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).