in one run but got the next two outs to escape the jam with minimal damage, just one run.
His counterpart, Jason Van Skike, was just as wild (or squeezed, depending on your bias as he walked three of the first four batters he faced. Then the P-Nats started their station-to-station offense, connecting for three straight singles to cash in the three base on balls and give Schwartz a lead to work with.
The 23-y.o. Minnesotan walked the first batter of the 2nd, and for a brief moment, it looked like this could be a long afternoon — even with the shortened contest.
Then Schwartz, who is most definitely a flyball pitcher thus far for Potomac, found his groove. Changing speeds, he kept the Winston-Salem lineup off balance and retired 11 straight without the ball touching the ground — including three strikeouts and five flyouts to CF Michael Taylor.
The Dash’s no. 9 batter, .220-batting David Herbek, ended the no-hit bid with a line-drive single to left-center. He would also be the final Winston-Salem baserunner.
That’s because Schwartz strung together another streak of outs, beginning with a groundout to second to end the 5th and a strikeout to finish the 7th and earn the complete-game one-hitter. He walked three and struck out five for his third Potomac win.
As aforementioned, the win keeps pace with first-place Lynchburg, which leads Potomac in percentage points .559 to .556. The two teams have two remaining series against each other — May 24-26 in Lynchburg and May 31-June 2 in Woodbridge.
Tonight, the P-Nats shoot for the four-game sweep with LHP Robbie Ray (3-1, 2.08) taking the hill versus RHP Bryan Blough (1-4, 6.94).