Potomac got the big hits, but it was the little things that cost them game as Frederick took the series opener, 7-6.
The P-Nats were also coming off a long eight-hour bus trip from South Carolina, which is also a recipe for flat play.
For example, Dakota Bacus, who has shown a knack for getting guys out even when his command is wavering, couldn’t do it last night as he walked three and seemingly fell behind each and every Keys batter, which limited him to four innings. He would give up four runs (three earned) on four hits as he suffered his first loss.
Backup backstop Cole Leonida, who has been the counterpoint to passed-ball woes of the #1 catchers the past two seasons, gave up his first of the season in the first. While it was Oscar Tejeda’s bullfighter imitation that rendered the one of the Keys three first-inning runs unearned, without the misplay, things might have been different.
Tejeda would redeem himself with a two-run home run in the bottom of the 1st to pull Potomac within one at 3-2. Justin Miller drilled a solo shot in the 2nd to tie things up at 3-3 in the 2nd.
The momentum was lost immediate in the top of the third, when McQuillan LF Mike McQuillan lost a ball in the twilight that might have been the third out. Instead, it went for a double and was followed by single that gave the lead back to Frederick at 4-3.
Like Tejeda, Leonida and McQuillan would both acquit themselves with a leadoff double in the 5th and a two-run homer in the 8th, respectively, but it was just that kind of night where the P-Nats couldn’t get over the hump as they stranded six runners over the final five at-bats.
The two teams rematch tonight with Austin Voth (1-0, 0.00) making his second start for Potomac, opposed by Mark Blackmar (4-1, 4.25).