It doesn’t count as a quality start, but the efforts of Ian Dickson and Matthew Spann last night are as good as it gets for a two-pitcher effort. The Potomac duo combined on a seven-hit shutout — the first of 2014 for the P-Nats — in a 4-0 win last night in Woodbridge.
Dickson, who was making his first start of the season after seven relief outings, allowed just three hits and a walk over four innings as he kept the veteran Frederick lineup (redundant, I know) off-balance with a mix of fastballs and changeups. More importantly, he retired the first batter in all five innings.
The P-Nats would draw first blood in the 1st with a leadoff double by the Groovin’ Aruban (Randolph Oduber) and one-out triple by Oscar Tejeda. Brandon Miller was responsible for three runs, the first one via the bat as he ripped one to the 5/6 hole that Keys 3B Jason Esposito stopped and threw out Miller while Tejeda charged in from third base.
The second Miller run was one he prevented with his right arm in the 3rd inning as he gunned down Tucker Nathans trying to score from second on a two-out, groundball single to right field by Lucas Herbst.
The third run came in the 6th as Miller beat out an infield hit to third to extend the Potomac lead to 3-0. Potomac would get its fourth and final run in the 8th on a Stephen Perez walk, steal of second, and Tejeda’s two-out single for his second hit and second RBI of the night.
Matthew Spann took over for Dickson in the 6th and gave up back-to-back singles before getting a flyball to medium center, which Narciso Mesa airmailed past the cutoff man, perhaps too eager to show that he’s a worth successor to the CF arms that came before him (Michael Taylor, Chris Curran).
Spann would erase the threat with a double-play ball with a 6-3 DP by Perez, the second of five batters Spann set down in a row before giving up a leadoff double and a one-out single in the 8th. Spann would go self service this time, striking out the next two batters to end the threat and catching all three Keys looking in the 9th to earn the save.
With the win, Potomac improves to 17-10 and opens up a 4½ game lead over second-place Lynchburg in the Carolina League North. John Simms (0-0, 1.80) make his second start tonight for the P-Nats with Brady Wager (2-2, 6.12) taking the hill for Frederick.