The score — Wilmington 4 Potomac 3 — seemed closer than the game actually was.
The Blue Rocks got to Jefry Rodriguez for three runs early, dinging the 23-y.o. for one in 1st on a pair of cheap singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly, then a two-run bomb in the 3rd.
Meanwhile, Wilmington’s Emilio Ogando shut down the Victor Robles-less lineup on two hits and two walks on the first two passes, with just one runner making it into scoring position (David Masters, who led off with a single to left, took second on wild pitch, and went to third on a flyout to right).
After Rodriguez gave up back-to-back two-out doubles to in his sixth and final inning, the P-Nats answered in the bottom half via their unsung offensive threat, Taylor Gushue. The 23-y.o. “guy we got from the Pirates for Christopher Bostick” drilled a two-run HR (his fourth, which leads the Carolina League) to cut the score in half.
Two innings later, the switch-hitting backstop came through again with another clutch hit, a single up the middle to plate Telmito Agustin for Potomac’s third run and his 12th (yes, league-leading) RBI.
Southpaws Matt Crownover and R.C. Orlan blanked the Blue Rocks over the final three innings, but the P-Nats went in order in the 9th, including strikeout nos. 10 and 11 to push their season total to 88 in eight games.
The four-game series continues tonight with a matchup of Joan Baez (0-0, 6.23) vs. A.J. Puckett (0-1, 1.80).