Three pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout while the offense awoke as the P-Nats downed the Hillcats, 5-0 to earn a series split and return to .500.
Excluding an error-aided 9th on Thursday, Potomac had managed just two runs and nine hits in the previous 22 innings — even with MLB rehab Jayson Werth.
Today, Potomac threatened in every inning and connected for nine hits, including solo HRs from Isaac Ballou and Khayyan Norfork. They also drew eight walks, which with a little more continuity, could have resulted in three or four more runs.
The offensive outburst was highlighted by a three-run 3rd. Wilmer Difo walked with one out, took second on Chris Bostick’s subsequent single, then scored from second base on a flyout to center to steal a run and give John Wooten an RBI by way of a sacrifice fly. Spencer Kieboom and Brandon Miller capped off the inning with two-out RBI singles with Ballou drawing a walk in between them.
Meanwhile, Wander Suero’s return to High-A was a six scoreless innings with just three hits and one walk allowed. However, he did not strike out a batter, which is always cause for concern — especially for a pitcher who does not have mid-90s heat.
Manny Rodriguez picked up where he left off in the 2014 postseason by striking out three of the first four batters he faced in the 7th and 8th innings before putting a pair of runners on with two outs. He escaped the jam with a popup to Craig Manuel.
Brian Dupra finished the game with a scoreless ninth, working around a two-out walk.
Potomac continue its season-opening homestand with a three-game set against Winston-Salem tomorrow through Wednesday. Matt Spann is scheduled to take the hill for the P-Nats, opposed by Matt Heidenreich for the Dash.