Seven unanswered runs, zero hits with runners in scoring position, and just five hits was the combination for an 8-2 loss to Lynchburg – the second straight, which dropped Potomac into second place.
Sterling Sharp registered a quality start – three runs on six hits and two walks over six innings – but was flat for most of the night. He struck out just two batters, and none until one out in the 4th. While he was fairly efficient in terms of a pitch count (80 for 53), one gets the feeling that against a stronger offense (the Hillcats are still dead last in runs scored; Potomac is still 1st) he would have had much more trouble.
Potomac actually led this game briefly 2-1 after a pair of singles (Bryan Mejia, Telmito Agustin) and a walk (Blake Perkins) loaded the bases for Carter Kieboom. A grounder to short looked like a 6-4-3 DP in the making but Perkins broke it up with a hard slide into second to force an error and plate both Mejia and Agustin.
The lead would vanish in the 5th as the Potomac right fielder turned an out into a double that set up a two-run rally that enabled the Hillcats to plate two and take a 3-2 lead they would never relinquish.
Ten straight P-Nats batters would not reach base until Jake Noll beat out an infield single for the just the third Potomac hit to lead off the 7th. Hayden Howard, who took over for Sharp in the 7th, went an inning too far in the 8th as he was touched for three runs (two earned) on a two hits and a walk as Gabe “Sweet Spot” Klobosits gave up a single to the first batter he faced in the 8th to let in an inherited runner, then tow of his own in the 9th.
Potomac loaded the bases in the 8th with two outs to bring the tying run to the plate but an Austin Davidson popup followed by the 4-5-6 batters going 1-2-3 in the 9th (all by way of the K) ended the game.
The four-game series concludes on Sunday with a matinee featuring Joan Baez (0-1, 5.23) vs. Sam Hentges (2-0, 0.56).
Syracuse lost its scoreless inning streak (23⅓ IP) in the 9th but won for the fifth time in six games with a 7-1 decision over Louisville. Erick Fedde struck out seven over five shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk for his first win of 2018. John Simms followed with two scoreless to earn the hold. Spencer Kieboom walked, homered, and singled while creating four runs while Rafael Bautista singled twice to lead the Chiefs offense. Roster moves: RHP Carlos Torres recalled to Washington; RHP Wander Suero activated from the 7-Day DL
The Yard Goats built a 3-0 lead after two and never looked back for a 6-3 win over the Senators. Luis Reyes was chewed on for five runs on seven hits over six innings, including two HR while losing for the second time. He walked two and struck out three. Derek Self finished the game with one run let in on two hits and a walk over two innings. Jacob Wilson doubled and homered while Taylor Gushue reached base three times with a walk and two singles to pace Harrisburg’s eight-hit, seven-walk (three by Yadiel Hernandez) offense.
Yasel Antuna’s 9th-inning grand slam capped off a furious rally from 5-1 down after six innings to give the Suns a 9-7 win. Hagerstown starter Jackson Stoeckinger matched the O.J. (Other Jackson) from the night before with four runs over five innings on six hits, though he hit a batter and gave up a two-run HR. Sam Held was the pitcher of record when the Suns took the lead and was credited with the win while Jared Brasher let in one of two inherited runners while getting the last two outs in the 9th to record the save. Antuna also doubled, walked twice, scored twice, and drove in five total to power the Hagerstown offense, which squeezed nine runs out of seven hits (six for extra bases) and six walks.
On another cold and blustery night in Woodbridge, the P-Nats could not solve Justin Garza for five and 2/3rds innings and could not connect for the key hit late as the Hillcats evened the three-game series with a 5-3 win.
Errors were the name of this game, with six charged— four by Lynchburg, two Potomac—and arguably a couple more that probably should have been called (yeah, Rhett Wiseman, we’re looking at you). An error charged to Edwin Lora and a misplayed flyball by Wiseman (the first of two) led to two runs in the 1st that put Lynchubrg in the driver’s seat early.
Garza mowed down the first eight batters he faced before plunking Lora in the back with a breaking ball that ran inside. A stolen base and a throw into center field put Lora on third with less than two out, enabling Telmito Agustin to plate him with a sac fly. A walk to Perkins gave a brief glimmer of hope that Garza may have come unhinged but he got Carter Kieboom to pop out to end the 3rd.
Meanwhile, Matthew Crownover had his troubles as the defense let him down with earned (but not really) run in the 4th and an unearned run in the 5th put him behind 4-1 after five innings. He would go six innings and was charged with four runs (two earned) on six hits, no walks, and two whiffs, but would take the loss.
Garza left with a no-hitter with two outs in the 6th. An error, another HBP, and a Wiseman RBI single cut the lead to 4-2 but the tying runs were left on in 6th. Potomac would leave two more on again in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings – finishing with a total 12 and a mark of 2-for-11 with RISP.
The loss drops Potomac to 9-7, tied with Salem for 1st place and just a ½ game ahead of second-place Lynchburg. Game Three of the four-game series will feature Sterling Sharp (1-1, 4.73) vs. Jake Paulson (1-1, 2.89).
After waiting out a two-hour rain delay, Harrisburg and Reading had another extra-inning shootout. This time, the Senators held the Fightins off in the top half of the 10th to set up Dan Gamache’s one-out walkoff for a 4-3 win. Jaron Long got the start and went the first four, allowing a run on five hits and three walks. Roman Mendez picked up the win with two scoreless innings, though he walked four and struck out three. Zach Collier, Gamache, and Daniel Johnson combined for six of the eight Harrisburg hits, with Collier connecting for a double and a triple.
A walk by Carter Kieboom and back-to-back singles by Austin Davidson and Jake Noll turned a possible 4-3 loss in the extra frame into a 5-4 win for the P-Nats. Wil Crowe went a career-high six innings (87 pitches) but wasn’t as effective as his last time out, as he let in three runs on six hits, including a leadoff HR in the 6th. He walked two and struck out four. Ronald Pena followed with two scoreless while James Bourque was the winning pitcher, though he did allow the runner on base to start the 10th to score on two flyballs*. Tres Barrera singled twice, doubled once, and drove in two while Noll went 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored to lead the Potomac offense. * So far, I’m liking the new extra-innings rule because most teams are swinging away. But I do have a pebble in my shoe about how a run gets charged to a pitcher that’s absolutely not his fault – especially in a circumstance like this where the pitcher did his job and got two outs. If this becomes a permanent rule change, I think a category like IBB might be created that accounts for these unearned runs.
Lexington scored in each of the first four innings to build a 9-6 lead and held on for a 10-7 win over Hagerstown in the series opener. Starter and losing pitcher Tomas Alastre was chased after three innings, with seven runs allowed on eight hits and three walks. Reigning pitcher of the week Ben Braymer was also knocked around with three runs allowed over four innings on four hits, including a two-run HR. Juan Soto ended his horrific streak of four at-bats without a hit with a single and a double and two runs scored while Anderson Franco notched his third multi-hit game over the last six with a 3-for-5 night. Roster moves: C Joey Harris placed on the 7-Day DL; OF Nic Perkins reassigned from Auburn.
Four Chiefs pitchers combined on a shutout of the Indians in the first game of the doubleheader. No hits were allowed – is there a name for that? Austin Voth went the first three and struck out four, David Goforth hit a batter but threw two, while Tim Collins and Austin Adams both tossed a scoreless inning and struck out two. Tuffy Gosewich led the Syracuse hit parade with three singles and an RBI, followed by Jose “Orange” Marmolejos with two singles and a walk.
Syracuse jumped on Indianapolis for five in the 1st and cruised to another shutout, 7-0, to sweep the doubleheader. Tommy Milone allowed five baserunners (3H, 2BB) and stranded them all while fanning five over five innings for the win, his first of the season. Jimmy Cordero and Trevor Gott both put up a goose egg to finish out the game. Alejandro De Aza singled three times, scored once, and drove in a run while Irving Falu and Rafael Bautista both went 2-for-4 to pace the Chiefs offense.
The Fightins got a one-out single in the top of the 10th to plate the runner put on to start the inning while the Senators had no answer in the bottom of the 10th for a 5-4 win. Jefry Rodriguez struck out nine over five innings but also let in four runs (two earned) on five hits for a no-decision. Austen Williams spun three scoreless to preserve the tie while Kaleb Fleck took the loss while issuing a walk in his single inning pitched. Zach Collier and Jacob Wilson both homered and combined for four of the nine Harrisburg hits on the night.
Potomac got five in the 1st and four in the 5th and held off late charges by Salem for a 9-5 win the series finale. Tyler Mapes was strafed for three in the 1st but settled in for five scoreless to finish with a quality start of three runs allowed on five hits and three walks while fanning four over six innings. Jorge Pantoja closed it out with a wobbly two runs on four hits and a walk to get the rulebook save. Jake Noll and Bryan Mejia both went 2-for four and combined five RBI to lead the P-Nats attack.
The Suns were eclipsed in the late innings yet again as the Shorebirds scored four in the 9th to complete the three-game sweep with an 8-4 win. Jackson Tetrault matched his season-best of four runs on five hits over five innings for the no-decision. Following three scoreless by Kyle Johnston, Max Engelbrekt retired just two of eight batters faced in the 9th to let in four runs and take his second loss of the season. Hagerstown drew eight walks and cashed in three of them on Luis Garcia’s two-run triple in the 5th—the lone hit in eight RISP chances—and Kameron Esthay’s two-run homer in the 7th but had just five hits total.
Indianapolis doubled up Syracuse, 4-2 in the opener. Cesar Vargas went the first five innings but let in the first three Indians runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three to suffer the loss. Alejandro De Aza and Spencer Kieboom hit back-to-back one-out doubles to score the first run while Vargas helped his own cause with two-out RBI single. The Chiefs, however, managed just six hits and one walk total and could not get the tying runs aboard in the 7th.
Indianapolis vs. Syracuse – PPD
The first game was delayed 20 minutes by snow between the 5th and 6th innings, which led officials to call off the second game and try again to play two this morning. Roster moves: OF Andrew Stevenson recalled to Washington; OF Hunter Jones reassigned from Harrisburg.
Steven Perez got on to lead off the 9th and went up and over on a pair of bunts to set up Jacob Wilson’s game-winning sacrifice fly and a 4-3 win by the Senators. Bryan Harper, who walked one and struck out two in the top of the 9th, got the win in relief. Starter Brady Dragmire allowed all three Fightin runs on six hits and a walk ove six innings for the quality start and no-decision. He also drew a walk and drove in a run with a single. Yadiel Hernandez reached base three times with a pair of singles and a walk to lead the Harrisburg offense. Roster moves: RHP Logan Darnell placed on the 3-Day TIL; C Matt Reistetter activated from the 7-day disabled list..
Salem 7 Potomac 4
• Baez 5IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K, HBP
• Howard (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Mills ⅔ IP, 1H, R, ER, 3BB, K, 2-2 IR-S
• Davidson 3-5, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Wiseman 2-4, R, 2-2B, OF assist at HP
Joan Baez’s five scoreless innings and a 4-0 lead both went up in smoke as the Potomac ‘pen was bewitched by Salem for seven runs over its final three “ups” in a 7-4 loss. Baez put on three baserunners with a walk, single, and an HBP but also struck out six. The blown-save-loss went to Hayden Howard with three runs charged on two hits and a walk over an inning and 2/3rds with an “assist” from Jordan Mills, who let both runners he inherited. Austin Davidson continues to rake like he’s been in the league for three seasons with a 3-for-5 night, including a double and two-run HR to lead the P-Nats attack of 13 hits and three walks.
Delmarva jumped on Hagerstown for three runs in the 1st and that would prove to be enough as the Shorebirds cruised to a 7-2 win. Alex Troop took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Juan Soto doubled twice, scored once, and drove in a run to lead the Suns’ offense, which was limited to five hits and one walk.
The Suns took a 3-2 lead halfway through, but couldn’t keep the Shorebirds at bay for a 7-3 loss and a doubleheader sweep. Nick Raquet lost for the second time on four runs allowed (two earned) on three walks and three hits, including a two-run HR. A.J. Bogucki was also taken deep for two runs as he lost both baserunners he inherited, then let in three runs of his own over the final two and a 1/3rd innings. Juan Soto and Anderson Franco combined for four singles and three walks while Armond Upshaw connected for a solo HR to pace the Hagerstown offense.
Juan Soto, Ben Braymer named Sally Lg. Player, Pitcher of the Week
Vargas (0-0, 0.00) and
Voth (1-0, 1.69) vs.
Kingham (1-0, 0.82) and
Dragmire (1-0, 0.77) vs.
Arauz (1-0, 3.27)
Baez (0-1, 10.13) vs.
Thompson (0-1, 4.22)
Troop (1-0, 0.00) and
Raquet (0-1, 3.27) vs.
Lowther (1-0, 0.00) and
Hall (0-0, 0.00)
Syracuse vs. Indianapolis – PPD
SSDD, but they’ll shoot for the makeup this afternoon with a doubleheader starting at 4:05 p.m. But don’t hold your breath. Roster move: RHP Trevor Gott optioned from Washington.
Harrisburg was shut out on seven hits and struck out 13 times against three Reading pitchers for a 6-0 loss in the series opener. Wirkin “For the Weekend” Estevez gave up all six Fightin runs on seven hits and four walks over just four and a 1/3rd innings to take the loss. Roman Mendes and Phillips Valdez locked it down the rest of the way, but the Senators were like their counterparts in DC and couldn’t get anything productive done, going 0-for-8 with RISP and leaving seven men on base. Hunter Jones singled three times while Taylor Gushue singled twice and was Victor Robles’d to lead the Harrisburg offense. Roster move: RHP Jaron Long reassigned from Syracuse.
Carter Kieboom’s grand slam punctuated a seven-run 4th as the P-Nats hosed the Sox, 9-4. Sterling Sharp ran into trouble again on the second turn through the lineup as Salem got to him for one in the 4th and chased him with one out in 5th to deny him a “W.” He allowed three runs on five hits and two walks and struck out three. Steven Fuentes finished the inning and pitched two more scoreless frames to earn the win. Eight of the nine Potomac batters reached base and the one that didn’t—Bryan Mejia—still contributed with a sac fly. Jake Noll led the hit column with a 3-for-5 night, followed by Austin Davidson and Rhett Wiseman at 2-for-5.
Syracuse vs. Norfolk – PPD
Freezing rain Saturday night and low expected crowd turnout forecast temperatures postponed the series finale between the Chiefs vs. Tide. It’ll be made up with a doubleheader on Tuesday, July 24. Thanks to rain and cold, tonight’s contest against Indianapolis seems likely to be pushed off, too.
Harrisburg vs. Bowie – PPD
The Senators were also kept inside by February weather in April for their second postponement in 11 days. They’ll shoot for a doubleheader on June 20 to make this up. With heavy rain forecast until noon today, tonight’s opener against the Fightins is also in doubt.
Potomac’s 5-2 lead after seven and a half innings disappeared as the bullpen coughed up two in the 8th and two in the 9th to drop the series finale, 6-5 to Frederick. Matthew Crownover pitched into the 6th and gave up two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out five. The loss went to Ronald Pena, who retired just one of five batters faced, while James Bourque let in the tying and winning runs on back-to-back singles; he faced two batters. Jakson Reetz and Rhett Wiseman both homered while Blake Perkins and Edwin Lora both singled twice and scored once to lead the P-Nats attack.
Hagerstownvs. Greensboro – PPD
Hagerstown may be only a half hour or so from Frederick, but between the forecast for rain and Greensboro’s travels to NJ last night, they opted to get the players on the bus instead of the field. They’ll make it up May 26th when the Grasshoppers next come to town. Tonight Delmarva visits for the first of 20 games between the two division rivals.
Highlighted by Irving Falu’s three-run double, the Chiefs scored four in the 6th to break a 1-1 tie en route a 6-1 win over the Tide. Edwin Jackson got the start and allowed Norfolk’s run on two hits and two walks while striking out four. Jimmy Cordero was the pitcher of record when Syracuse took the lead and was awarded the “W” for a single scoreless inning pitched. John Simms locked it down with three shutout innings to earn the save. Tuffy Gosewich doubled twice while Rafael Bautista singled twice to lead Syracuse’s 10-hit, four-walk offense.
Bowie scored nine times in the 10th to turn a 6-6 squeaker into a 15-6 smackdown of Harrisburg. The loss went to Dakota Bacus, who gave up nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks over an inning and a third. He also blew a 6-5 lead in the 9th. Starter Luis Reyes was only slightly less ineffective, giving up five runs on six hits (two homers) and a walk over five innings. Daniel Johnson went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while Jake Lowery drove in two with a homer and a single in four AB’s to lead the Senators offense.
Ben Braymer tossed five scoreless innings to enable Hagerstown’s comeback from a 4-1 deficit to walk off in the 9th against Greensboro, 5-4. Jackson Stoeckinger, who was lit up for eight runs by the Fireflies in his previous outing, was pounded for just four runs on seven hits over four innings. Braymer allowed just two hits, walked none, and struck out six while he earned his second win.
The Suns made the Grasshoppers pay for two errors to start off the 9th, which enabled Armond Upshaw to bunt the tying and winning runs into scoring position for the first out. Cole Freeman drove in the equalizer with a sacrifice fly while Juan Soto delivered the game-winner with a single to left for just the third Hagerstown win of the season.
Buoyed by two homers in the 3rd, the P-Nats jumped out to a 5-1 lead after two and 1/2 innings and cruised to 6-2 win over the Keys on Saturday afternoon.
Potomac got on the board in the 1st with some timely hitting and some sloppy work between the Frederick battery. Austin Davidson started things off with a two-out single to left-center and took second on a wild pitch. Jake Noll delivered him home with a single to left and took second when the Keys’ Daniel Fajardo did his best imitation of Wilson Ramos on the throw to the plate to allow Noll to take second base. Lucas Humpal then gifted the second P-Nats runs on a pair of wild pitches.
Given a two-run lead to work with, Wil Crowe gave up a wind-aided Preston Palmeiro homer (it’s the Orioles, so don’t ask who his father is; you already know) with one out in the 1st inning and then mowed down the next five batters before giving up a sharp single to right to lead off the 3rd.
Crowe, flashing a sharp 12-6 curve, then struck out three of the next five batters before Rhett Wiseman’s drop in right field with two outs was ruled a double. Crowe worked around the third and final “hit” to finish the 4th and then retired the side in the 5th. Despite having thrown just 56 pitches, he was lifted for a reliever.
Meanwhile, the P-Nats extended their lead from 2-1 to 5-1 with the aforementioned home runs. Blake Perkins led off the 3rd with single to center and then came around score when Carter Kieboom lowered the boom on the Keys with his 3rd home run and RBI nos. 4 and 5. Following Davidson’s second single and first caught stealing of the season, Tres Barrera launched his first HR of 2018.
Hayden Howard came on to pitch a 1-2-3 sixth. He let in one run on two hits and a sacrifice fly in the 7th, then set the side down in order in the 8th. Jordan Mills retired all three batters he faced to finish out the game in the 9th.
Weather permitting, they’ll play the rubber match tomorrow afternoon. Matthew Crownover is scheduled to make his third start for Potomac with Brian Gonzalez taking his second turn in the rotation for Frederick.