They could get 'em on. They could get 'em over. But they just couldn't get 'em in.
The P-Nats rallied again in the 9th but for the second straight night, they fell short, 5-4 to the Red Sox.
Potomac’s 2017 bugaboo of giving up runs right off the bat is creeping back as well. Friday night it was a five-run 2nd. Last night it was single runs in the 1st and 2nd before a three-run 3rd to put them in a 5-0 hole.
The P-Nats loaded the bases in the 2nd, 7th, and 8th innings and stranded eight of their 14 runners left on base just in those three innings. Two walks and a hit batsman were enough to chose Red sox starter Bryan Mata with two outs in the 2nd but Blake Perkins’s flyball ended it.
Potomac did get single runs in the 3rd and 4th innings to get within shouting distance 5-2, thanks to RBI singles by Jake Noll (3rd) and Carter Kieboom (4th).
A double, walk, and an infield single did the trick in the 7th, but there was no rabbit in the hat as Ian Sagdal grounded into a 6B-3 DP to end the threat. In the next frame, a walk, single, and another infield hit got the tying run to the plate but neither Perkins (popup to short) nor Kieboom, who hit a grand slam on Friday night, could get the job done.
Juan Soto, who drilled a double over the head of the Salem CF in the 3rd, started the rally in the 9th with his second walk. Jake Noll singled to move him up 90 feet while Ian Sagdal’s safety to center scored the 19-y.o. phenom. Noll would be held at second for the next two batters as Jakson Reetz struck out and Rhett Wiseman flew out to right.
Bryan Mejia’s two-out single sent Noll home but Telmito Agustin, who’d had two hits already and scored the second run, fanned to end the game.
Kyle McGowin, who had been
in storage on the Harrisburg DL since the beginning of these took the loss with all five runs allowed on four hits and three walks, though he did fan seven in his first outing of 2018. Five innings of near-perfect relief – nine up, nine down from Ronald Pena, a walk over two innings from Jordan Mills – went unrewarded.
Weather permitting, the series finale is this afternoon. Salem shoots for the sweep with southpaw Darwinzon Hernandez (2-1, 3.60) while Potomac counters with staff ace Wil Crowe (4-0, 3.25) to prevent it and reclaim a share of 1st place in the C.L. North.