The Hillcats hit two HRs in the continuation and a grand slam in Game Four but the two teams split the two games.
Thanks to the Carolina League Commissioner’s
petty arbitrary decision to suspend the game instead of end it Friday night, they were to play at least 12 innings on a cool, cloudy, and wet Saturday in Woodbridge. The P-Nats just needed to get 11 outs and hold a 4-0 lead.
They did not.
But you knew that already. In 2018, a Washington Nationals team blowing a four-run lead is dog bites man… musician dies of an overdose… college football coach pretends to be repentant.
Taylor Guilbeau was brought on to replace Kyle Johnston and wobbled through the 6th, loading the bases with a single and a hit batsman before getting two strikeouts. In the 7th, the Hillcats wasted no time getting the tying run to plate with two more singles and a walk.
After a third strikeout, Lynchburg broke through with a two-run single to cut the lead in half. In came Steven Fuentes, out went a three-run HR on the second pitch to put Potomac in a 5-4 hole. Four batters later, the Hillcats went deep again off the 21-y.o. Panamanian to go up 6-4, a lead they would hold easily as the P-Nats went down in order in both the 8th and 9th innings, fanning four times in six batters.
In the second, originally scheduled game, Nick Raquet matched up against Kirk McCarty, a fellow southpaw drafted in 2017. Andruw “The Guy We Got For Daniel Murphy” Monasterio went deep in the 2nd and the game would remain 1-0 into the 6th when Potomac got two more on an Aldrem Corredor RBI triple (the outfield was wet) and Nick Banks’s single for his 7th RBI of the series.
A walk, an error, a misplay, and a hit batsman loaded the bases and chased Raquet. Hayden Howard was brought in and the power-hitting Austen Wade hit his fourth HR of the 2018 season for a grand slam that once again put the Hillcats ahead by one in the 7th.
With the bottom of the order up in the 7th, it would have been permissible to think the P-Nats would roll over again, but this time, Potomac got the run right back to tie it on a leadoff walk by Jack Sundberg and back-to-back two-out singles by Luis Garcia and Ian Sagdal.
Howard got the southpaw he was left in for to start the 8th and Jacob “The Guy We Got For Brian Goodwin” Condra-Bogan came on to finish the inning, giving up a swinging-bunt single that stuck in the mud on lip of the grass down the third base line.
In the bottom of the 8th, an error and two walks loaded the bases for Jakson Reetz, who worked the count full and then got plunked for the Homer Simpson RBI and a 5-4 lead. After Bryan Mejia struck out looking, Garcia delivered his second hit and two more runs to give Potomac a 7-4 lead.
Condra-Bogan then did the very un-Nat-ural and struck out the side in the 9th for the win and to send the CLDS to a Game Five (or what maybe should been the Mills Cup).
Rain is forecast for all day today and it’s unclear if the Carolina League Commissioner will allow the teams to postpone the 1:05 p.m. game and try again tomorrow night. Potomac has announced Jackson Tetreault (1-1, 4.37) will be the starting pitcher while Lynchburg will counter with RHP Eli Morgan (7-7, 3.91).