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.