Luke Erickson

Luke Erickson is a season-ticket holder for the Potomac Nationals, but makes a point of seeing games in Hagerstown and Harrisburg at least once a summer. When the PNats are away on the weekend, Luke finds a minor-league game somewhere to watch, and generally attends 70-80 baseball games a year up across several states. A former sportswriter with newspapers in Massachusetts and Oregon, Luke lives in Western Fairfax County with his wife and two sons.

Jul 202012
 


Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 45-53, 6th place I.L. North, 9½ games behind

Good Corey Brown .292/.347/.466 in July
Bad John Lannan 0-3, 7.47ERA, 4HR in July
Interesting Both of Koyie Hill’s HRs have come against Pawtucket

HARRISBURG SENATORS 49-48, 2nd place E.L. West, 9½ games behind

Good Ryan Tatukso 2-1, 2.25ERA, 1.19WHIP in last 10 appearances (3 starts)
Bad Destin Hood .216/.268/.333 in July
Interesting Team 216BBs is 9th in 10-team E.L.

POTOMAC NATIONALS 13-14, T2nd place C.L. North Division, 1 game behind (44-53 overall)

Good Nathan Karns 5-2, 2.12ERA, 0HR in first 8 starts
Bad Michael Taylor 8BB in 26G since All-Star break (30BB in 65G prior)
Interesting 111SBs is 2nd in C.L.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 15-11, 2nd place Sally League North Divison, ½ game behind (57-38 overall)

Good Greg Holt 1-1, 1.35ERA, 1.05WHIP in last 10 appearances (20IP)
Bad Bryce Ortega .275BA, .317SLG
Interesting Cutter Dykstra .328/.423/.475 in July

AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS 19-11, 1st place Pinckney Division, N.Y.-Penn League, 1½ games ahead

Good Nick Lee 0.98WHIP in 5 appearances (21⅓ IP)
Bad Carlos Lopez 7E in 14G
Interesting Blake Monar 23K in 23⅔ IP

GCL NATIONALS 11-17, 4th Place GCL East, 8 games behind

Good Matt Foat .340/.441/.440 in 15G
Bad Blake Schwartz 0-2, 5.06ERA, 1.56WHIP
Interesting Joel Barrientos 2.08ERA, 19K in 17⅓ IP

DSL NATIONALS 20-20, 6th Place Boca Chica South Division, 8½ games behind

Good Maximo Valerio 1.20ERA, 0.87WHIP in July (3 starts, turns 17 on Sunday)
Bad 18-y.o. Bryan Mejia .605OPS
Interesting 18-y.o. SS Osvaldo Abreu 13SB, 9E in 35G
Jul 202012
 

For the second straight year, an outfielder from Hagerstown is poised to skip Potomac and head to Harrisburg instead.

Multiple online sources are reporting that Hagerstown CF Brian Goodwin will be promoted from the Suns to the Sens, with Harrisburg CF Eury Perez heading to Syracuse to make room. Steven Souza Jr. is also in line for a return to Woodbridge, according to Kerr.

As the headline notes, this means that Potomac CF Michael Taylor is staying put, and according to Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News, J.R. Higley will be reassigned to Potomac, indicating that more moves are coming since the Potomac roster was at the roster limit of 25 following the additions of Alex Meyer and Aaron Barrett yesterday as well as MiLB.com indicating that Sam Palace had been transferred from the Suns to the P-Nats as well.

Goodwin had posted a line of .324/.438/.542 in 58 games while missing five weeks with a hamstring injury, and gets the bump that went to Bryce Harper last July in 39 fewer PAs and 14 fewer games played.

UPDATE: Potomac has officially announced the placement of OF Jayson Werth and IF Chad Tracy to the roster as rehab assignments, the promotion of OF Steve Souza Jr. from Hagerstown and the placement of OF Randolph Oduber onto the 7-day DL. C Sam Palace has been transferred from the Suns, but he is listed as on the DL as well.

UPDATE #2: Harrisburg has officially announced the promotion of OF Eury Perez to Syracuse, the promotion of OF Brian Goodwin from Hagerstown, and the transfer of OF J.R. Higley to Hagerstown (not Potomac as initially reported).

Jul 202012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3 vs. Norfolk,
7:00 p.m.
Duke (10-4, 3.78) vs.
Matusz (1-0, 1.69)
Harrisburg Losing, 4-0 vs. New Britain,
5:30 p.m.
(comp./7-inn. DH)
Rosenbaum (7-6, 3.44) vs.
Hermsen (5-5, 3.36)
Potomac Won, 11-8 vs. Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Meyer (A+ debut) vs.
Henry (5-4, 1.42)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Augusta,
5:05 p.m.
Hansen (2-1, 4.88) and
Jordan (0-0, -.–) vs.
Bandilla (1-3, 2.05) and
Crick (4-6, 2.94)
Auburn Lost, 3-0 @ Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Lee (1-0, 2.11) vs.
Melling (2-0, 1.95)
GCL Nationals Lost, 9-4 @ GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 4-3 vs. DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Pawtucket 4 Syracuse 3
• Roark 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Arnesen (L, 1-2) 2IP, H, R, ER, BB, K, HR
• Hill 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Brown 1-5, R, HR, RBI

Live by the longball, die by the longball. Corey Brown led off the game with his 21st, Koyie Hill belted a two-run shot in the 7th, but it wasn’t enough as Pawtucket edged Syracuse, 4-3 and took the series, 3-1. Tanner Roark notched a quality start with three runs allowed on eight hits and a walk over six innings, but came away with a no-decision. Erik Arnesen took the loss and saw his scoreless inning streak snapped at 21 and 1/3rd innings with solo shot in the bottom of the 8th that broke a 3-3 tie. The Chiefs mustered just six hits total and went 0-for-5 with RISP and stranded seven baserunners.

New Britain 4 Harrisburg 0 — SUSP. (Bot. 3)
• Demny 3IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, K, 2HBP, 2WP

Perhaps the rains came an inning too late for Paul Demny, who gave up four in the top of the third on four hits, a walk, and a hit batsman before getting out of the jam with a double-play ball. The umps waited nearly two hours before suspending the game, a decision no doubt influenced by the threat of more rain today as well as this being the final scheduled series between the two teams.

Potomac 11 Lynchburg 8
• Grace (W, 5-9) 6IP, 11H, 7R, 3ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Wort (H, 3) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Hague 2-5, R, 3B, 4RBI, SB
• Sanchez 2-5, R, 2RBI
• Fernandez 3-3, 3R, RBI

With three big innings and 14 hits, the P-Nats outslugged the Hillcats to take game 11-8, and the series, 3-1. Seven of the nine starters racked up hits, with backup catcher Erick Fernandez leading the hit column with three singles and Ricky Hague driving in four, including three with a bases-loaded triple in the 4th. Matt Grace got the win, Jack Morris-style, allowing seven runs (three earned) on 11 hits and two walks, and striking out three.

HAGERSTOWN — PPD
Rain postponed the series opener between the Suns and GreenJackets, and will be made up tonight with a doubleheader starting at 5:05 p.m., weather permitting.

Batavia 3 Auburn 0
• Fischer (L, 1-2) 5IP, 11H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, K
• Mooneyham 4IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Schill 2-4, OF assist at HP
• Ramos 0-3, BB, OF assist at HP

There was a 12mph wind blowing in at Falcon Park, but a 13K breeze blowing out as Batavia blanked Auburn, 3-0. The Doubledays were limited to just two singles (Wes Schill) and two doubles (Carlos Lopez, Estarlin Martinez) as they stranded seven baserunners and went 0-for-5 with RISP. David Fischer suffered the loss, giving up three runs on 11 hits (two runners thrown out at HP, two double plays) with no walks and one strikeout over five innings. Brent Mooneyham finished the game with four innings of two-hit ball, walking one and fanning four.

GCL Nationals 9 GCL Cardinals 4
• Selsor (L, 0-1) 3IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, BB, K
• Heredia 3IP, 7H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Foat 3-4, 2-2B, RBI
• Difo 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, CS
• Rendon 0-2 (L5, F8) – no def. chances

The G-Cards scored early, often, and late to take this one, 9-4. Casey Selsor took the loss in his first start, giving up five runs on seven hits and a walk over three innings. Anthony Rendon made his first appearance since his ankle injury in April, going 0-for-2 with no defensive chances. Matt Foat and Wilmer Difo continue to rake, combining for five hits, three doubles, and two RBI.

DSL Phillies 4 DSL Nationals 3
• De La Cruz 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
• Silvestre 6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 3K
• Berrio (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K, WP, E
• De Los Santos 2-3, 2B, 2RBI, 2E
• Mercedes 2-3, R

Five errors were too much for the D-Nats to overcome as the D-Phils rallied for two in the 8th to win, 4-3. Jorge Berrio took the loss, giving up the tying and winning runs on three hits and a walk, while throwing a wild pitch and committing an error. Juan De Los Santos and Yermin Mercedes both went 2-for-3, with De Los Santos doubling and driving in two.

Jul 192012
 

Lynchburg’s Gus Schlosser was on last night, tossing eight shutout innings in a 6-2 win over Potomac.

The 23-year-old allowed just a leadoff single to Adrian Sanchez, who stole second and took third on an error after a Ricky Hague flyout. Sanchez was erased on a 5-2 putout at the plate, with Xavier Nady reaching first on the fielder’s choice.

After Nady, it was nada. Twenty-two straight batters were retired — six by way of the K, ten on groundouts, and six flyouts.

Thus, while it’s tempting to go off on a rant about the foibles of Chien-Ming Wang (the Taiwanese John Patterson?) and Nady (0-for-3), it’s unfair to Schlosser. Even Nathan Karns would have probably lost last night.

Wang gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. His apologists, who are legion, will take comfort in the 10 groundball outs. But the three hits were two doubles and a triple, and none of them would have been turned into outs by a major-league outfield.

Robbie Ray, the originally scheduled starter, followed Wang on the mound and turned in three serviceable innings, working around a leadoff doubles in the 5th and 7th and a hit batsmen in the 6th before giving up a run in the 8th (home run) and two in the 9th (back-to-back singles and a double).

Ray had trouble locating his fastball and by the 9th, his fifth inning of work, the Hillcats were keying on his breaking pitches, with several fouls ripped into the third-base stands. He finished with three runs allowed on seven hits and no walks, though he did set down six on strikes.

Potomac broke through with two runs in the 9th against reliever Blaine Sims, as Kevin Keyes led off with an opposite-field double down the right field line, Adrian Sanchez singled and took second on an error (sending in Keyes). Ricky Hague followed with an RBI double, though the umpire saw it differently and called him out at second on throw in from left field.

With the loss, Potomac missed an opportunity to tie Lynchburg for the division lead, instead falling back to two games behind, tied with Wilmington and Frederick at 12-14.

The series finale is this afternoon, with Matt Grace (4-9, 5.91) starting for the P-Nats, facing off against Cody Martin (10-6, 2.80) for the Hillcats.

Jul 192012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-1 @ Pawtucket,
12:05 p.m.
Roark (4-12, 5.54) vs.
Stewart (1-1, 3.74)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-5 vs. New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Demny (6-4, 5.12) vs.
Martin (3-3, 4.14)
Potomac Lost, 6-2 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Grace (4-9, 5.91) vs.
Martin (10-6, 2.80)
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Augusta,
7:05 p.m.
Hansen (2-1, 4.88) vs.
Bandilla (1-3, 2.05)
Auburn Won, 7-5 vs. Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Fischer (1-1, 4.80) vs.
Freeman (1-1, 3.16)
GCL Nationals Won, 8-0 vs. GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 4-3 @ DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
Silvestre (3-2, 4.40) vs.
Alejo (3-4, 4.81)

Pawrucket 5 Syracuse 1
• Mandel (W, 1-2) 8IP, 6H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• Garcia 1IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Brown 3-5, 2R, HR(20), 2RBI
• Negrych 2-3, 2BB, RBI
• Rivero 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

With eight strong innings from Jeff Mandel, Syracuse broke a nine-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over Pawtucket. Mandel allowed just a run on six hits and now walks while striking out three. Christian Garcia struck out the side and worked around two walks in the 9th to seal the deal. Corey Brown connected for his team-leading 20th HR while going 3-for-5 to lead the Chiefs offense.

Akron 6 Harrisburg 5
• Perry (ND) 6IP, 5H, 4R, 1ER, 3BB, 2K,
• Nelo (BS, 2; L, 1-4) ⅔ IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 0K
• Lozada 2-4, R, BB, RBI, E(10)
• Perez 2-5
• Rahl 1-5, R, HR, 3RBI

Make that five straight one-run losses for the Harrisburg Senators, as Hector Nelo imploded in the 9th to give this one away, 6-5. Nelo walked three straight batters with two outs to walk in the tying run before he was lifted for Rafael Martin, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced to let in the winning tally with Nelo charged with both the loss and the blown save. Starter Ryan Perry got the no-decision with four runs allowed (one earned) on five hits and three walks. Eury Perez and Jose Lozada both singled twice, while Chris Rahl smacked a three-run shot in the top of the first, his 11th roundtripper of the season.

Lynchburg 6 Potomac 2
• Wang (L, 0-1) 4IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K
• Ray 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 6K, HR
• Sanchez 2-4, R, SB
• Keyes 1-3, R, 2B

Lynchburg’s Gus Schlosser outdueled a rehabbing Chien-Ming Wang Last Night In Woodbridge.

HAGERSTOWN SUNS — OFF DAY
After a 3-5 road trip, the Suns return home for a pair of four-game series against the Augusta GreenJackets and the Lakewood BlueClaws.

Auburn 7 Williamsport 5
• Medina 3⅔ IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 6K, HBP, WP
• Smith (W, 4-1) 2⅓ IP, H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Self (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Schill 3-4, R, 2RBI
• Martinez 2-3, 2R, 3B, BB, RBI

Jordan Poole’s triple, the third of the night for Auburn, followed by a single by Wes Schill broke a 5-5 tie as the Doubledays eventually fell the Crosscutters, 7-5. Brett Mooneyham was a late scratch (manager’s decision), so Silvio Medina got the start and was knocked around for five runs on five hits and four walks over three and 2/3rds innings. Jason Smith got the win in relief while Derek Self tossed a scoreless 9th for his third save. Schill let the hit column with a 3-for-4 night, scoring one and driving in two.

GCL Nationals 8 GCL Cardinals 0
• Hudgins (W, 1-2) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Mendez 2IP, H, 0R, BB, 2K
• J.C. Valdez 2-5, 2R, 2-2B, RBI
• Lippincott 2-4, R, BB, RBI
• Jennings 2-5, SB

Four G-Nats pitchers combined to blank the G-Cards, 8-0. Will Hudgins got his first professional win with five innnings of two-hit, no-walk ball, striking out three. Rehabbers Mike Schultz and Alex Kreis both turned in a empty frame while Gilberto Mendez laid two goose eggs on the board to complete the shutout. The G-Nats rapped out 12 hits, with Jean Carlos Valdez leading the attack with a pair of doubles and two runs scored.

DSL Nationals 4 DSL Phillies 3
• Gomez (W, 5-2) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, HR
• K. Rodriguez (SV, 6) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Read 3-4, R, 2-2B, HR, 2RBI
• Novas 2-3, R, 2B, BB, 2SB

Raudy Read’s RBI double in the 5th broke a 3-3 tie as the D-Nats went on to edge the D-Phillies, 4-3. Elisaul Gomez turned in a quality start for his fifth win, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Kelvin Rodriguez threw three hitless innings to nail it down and earn his sixth save. Read led the D-Nats attack with two doubles in addition to the home run, going 3-for-4 with 2RBI overall.

Jul 182012
 

Too many moves to wait until tomorrow’s news & notes…

HARRISBURG
• C Sandy Leon recalled to Washington
• C Devin Ivany activated from DL

POTOMAC
• RHP Alex Meyer promoted from Hagerstown
• RHP Aaron Barrett promoted from Hagerstown
• C Sam Palace transferred from Hagerstown (MiLB.com reporting, which conflicts with official release from Potomac = a release or DL stint not yet inputted).

HAGERSTOWN
• RHP Taylor Jordan transferred from Auburn (rehab)
• RHP Brian Rauh promoted from Auburn
• LHP Bobby Hansen Jr. activated from TIL
AUBURN
• SS Stephen Perez placed on the 7-day DL
• RHP Ivan Pineyro promoted from GCL
• RHP Michael Boyden promoted from GCL

GCL
• RHP Lucas Giolito assigned from Washington (1st rd. draft pick)
• RHP Mike Shultz assigned from Washington (FA signed in March, rehab)
• RHP Alex Kreis transferred from Hagerstown (rehab)
• 3B Anthony Rendon transferred from Potomac (rehab)

The promotions of RHPs Alex Meyer and Aaron Barrett are not yet official, thus the corresponding moves for Potomac are not yet known. As reported this morning in the News & Notes, it’s likely that one or both of the 28-year-old relievers (Jimmy Barthmaier, Adam Carr) will be promoted to make room and one of the current starting pitchers headed to the ‘pen or the DL (Sywnenberg fits the description in either case).

MASN’s Byron Kerr is stirring the pot with Suns position player possibilities, but subsequent maneuvers to any of these players is far less clear, given that there are only a couple of reasonable possibilities (Freitas, Hague), and both of them are unlikely to displace their counterparts (Leon, Walters) in Harrisburg.

UPDATE: The Meyer/Barrett promotions are now official, but no subsequent moves have been made. The ripple effect from the parent club recalling Sandy Leon is also noted (Harrisburg) as well as a couple of other, um, minor moves.

Jul 182012
 

Five times the Lynchburg Hillcats scored in the second inning, but five times the Potomac Nationals scored after the second out of the inning, including once in the 9th and once in the 10th for a thrilling 7-6 win in extras.

Francisco Soriano drove in a lumbering Kevin Keyes from first base for the deciding run with a double to the right-centerfield wall to complete the comeback from deficits of 5-0 and 6-1. Keyes led the 15-hit attack with a single, double, and a home run, while also drawing a walk.

As with any comeback win, often unsung is the effort of the bullpen, which threw eight and a 1/3rd innings with just one run allowed on four hits, no walks, and eight strikeouts. Ryan Demmin was the first man out and finished off the second inning without throwing a pitch, catching an ill-advised steal of third with a five-run lead, the first of two critical baserunning blunders.

The big southpaw turned in four innings of solid relief, retiring the first seven batters he faced before giving up back-to-back doubles in the 5th. Another single came after that, with Michael Taylor ever-so-slightly overrunning the ball, but staying on his feet to unleash an off-target bullet to the infield. Steven King laid out to cut it off and keep it from skipping past Freitas. The defensive sequence wasn’t technically pretty, but the runner stayed put.

After single runs in the 4th and 5th innings — David Freitas RBI double, a Soriano sac fly to drive in Keyes — the P-Nats came up big in the 6th with three runs, highlighted by Keyes’ 14th HR to pull within one.

Demmin gave way to Drew Storen in the 7th, and the rehabbing closer set down the side in the 9th. He still looks deliberate and tentative, but it was nice rebound after rough outing on Sunday in Harrisburg. Jimmy Barthmaier hit a batter but retired the the other six batters he faced in the 8th and 9th innings.

Potomac went down in order in the 7th, and left ‘em loaded in the 8th, but as pictured above, got the tying run that made the 10th inning heroics. With two outs, Xavier Nady finally showed proof that he has played above the level with his second single of the game. Adrian Sanchez pinch-ran and took third on a Freitas single to left. Jason Martinson delivered nearly the same hit to the same place to plate Sanchez.

Neil Holland got the win, thanks in part to the aforementioned second baserunning blunder. After giving up a leadoff single, Lynchburg elected to bunt over the go-ahead run. Perhaps it was a calculated gamble that Ricky Hague, who had covered for King vacating first to field the sacrifice, would be slow to notice or maybe it was the hubris that comes with a leadoff man’s speed. In any case, like a Monty Python character in drag, nobody was fooled as Freitas directed Hague to fire over to third for the 1-4-5 double play.

Game Three of the four-game series is scheduled to have Robbie Ray (3-6, 5.11) take the mound against Gus Schlosser (9-4, 3.45), though multiple reports have Chien-Ming Wang pitching tonight as well.

Jul 182012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-3 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Mandel (0-2, 2.05) vs.
Buckner (1-4, 6.80)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 @ Akron,
12:05 p.m.
Perry (1-1, 1.66) vs.
Wright (6-6, 2.62)
Potomac Won, 7-6
(10 inn.)
vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (3-6, 5.11) or
Wang (rehab) vs.
Schlosser (9-4, 3.45)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-7 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 6-5
(11 inn.)
vs. Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Mooneyham (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Oviedo (0-1, 6.75)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-4 @ GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
Hudgins (0-2, 3.09) vs.
Foody (0-0, 1.80)
DSL Nationals Won, 1-0 vs. DSL Phillies,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Pawrucket 8 Syracuse 3
• Maya (L, 6-8) 5⅓ IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, 4BB, K, HR
• Pena ⅔ IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K, 3-3 IR-S
• Brown 2-5, 2B, 2RBI
• Carroll 2-4, CS

A six-run 6th by Pawtucket erased a 2-1 Syracuse lead as the Chiefs eventually fell to the PawSox, 8-3. Starter Yunesky Maya suffered the loss with six runs charged on eight hits and four walks. Hassan Pena let in three of those runs on a triple surrendered to the first batter he faced and eventually gave up two of his own runs over just 2/3rds-plus innings. Corey Brown led Syracuse’s offense with a single and a double and two RBI.

Akron 5 Harrisburg 4
• Tatusko (ND) 6⅔ IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 7K, HR, 2HBP
• Frias (BS, 1; L, 3-4) 1⅓ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Bloxom 2-3, R, HR, RBI
• Van Ostrand 2-4, 2B

After winning eight straight, the worm has turned for the Senators as Harrisburg lost its four straight game (all by one run), 3-2. Starter Ryan Tatusko gave up just one hit (a home run) over six and 2/3rds innings, but was charged with two runs and got the no-decision when Marcos Frias couldn’t strand Tatusko’s two-out walk in the bottom of the 7th. Frias took the loss, allowing a run on two hits and a walk in the 7th and 8th innings. Justin Bloxom homered in the top of the 7th to give the Sens a 2-1 lead and went 2-for-3 on the night overall.

Potomac 7 Lynchburg 6 (10 inn.)
• Olbrychowski 1⅔ IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, BB, K, HR
• Demmin 4⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 5K
• Holland (W, 5-1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Keyes 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• King 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Soriano 1-4, R, 2B, SF, 2RBI

The P-Nats rallied from a 6-1 deficit to win in 10 innings Last Night In Woodbridge.

Byron Kerr is reporting that Alex Meyer and Aaron Barrett will be promoted to Potomac, arriving in Woodbridge tomorrow (the Suns are traveling from Kentucky to Maryland), which has been echoed by multiple congratulatory tweets by their teammates. No word on the corresponding moves, but look for Jimmy Barthmaier and perhaps Adam Carr to be sent up Harrisburg to make room.

Lexington 10 Hagerstown 7
• Hill (L, 9-5) 5⅓ IP, 9H, 9R, 6ER, BB, 2K
• Holt 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, 1-1 IR-S
• Dykstra 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI, 3E
• Souza 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Goodwin 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI, CS

Hagerstown couldn’t hold an early 5-0 lead and fell to Lexington in the series finale, 10-7. Starter Taylor Hill was battered for nine runs (six earned) on nine hits and a walk over five and 1/3rd innings. Steve Souza and Brian Goodwin both homered in the loss, while Cutter Dykstra singled twice and doubled once while going 3-for-5 with two runs scored.

Connecticut 6 Auburn 5
• Encarnacion 6IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 4K
• Davis 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 3K, 3-0 IR-S
• Henke (L, 3-1) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K
• Ramos 3-5, 2-2B
• Pleffner 3-6, 2R, 2B, RBI

Auburn couldn’t walk off again, losing in 11 innings to Williamsport, 6-5. Travis Henke took the loss with a single and a triple given up in the 11th following a scoreless 10th. Wander Ramos led the offense with a single and two doubles, but despite 14 hits total, the Doubledays were an abysmal 1-for-16 with RISP, stranding 10 baserunners.

GCL Marlins 5 GCL Nationals 4
• Schwartz (ND) 5IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 7K
• Boyden 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Heredia (BS, 2; L, 1-2) 1IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Mesa 3-5, R, RBI, SB
• Piwnica-Worms 1-3, 2B, BB, 2RBI, SB
• Difo 1-3, R, 2BB, 2SB (10)

With a three-run homer in the top of the 9th, the G-Marlins edged the G-Nats, 5-4. Inocencio Heredia coughed up the big the fly for his second blown save and second loss, giving up a double and a walk prior to the killshot. Narciso Mesa led the hit column with a 3-for-5 afternoon with a run scored and a stolen base.

DSL Nationals 1 DSL Pirates2 0
• Valerio (W, 1-4) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Benitez (SV, 2) 3IP, H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 1-2, 2B, BB, RBI
• Bautista 1-4, 2B

Maximo Valerio and Juan Benitez combined on a three-hit shutout as the DSL Nationals edged the DSL Pirates2, 1-0. “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz’s RBI double in the 4th proved to be the game-winner as the two teams each collected just three hits. Valerio gave up two hits and a walk over six innings to earn the win while Benitez allowed just a hit and a walk over the last three frames to earn the save.

Jul 172012
 

A leadoff walk, a stolen base, and three singles and things were looking bleak for the pitcher in the first. Then, a grand slam. In the space of just a few minutes, it’s a 5-0 deficit.

Rolling your eyes, are you? This happened in the bottom of the first.

Highlighted by Michael Taylor’s first home run of the season (the grand slam), the Potomac Nationals started strong with a five-run first and cruised to a 14-0 pummeling of the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Of course, it was a baker’s dozen more runs that Nathan Karns needed as the 24-year-old continues to roll through the Carolina League, lowering his ERA to 2.12 with six shutout innings, one hit and two walks allowed, and six strikeouts.

Karns has yet to be tested against the class of the Carolina League (Winston-Salem), but as P-Nats play-by-play man Tim Swartz tweeted last night, Karns is making the case to be the best prospect in the system at this moment. His last six starts: 40IP, 19H, 10BB, 50K, and a 0.75ERA. As written previously, the twin trends of reduced walks and increased (and improved) use of his breaking pitches have been the keys to this string of success.

Potomac did lose steam after the grand slam, but credit should go to Lynchburg’s pitcher Aaron Northcraft for bearing down. The Hillcat righty retired 15 of 16 batters before Jason Martinson’s single to right opened up a three-run rally in the 6th, as Taylor ripped a double down the left field line to send the shortstop to third and Stephen King plated the two with a single up the middle against the drawn-in infield.

The 7th inning also started slowly, with the Lynchburg left fielder muffing a Ricky Hague flyball. After Xavier Nady grounded to short to complete his 0-for-4 night, David Freitas drew a walk, Martinson sliced a liner to right for a triple to drive in Hague and Freitas. Following a walk to Taylor, a King RBI single, Kevin Keyes completing the scoring binge by putting a coat on hanger by Hillcat reliever Caleb Brewer for his team-leading 13th homer and RBI nos. 48, 49, and 50.

With the outcome of the game certain, Karns was lifted and the Potomac ‘pen given a chance to get some work done. Joe Testa delivered a 1-2-3 frame in the 7th while Adam Carr finished the game with just a walk allowed over the final two innings to complete the shutout, the fourth of the season for Potomac.

The win pulls the P-Nats to within two games of the ‘Cats for first place in the Carolina League Nothh, though they still inhabit the cellar of the four-team division. Veteran Adam Olbrychowski (4-7, 5.54) gets the start tonight, opposed by Lynchburg southpaw Dimasther Delgado (5-4, 3.62).

Jul 172012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-5 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Maya (6-7, 3.68) vs.
Mathis (6-6, 4.14)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-4 @ Akron,
7:05 p.m.
Tatusko (2-2, 4.06) vs.
House (5-2, 4.07)
Potomac Won, 14-0 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Olbrychowski (4-7, 5.54) vs.
Delgado (5-4, 3.62)
Hagerstown Lost, 11-1;
Lost, 8-4
@ Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (9-4, 4.58) vs.
Ordosgoitti (2-3, 5.45)
Auburn Won, 5-1 vs. Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (2-0, 1.71) vs.
Gonzalez (0-1, 3.68)
GCL Nationals Lost, 4-3 vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 15-4 vs. DSL Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
TBD vs. TBD

Pawrucket 8 Syracuse 5
• Lannan (L, 6-9) 5+ IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Pena 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Rivero 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, RBI
• Valdez 2-4, R, HR, RBI

In a game that featured seven HRs between the two teams, Pawtucket outslugged Syracuse for an 8-5 win. John Lannan, who’s been tabbed to start in the DC doubledip on Sat., was hammered at the start and finish, charged with six runs on nine hits and a walk over five-plus innings, with two solo shots surrendered. The Chiefs hit four of the seven HRs, with Carloses Rivero and Maldonado, Brett Carroll, and Jesus Valdez going deep and accounting for all five Syracuse runs.

Akron 5 Harrisburg 4
• Holder (L, 0-2) 5⅔ IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 3K
• VanAllen ⅓ IP, H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Hood 3-4, R, 2-2B, BB, RBI
• Rahl 3-5, R, 2B, 2SB
• Perez 3-5, R, RBI

Trevor Holder’s second start was much better than his first, but a four-run sixth hung the “L” on him as the Aeros edged the Sens, 5-4. The 25-y.o. kept the ball in the yard and issued just one free pass but gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over five and 2/3rds. Harrisburg outhit Akron 12-9, with the trio of Eury Perez, Chris Rahl, and Destin Hood combining for nine hits, three runs scored, three doubles, and two RBI.

Potomac 14 Lynchburg 0
• Karns 6IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 6K
• Carr 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Taylor 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB, HR, 4RBI
• Keyes 2-3, R, BB, HR, RBI, SB
• Martinson 3-5, 3R, 3B, 2RBI

Nathan Karns got plenty o’ offense Last Night In Woodbridge.

Lexington 11 Hagerstown 1 — GAME ONE (Comp.)
• McKenzie ⅔ IP, 2H, 6R, 6ER, 3BB, 0K, 0HR
• Meza 2⅓ IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 2K, 2-2 IR-S
• Goodwin 1-3, R, HR, BB, RBI
• Ramsey 2-4, 2B

Lexington picked up where they left off on Sunday afternoon and completed the thrashing of Hagerstown, 11-1. Richie Mirowski got the de facto start and gave up a run over three innings, but Bobby Lucas and the strike zone were complete strangers as the southpaw issued five walks over the last two innings and was charged with two earned runs. The Legends relievers held the Suns to just two hits over the final five frames.

Lexington 8 Hagerstown 4 — GAME TWO
• Turnbull (L, 4-5) 2IP, 6H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 0K, 2HR
• Hawkins 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Ortega 2-3, R
• Goodwin 2-4, R, 2B,

Game Two saw much the same pattern, as the Legends doubled up the Suns, 8-4. Kylin Turnbull gave up a pair of two-run home runs and six runs overall in two innings of work to take the loss. Bryce Ortega and Brian Goodwin combined for four of the Suns’ six hits and two of the four runs scored. Roster moves: RHP Wilson Eusebio was placed on the 7-Day DL while RHP Leonard Hollins was promoted from the GCL.

Auburn 5 Connecticut 1
• Monar (W, 2-2) 6IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Benincasa 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Schill 1-3, 2R, RBI
• Norfork 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI

Auburn broke its two-game slide with a 5-1 win over Connecticut, finishing the 900+ mile, six-game roadtrip with a 4-2 mark. Blake Monar tossed six scoreless, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out five, evening his W-L record at 2-2. The #1 and #2 men in the lineup, Wes Schill and Khayyan Norfork, both went 1-for-3 with Schill scoring two runs and Norfork driving in two runs, courtesy of a two-run HR in the 3rd inning. The Doubledays are home now for 10 of the next 14 games, starting with a pair against Williamsport.

GCL Marlins 4 GCL Nationals 3
• Santana (L, 1-2) 3⅔ IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, WP
• Mudron 3⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Foat 4-5, R, RBI
• Severino 2-4

A four-run first was too much for the G-Nats to overcome as they fell one run short, 4-3. Andy Santana took the loss, allowing all four G-Marlins runs on four hits and two walks while striking out two. The G-Nats outhit the G-Marlins 11-4, but stranded 12 runners while going just 3-for-14 with RISP. Matt Foat led the offense with a 4-for-5 afternoon, scoring a run and driving in a run.

DSL Pirates2 15 DSL Nationals 4
• J. Rodriguez (L, 0-2) 2+ IP, 3H, 5R, 2ER, 7BB, 1K, 0HR
• Acevedo 2IP, 2H, 0R, BB, K, 3-1 IR-S
• Abreu 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Read 2-4, BB, RBI
• Mejia 2-4, R, RBI

The DSL Pirates2 scored in five of the first six innings, building a 9-0 lead en route to a 15-4 smackdown of the DSL Nationals. Jefry Rodriguez took the loss, walking seven for the second time this season and allowing five runs on three hits over two-plus innings. The D-Nats broke through for four runs in the 7th, but were held to seven hits total, with Osvaldo Abreu, Raudy Read, and Bryan Mejia each collecting two hits.