Potomac rallied from a 4-0 deficit and scored in each of the final five innings for a 6-5 walkoff win, their third straight of the homestand and fifth in a row against Lynchburg.
Doug Fister started for the first MLB rehab outing of the season by a pitcher in Potomac but struggled with his command early, racking up deep counts to the first three batters. Two of them would reach: one by an error — Stephen Perez’s team-leading 6th — another by a single before Fister would strike out his first batter looking.
Veteran minor-leaguer Kevin Ahrens cashed in the error with an RBI single to left before Fister would forget the outs and throw over to 1st on a tapper back to mound. The P-Nats defense let him down again as a passed ball by Pedro Severino scored the second Lynchburg run.
Fister settled down in the second and third innings, facing the mininum as double-play ball erased the third hit he gave up in the 2nd.
Things got hairy again in the 4th as a high-hopper to the left side was ruled an error when Adrian Sanchez couldn’t convert it into an out and the Hillcats got to Fister for three straight hits, though the first (Tyler Tewell) gave himself up by straying too far from 1B and the Potomac defense made him pay for his boneheadedness for the second straight game.
Fister rolled another double play ball to finish his day with four innings pitched, three runs allowed (all unearned) on six hits but no walks and three K’s on 59 pitches, 42 of which were strikes. The 31-y.o. former Tiger is expected to make another rehab start on Friday before returning to Washington next week.
As noted in the previous LNIW, Brett Mooneyham came on in relief instead of starting but seemed to respond well to the lower-pressure situation, though he gave up runs in his first and last innings of work. He walked a season-low of just one batter (though he hit two) and earned his second win.
This, of course, was courtesy of the offense, which scored in each of the last five innings and tallied 13 hits total; three apiece by Perez and Severino and another pair of singles by Adrian Sanchez.
Lynchburg would committ a critical balk in the 9th to set up the walkoff win, the miscue moving up Khayyan Norfork to second with nobody out after the Potomac second baseman led off with a single. The Hillcats elected to intentionally walk Oscar Tejeda to pitch to Brandon Miller and got the strikeout but Shawn Pleffner singled to center to drive in Norfork and give the P-Nats (and Mooneyham) the win.
Dakota Bacus (1-1, 2.08) gets the start tonight against Jarrett Miller (0-2, 3.86) in Game 3 of the four-game series.