With a nine-run 5th, Wilmington turned a pitcher’s duel into a little bit of payback for a 10-4 win to prevent a series sweep by Potomac.
Potomac had taken four out of five and three straight games, winning in their final at-bat on Thursday, 3-2, walking off on Friday with five runs in the bottom of the 9th, 11-10 and dominating them on Saturday night for a 6-1 win.
The two teams matched zeroes through the first four innings, with Potomac managing a pair of singles in the 1st and Wilmington collecting two-out singles in the 2nd and 4th inning, the damage minimized by P-Nats southpaw Matthew Spann getting the leadoff batter in every inning.
Until the 5th, that is, when Wilmington loaded the bases on a single to right, a bunt single, and a walk. For a brief moment, when Spann got a grounder to 3rd that Oscar Tejeda threw home to get the inning’s first out, it looked like Spann might clean up the mess with just one more grounder.
Instead, two more singles and a double chased the 23.y.o. southpaw. A week ago, Wander Suero was brought in to save the day and delivered a game-saving performance. This Sunday, no hubo suerte for Suero as he let in two inherited runners and gave up four runs of his own on five hits, three of which left the yard.
Potomac prevented the shutout with a pair of runs in the 6th, as Randolph Oduber doubled in one run, and Will Piwnica-Worms singled in the other. They got two more in the 7th on a Pedro Severino double followed by a Tony Renda triple and a Stephen Perez sacrifice fly.
A six-run comeback was not in the cards as the last seven batters following Perez went down in order for the 10-4 final. The magic number remains at six as the Hillcats rallied from 11-3 after four innings to win 12-11 and remain within three games with a week left in the first half.
Potomac hits the road for a brief three-game road trip against the Carolina Mudcats before returning on Thursday for a five-game set against Winston-Salem.