Potomac continued its domination of division rival Lynchburg as they took their fourth win in the last five games with a 3-1 win on Friday night in Woodbridge.
Wander Suero took his his third win in three starts — all against the Hillcats — with seven strong innings. The 23-y.o. Dominican, who was strafed for seven runs in his previous outing a week ago, gave up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk while tying his career high with seven strikeouts.
After Wilmer Difo raised the hopes of the 3,000+ plus in attendance with a leadoff double, he erased himself with some poor baserunning by running into a 7-6-5 DP after straying too far on a warning-track flyball by Christopher Bostick.
The P-Nats were set down in order from the 2nd to the 5th before John Wooten led off the 6th with a leadoff walk, then took third on an errant pickoff throw, running through manager Tripp Keister’s stop sign and taking third when Lynchburg’s Paul Hendrix missed the tag.
A flare to right off the bat of Estarlin Martinez plated the first Potomac run to break up the Star Trek convention (that’s a whole lot of zeroes) on the Pfitzner scoreboard.
The Hillcats tied it in the top of the 7th with a leadoff single by CF Bradley Zimmer, a steal, and a Spencer Kieboom error, enabling cleanup man Nellie Rodriguez, who had whiffed twice against Suero in two ABs, to plate Zimmer with a sac fly and tie the game at 1-1.
Potomac made a winner out of Suero with an answer of two runs in the bottom of the 7th, as Spencer Kieboom, Khayyan Norfork, and Drew Ward hit back-to-back-to-back singles to take a 2-1 lead. John Wooten followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in Norfork and give the P-Nats the eventual final score of 3-1.
Nick Lee worked around a leadoff single in the 8th to earn the hold while Brian Dupra forced three flyouts in the 9th to notch his first save of the season.
With the win, Potomac keeps pace with first-place Frederick to remain a half-game off the Carolina League North Division lead. The two teams rematch tonight, weather permitting, with Dakota Bacus (0-0, 2.57) scheduled against Hillcat southpaw Michael Rayl (0-1, 4.50).