Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-4 @ Gwinnett,
1:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Newcomb (2-2, 3.09)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-4 vs. Richmond,
6:30 p.m.
Hill (1-0, 12.00) vs.
Suarez (3-3, 3.09)
Potomac Lost,7-6 @ Wilmington,
6:05 p.m.
Crownover (3-1, 2.21) vs.
Puckett (5-3, 3.54)
Hagerstown Won, 3-1 @ West Virginia,
2:05 p.m.
Bourque (0-3, 5.45) vs.
Anderson (3-2, 3.23)

Gwinnett 6 Syracuse 4
• McGowin 5+ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 1K, 2HBP
• Snyder 4-4, 3R, 2-2B, CS
• Robinson 2-4, RBI

Brandon Snyder went 4-for-4 and scored three times but it wasn’t enough to prevent another Syracuse loss, 6-4 to Gwinnett. Kyle McGowin lost for the third time in six starts as he failed to retire the three batters he faced in the 6th and was charged with four runs on seven hits and two walks over five-plus innings. Snyder singled twice and doubled twice and scored three times to lead the Chiefs’ offense. Roster move: OF Ryan Raburn assigned from Washington.

Richmond 8 Harrisburg 4
• Long 6IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 6K, HR
• Fedde (H, 1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• N. Soto 3-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Read 1-3, 2BB, RBI

Folks who left after the 8th may be shocked to learn the Senators blew a 4-1 lead; readers here, not so much. Three relievers combined for seven runs coughed up on four hits (no homers), three walks, a hit batsman, and a passed ball in the 8-4 loss. The incineration ruined a quality start by Jaron Long and Erick Fedde’s first career hold. Neftali Soto was a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two to lead the Harrisburg attack.

Wilmington 7 Potomac 6
• Reyes 5IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 8K, HR
• R. Pena (BS, 1; L, 2-2) 1+ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K, 1-1 IR-S
• Sagdal 2-4, R, HR(GS), 4RBI
• Gutierrez 0-1, 3R, 3BB

Ian Sagdal’s grand slam went to waste as the Potomac bullpen melted down in the 8th to turn a 6-4 lead into a 7-6 loss. Luis Reyes labored through five innings (92 pitches) and was charged with three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks. He struck out eight. Ronald Pena took the loss with his first blown save and three runs let in (two of his own) on two hits and an error. Kelvin Gutierrez walked three times and scored three times as the P-Nats collected seven hits total.

Hagerstown 3 West Virginia 1
• M. Mills 6IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 6K, HR, HBP
• Simonds (W, 3-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Franco 2-4, R
• Reetz 2-4, RBI

The Suns scored single runs in the 8th and 9th innings as they shorted the Power, 3-1. McKenzie Mills gave up a solo home run in the 3rd and three hits total in a six-inning no-decision. He walked one and struck out six. the win went to Kyle Simonds for two perfect innings of relief. Sam Held did with a 1-2-3 ninth and his first save. Anderson Franco and Jackson Reetz both went 2-for-4 to lead Hagerstown’s 11-hit parade. Roster move: RHP Mick VanVossen activated from the 7-day DL; RHP Sterling Sharp placed on the 3-Day TIL.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-2 @ Gwinnett,
6:05 p.m.
McGowin (1-2, 4.38) vs.
A. Albers (3-1, 3.27)
Harrisburg Won, 5-2 vs. Richmond,
6:00 p.m.
Long (4-4, 2.79) vs.
Johnson (2-3, 3.10)
Potomac Won, 3-2; Lost, 4-2 @ Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Reyes (3-5, 5.26) vs.
Rodgers (1-2, 3.03)
Hagerstown Lost, 2-1; Won, 5-2 @ West Virginia,
6:05 p.m.
M. Mills (4-2, 2.32) vs.
Cederlind (2-0, 3.75)

Gwinnett 6 Syracuse 2
• Cole (L, 1-2) 7IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 8K; 1-3
• Ramsey 1-3, BB
• Green 1-3, BB

The Chiefs led 2-1 after four but couldn’t answer three Barves rallies to lose the opener, 6-2. A.J. Cole was adequate over seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out a season-high eight batters. Gwinnett went George McLelland on Mike Broadway with three runs in the 8th to put the game away. The Chiefs managed just six hits and three walks, with Caleb Ramsey and Grant Green the only two batters to reach base twice.

Harrisburg 5 Richmond 2
• Simms 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K, HR
• Brinley (W, 3-2) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 0K
• Suero (S, 8) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 0K
• Ward 2-4, 2-2B
• Herndandez 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Abreu 2-4, R, 2B

Mario Lisson homered to tie it at 2-2 in the 5th and Neftali Soto homered to begin a three-run rally in the 8th for a 5-2 Harrisburg win. John Simms allowed both Flying Squirrel runs on five hits over six innings. He walked none and fanned six in his fifth no-decision in nine starts. The win went to Ryan Brinley, the save to Waner Suero; both worked around two baserunners in the 8th and 9th innings respectively. Drew Ward doubled twice, Yadiel Hernandez and Osvaldo Abreu once to account for all four doubles and six of the 12 hits by the Senators.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 2 – COMP.
• Silvestre 3⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K (May 18)
• Borne (W, 1-0) 4⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Robles 2-3, R, 2B, BB, SB
• Davidson 2-4, R, RBI, SB, CS

They picked up where they left off last week and the P-Nats scored single runs in the 4th, 5th, and 7th innings to take a 3-1 lead and survived a 9th inning rally by the Blue Rocks for a 3-2 win. Grant Borne got the win in relief with four and 2/3rds innings pitched, two baserunners allowed, and three set down on strikes. Gilberto Mendez got two quick out, gave up a homer and a single, and then finally closed it out for the save. Victor Robles singled, walked, doubled, and stole a base while Austin Davidson singled twice, scored a run, and drove in a run to lead the Potomac offense.

Wilmington 4 Potomac 2 – GAME TWO
• Baez 5IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 7K
• Sanburn (L, 0-1) 1IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K
• Sundberg 1-1, R, 2BB
• Robles 1-1, SAC, HBP, CS

Potomac took advantage of two miscues by Wilmington to take a brief 2-1 lead but gave up a run in the 5th to tie, and two in the 6th to lose, 4-2 and split the de facto doubleheader. Joan Baez was charged with two runs (one earned) on five hits and two whiles while fanning a season-high of seven. Nolan Sanburn took the loss with the final two Blue rocks runs surrendered on four hits and a walk. Jack Sundberg singled once, scored once, and walked twice while Victor Robles took first without the benefit of a hit, walk, error, fielder’s choice, dropped third strike, or catcher’s interference for the 9th time in 34 games.

West Virginia 2 Hagerstown 1 – GAME ONE
• Sharp (L, 2-3) 6IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, 0BB, 8K, HBP
• Johnson 1-3, R, HR(10), RBI
• Corredor 1-2, 2B(15)

The Power bullpen outdueled Sterling Sharp for a 2-1 win in the opener. Sharp went the distance and gave up six hits, now walks, and struck out eight but lost for the third time. Daniel Johnson homered for the tenth timewhile Adrem Corredor connected for his league-leading 15th double to pace the Suns offense.

Hagerstown 5 West Virginia 2 – GAME TWO
• Bogucki 4⅓ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K, HR
• Howard (W, 2-0) 2⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, 2-0 IR-S
• Neuse 1-3, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Perkins 1-3, 2R, 2B, BB
• Beckwith 1-3, R, HR, RBI

Sheldon Neuse’s Earl Weaver special gave Hagerstown an early 3-0 lead that they held for a 5-2 win to split the twinbill with West Virginia. A.J. Bogucki scattered seven hits and walked three over four and a 1/3rd innings in his season debut. Hayden Howard closed it out with two and 2/3rds scoreless innings pitched, two inherited runners stranded, one hit allowed, and four strikeouts. Neuse also doubled and scored while Tyler Beckwith homered for the second time as the Suns made the most of their six hits and two walks.

Day Tripping the Nats Affiliates: Hagerstown

Part Two of Four from Guest/Author, Walt Triebel

By Walter Triebel, Author of
Road-Tripping the South Atlantic League:
A Guide to the Teams, Ballparks, and Cities

Available on Amazon

Hagerstown, Maryland has a long history relative to professional baseball and is the home of one of the historic ballparks of the South Atlantic League—Municipal Stadium. Professional teams have called the city home as early as the mid-1890s and the first game played in Municipal Stadium was on May 8, 1930.

Two thousand and seventeen is the thirty-seventh consecutive year that a Suns team has played at the ballpark. Those teams played in the Carolina League, Eastern League, and today the South Atlantic League. During the South Atlantic League years, the Hagerstown Suns have been the Minor League affiliate of the Blue Jays, Giants, Mets, and for the last eleven baseball seasons, the Washington Nationals

Municipal Stadium ranks as the third-oldest ballpark in the United States to be actively used by a Minor League baseball club. The stadium has undergone many renovations over the years and is an old, but quite interesting venue to view a ballgame. The area behind home plate from which the photo above was shot is a classic covered grandstand seating area.

Food concessions and the team store are on a concourse located behind that grandstand. Toward the left field end of the concourse is an area without formal seating that permits you to watch the game from the outfield fence. That is the location of a Beer Garden, which is an interesting area set up with high tables and picnic tables. This is a nice vantage point from which to casually watch the play of the game on the field.

As mentioned in Part 1, a key goal of this Washington Nationals Minor League Baseball Road Trip is to see some of the Nationals top prospects tuning their fielding, batting, and pitching skills on the field at Municipal Stadium. During the Nationals years, a number of future Major Leaguers played for the Suns and advanced to become successful in the majors. For example, both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper were on the roster of the Hagerstown Suns during the 2011 season.

The table above lists the nine Washington National 2017 MLB Preseason Top 30 Prospects that began the season on the Hagerstown Suns roster. The table includes their MLB WSH prospect ranking, position, whether they throw right- or left-handed, bat from the right or left side of the plate or switch hit, the team or teams for which they played during the 2016 season, and the class and league of that/those team(s). For example, right hand hitting right fielder Juan Soto, who is the Nationals’ #3 ranked prospect, played for both the GCL Nationals in the Gulf Coast League (rookie class) and Auburn Doubledays in the New York-Penn League (short-season class A) during the 2016 season. Note that two more of the Nats top 10 prospects, shortstop Carter Kieboom and third baseman Sheldon Neuse are also members of the Suns roster.

In Hagerstown’s 2017 season opener at Municipal Stadium on Friday April 7th, the Suns had seven field players from the MLB.com Nats Top 30 prospects list in the batting order and an eighth as their starting pitcher. The top of their batting order was Blake Perkins (#14) leading off and playing center field, Carter Kieboom (#4) at shortstop and hitting second, Juan Soto (#3) in the number three slot and playing right field, and Sheldon Neuse (#6) at third base and batting cleanup. Meanwhile, left hander Tyler Watson (#17) took the mound as their starter.

As the 2017 season unfolds, Hagerstown Suns and Washington Nationals fans will have the opportunity to see those nine top 30 prospects continue to work on refining their game on the field at Municipal Stadium with the goal of advancing up through the Nationals’ Minor League organization and eventually make their Major League debut.

For Suns fans that live in or near Hagerstown, it is quite simple to attend a home game of the Suns at Municipal Stadium on any day during the season that fits their plans. However, for those that are traveling from a location near the Potomac Nationals, Harrisburg Senators, Washington Nationals ballparks, or possibly another area, my recommendation is to try to see the Hagerstown Suns playing a day game. This would give you some daylight time to explore the area and ballpark. Check the travel matrix in Part 1 of this post for an estimate of the travel distance and time for your day trip to attend a Suns game at Municipal Stadium.

A quick look at the Suns schedule on their official website shows that they play all of their Sunday home games at 2:05PM. Moreover, they have one weekday game during each month of the season either in the morning (10:35AM.) or afternoon (2:05PM or 4PM). Check the 2017 schedule on the Hagerstown Suns official website for specific dates and visiting teams.

For Washington Nationals, Potomac Nationals, and Harrisburg Senators fans making a day trip to Hagerstown to attend a Suns home game, here is a short list of attractions to see in the city and a few interesting places to stop for lunch or dinner. Similar information will be provided for the Potomac Nationals and Harrisburg Senators in Parts 3 and 4, respectively.

Attractions In Hagerstown
• Public Square/Historic Downtown Hagerstown, 12 Public Square
• Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, 296 S. Burhans Blvd.
• Discovery Station, 101 W. Washington St.

Dining In Hagerstown
• Rhubarb House, 12 Public Square
• Schmankerl Stube Bavarian Restaurant, 58 S. Potomac St.
• Stadium Grill and Tavern, 401 S. Cannon Ave.
• Public Square Café, 2 W. Washington St.
• Benny’s Pub-Antietam Brewery, 49 Eastern Blvd.

In the next post, I will look at the Potomac Nationals, their home ballpark G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium, the Washington National 2017 Top 30 Prospects who started the season on the P-Nats roster, and some travel plans to attend a home game at their ballpark.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-0;
Won, 8-4
@ Gwinnett,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (1-1, 6.59) vs.
Blair (2-3, 5.79)
Harrisburg Postponed vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Simms (2-2, 3.50) vs.
Gage (1-4, 4.23)
Potomac Postponed @ Wilmington,
5:35 p.m.
Baez (1-2, 5.50) vs.
Blewett (2-4, 4.41)
Hagerstown Postponed @ West Virginia,
5:05 p.m.
TBD and TBD vs. TBD and TBD

Charlotte 4 Syracuse 0 – GAME ONE
• Voth (L, 1-5) 6IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K, 3HR
• Snyder, Severino, Joseph 0-2, BB

Former Nats uber-prospect Lucas Giolito tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against Syracuse; must have been the underwear. It also helped facing the 10th-best (4th worst) offense in I.L. Austin Voth went six innings but lost for the fifth time in nine starts with all four Charlotte runs allowed on six hits, including three homers. He walked three and struck out two. The Chiefs drew three walks but Giolito still needed just 87 pitches to get 21 outs from 24 batters faced.

Syracuse 8 Charlotte 4 – GAME TWO
• Arias 4IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 1K, HR
• Gott (W, 2-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Robinson 3-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Green 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Sanchez 2-4, R, 2-2B

After falling behind 2-0 in the 1st, the Chiefs offense woke up in the nightcap and doubled up the Knights, 8-4. Gabriel Arias let in two runs over four innings in the spot start on six hits without a walk. Trevor Gott threw two scoreless innings to pick up the win in relief while Neal Cotts cleaned up Joe Nathan’s mess (2R, 2H, BB in ⅔ IP) in the 7th for a save. Clint Robinson and Grant Green both went 3-for-4 to lead the Syracuse offense.

Harrisburg vs. Erie – PPD
Rain sent the Senators home early as the game was postponed until next Saturday, when they’ll shoot to make this one up with a twi-night doubleheader. Roster move: C Nick Rickles traded to Philadelphia.

Potomac vs. Frederick – PPD
SSDL, but the makeup game will be in Frederick on June 5 as the Keys will not return to Woodbridge before the end of the first half. Roster moves: IF David Masters activated from the 7-Day DL; OF Telmito Agustin placed on the 3-Day TIL.

Hagerstown vs. West Virginia – PPD
It’s been a rough week in West Virginia as the Power had its fourth straight rainout. Unlike the previous three games, they’ll have a chance to make this up with a doubleheader tonight. Roster move: RHP A.J. Bogucki activated from the 7-day DL.

Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed @ Charlotte,
6:05 p.m.
Voth (1-4, 4.73) and Cole (1-1, 6.59) vs.
Giolito (1-5, 6.41) and Danish (1-3, 3.15)
Harrisburg Won, 6-5 @ Erie,
11:05 a.m.
Simms (2-2, 3.50) vs.
Lewicki (2-2, 4.54)
Potomac Won, 11-7;
Won, 7-4
vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Baez (1-2, 5.50) vs.
B. Gonzalez (2-3, 4.58)
Hagerstown Won, 4-0;
Lost, 2-1
@ West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. Escobar (3-2, 4.54)

Syracuse vs. Charlotte – PPD
Wet grounds forced the postponement of last night’s game in Charlotte. They’ll try to make it up with a doubleheader tonight. Roster moves: OF Brian Goodwin recalled to Washington; OF Rafael Bautista placed on the 7-Day DL.

Harrisburg 6 Erie 5
• Williams 5IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Fedde (W, 3-3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Robinson (S, 1) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Marmolejos 3-4, 2R, HR, BB, RBI
• Perez 2-4, 2R, BB, SB
• N. Soto 2-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI

Neftali Soto’s homer in the 7th proved to be the gamewinner in a 6-5 slugfest taken by Harrisburg. Austen Williams started but was ineffective, giving up all five Erie runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings. Erick Fedde got the benefit of the Soto shot, picking up the win for a single scoreless inning pitched in the 6th. It was his first clean outing as a reliever. Andrew Robinson stranded a runner while getting the last two outs in the 8th and pitched a scoreless 9th for his first save of the season. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos reached base four times and homered again to pace the Harrisburg offense.

Potomac 11 Frederick 7 – GAME ONE
• Silvestre (W, 4-1) 5IP, 11H, 7R, 7ER, BB, 5K, 4HR
• Schepel 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Davidson 3-4, 2-2B
• Lora 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB
• Sagdal 2-3, 2R, BB, RBI

A seven-run 5th papered over a horrific start by Hector Silvestre as the P-Nats took the opener, 11-7. Silvestre was strafed for 11 hits and four home runs while giving up all seven Keys runs over five innings. He still got the win, his fourth, while Kyle Schepel closed it out with two scoreless innings. Austin Davidson led the Potomac hit column with a single and two doubles, followed by Edwin Lora and Ian Sagdal, who both went 2-for-3 with a walk.

Potomac 7 Frederick 4 – GAME TWO
• Estevez (W, 3-3) 6IP, 7H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K
• Mendez (S, 3) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2-0 IR-S
• Page 2-2, BB, RBI
• Gutierrez 2-3, R
• Sundberg 2-4, 2R, SB

Edwin Lora’s grand slam powered a five-run 4th as the P-Nats took the nightcap, 7-4. Wirkin “For the Weekend” Estevez spun six innings of one-run ball on seven hits and two walks while setting down three on strikes. Jorge Pantoja cut the Potomac lead in half with three runs given up on three hits and a walk in 2/3rds of an inning before Gilberto Mendez came on to strike out the final batter in the 7th and earn his third save. Matt Page, Kelvin Gutierrez, and Jack Sundberg each had two singles in an eight-hit, three-walk offense.

Hagerstown 4 Delmarva 0 – GAME ONE
• Watson (W, 4-1) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Peterson 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Neuse 3-4
• Johnson 2-4, 2R

Tyler Watson and Tommy Peterson combined on a three-hit shutout of the Shorebirds, 4-0. Watson picked up his fourth win with six innings pitched, two hits and one walk allowed, and five whiffs. Peterson worked around a single in the 7th to put up the final goose egg. Sheldon Neuse singled three times while Daniel Johnson singled twice and scored twice to lead the Suns attack.

Delmarva 2 Hagerstown 1 – GAME TWO
• Ramirez 4IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Fuentes (L, 2-1) 2⅔ IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 1K
• Perkins 2-4, R
• Neuse 2-3, 2B

The Shorebirds walked off in the second game for a 2-1 win to split the doubleheader and prevent the three-gam sweep. Yonathan Ramirez made the spot start and limited Delmarva to one run over three innings on three hits. Steven Fuentes followed and was handed the loss with a run let in with two outs in the 7th, He gave up five hits and two walks total. Blake Perkins and Sheldon Neuse each had two hits but the rest of the team was just 1-for-19. Roster move: RHP Mick VanVossen placed on the 7-day DL retroactive to May 19.

Wednesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-2 @ Charlotte,
7:05 p.m.
Voth (1-4, 4.73)
Giolito (1-5, 6.41)
Harrisburg Lost, 2-1 @ Erie,
11:05 a.m.
Williams (1-5, 6.89)
Alexander (2-3, 4.24)
Potomac Postponed vs. Frederick,
4:00 p.m.
Silvestre (3-1, 3.83) and
Estevez (2-3, 5.13) vs.
Sedlock (4-2, 6.18) and
Alvarado (2-4, 6.93)
Hagerstown Postponed @ Delmarva,
10:35 a.m.
Watson (3-1, 3.89) and TBD
vs. Muckenhirn (1-4, 4.91) and TBD

Syracuse 6 Charlotte 2
• G. Ross (W, 2-3) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 4K
• Martin 2IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 0K, HR
• Robinson 2-4, 2R, 2HR, 4RBI
• Snyder 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI
• Severino 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Yesterday, a blind squirrel found a nut. In a related story, Syracuse homered four times and tripled up Charlotte, 6-2. Greg Ross needed just 95 pitches to get through seven innings of one-run ball on five hits. He walked two and struck out four while winning his second AAA game of ’17. Clint Robinson drove in four with two longballs while going 2-for-4 to lead the Chiefs’ offense. Roster moves: RHP Joe Ross recalled to Washington; OF Brian Goodwin optioned from Washington.

Erie 2 Harrisburg 1
• Eitel 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Cordero 3IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Brinley (L, 2-2) ⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• Keller 2-5, RBI
• Hernandez 2-3, R, 2B, BB, OF assist at HP

Turnabout is fair play as the Seawolves walked off in the 9th for a 2-1 win over the Senators. Derek Eitel let in the first run on five hits and two walks while fanning five for a no-decision. Jimmy Cordero followed with three scoreless before Ryan Brinley was bitten for a run on two hits in the 9th to take the “L.” Yadiel Hernandez doubled, singled, walked, threw out a runner at home in the 3rd and was thrown out himself on a 7-2 DP to end the 7th. Roster move: RHP Phillips Valdez activated from the 7-Day DL.

Frederick vs. Potomac – PPD
Officials pulled the plug on this one about 2½ hours before first pitch. They’ll try to make it up today with doubleheader this afternoon. Baseball America clarified yesterday in its weekly transaction report that RHP Whit Mayberry was indeed released last week.

Hagerstown vs. Delmarva – PPD
Rain also washed away the Suns-Shorebirds matchup, which they’ll try to make up with a twinbill this morning.

Day Tripping the DC-area Nats Affiliates

Part One of Four from Guest/Author, Walt Triebel

Municipal StadiumFNB Field

By Walter Triebel, Author of
Road-Tripping the South Atlantic League:
A Guide to the Teams, Ballparks, and Cities

Available on Amazon

The theme of this four-part series of posts is a limited Washington Nationals Minor League Baseball Road Trip. The table below lists the six American-based farm clubs in the Washington Nationals Minor League organization. Three of them, the Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League, class A), Potomac Nationals (Carolina League, advanced class A), and Harrisburg Senators (Eastern League, class AA), are located in adjoining states—Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

The proximity of the ballparks of those three clubs to each other and to the Washington, DC area offers an interesting opportunity for fans of the Nationals and those of these three Minor League affiliates. That is, they are all located within what I consider day-tripping distance and drive time of each other. My metric is that if a ballpark is within a one-way travel distance of approximately 200 miles and a 3 hour or less travel time that a baseball road-trip can be done to that destination without an overnight stay. Therefore, the primary goal is to outline travel plans to attend a game at the home ballparks of the Suns, P-Nats, and Senators as a day trip.

Note from the travel matrix that, relative to Nationals Park, they are all well within the time/distance parameters I set forth earlier. In fact, they are all within day-trip distance of each other – the longest travel distance is that between the stadium of the Potomac Nationals and the Harrisburg Senators; approximately 142 miles, which should take about 2 hours and 44 minutes.

There is a second goal for these road trips. I view Minor League baseball games as an opportunity to see the up-and-coming prospects of your favorite team and possibly some of the top prospects in all of Minor League baseball play. For example, when I made stops in Hagerstown during the 2013 season while making the baseball road trip that is outlined in my book on the South Atlantic League, I saw catcher Pedro Severino play in a number of games. He was then ranked as the Nationals’ #15 MLB top prospect. In 2015, I again saw Severino, but this time at the AA level playing for the Harrisburg Senators.

Severino was a September 2015 call up and made his Major League debut in the Washington Nationals uniform at Nationals Park on September 20, 2015. On that day, he entered the game for the Nationals as a late-inning pinch hitter; doubled in his first Major League at-bat; and later that inning, scored his first run in the majors. Now, Pedro Severino is the starting catcher of the 2017 Syracuse Chiefs and is began the season ranked #8 among Washington’s 2017 MLB Top 30 Prospects.

So another benefit of this Washington Nationals Minor League Baseball Road Trip is the opportunity to see a number of the Nationals 2017 MLB Top 30 Prospects who are playing for the Suns, P-Nats, and Senators. Seventeen of Washington’s 2017 preseason top 30 prospects opened the season on the roster of one of those three clubs. Their #1 prospect, Victor Robles, is the starting center fielder of the Potomac Nationals while the #2 prospect, RHP Erick Fedde, began the season in the Harrisburg Senators starting rotation, and the #3 prospect, right fielder Juan Soto, was in the Opening Day lineup of the Hagerstown Suns. Overall, six of the Nationals top 10 prospects began the 2017 season playing for one of those three ball clubs. By mid-May the number of Nats’ Top 30 prospects on the rosters of those three teams was up to nineteen.

In Parts 2, 3, and 4, I will provide background information about each of the three teams, their ballpark, and the travel destination that will be helpful in developing plans to attend a game one of these three baseball clubs. I will start with Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, MD—the home of the Hagerstown Suns in Part 2 and then work my way up through the levels of Washington’s Minor League syste: Potomac Nationals (Carolina League, A+) and Harrisburg Senators (Eastern League, AA).

In each section, I will briefly look at the team and its players, their stadium, some travel options, and a few attractions and places to eat at that destination. As part of that, I will identify and highlight the Washington Nationals 2017 MLB Preseason Top 30 Prospects that are currently on the team’s roster.

Since each of these destinations either has or is near to some interesting attractions, I will advocate attending day games at each stadium. That would offer one some pregame and/or postgame free time to explore the cities, some of their local attractions, and possible have lunch or dinner at one of the eating establishments I will suggest.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Charlotte,
7:05 p.m.
G. Ross (1-3, 8.63) vs.
Fulmer (5-2, 3.86)
Harrisburg Won, 14-13 @ Erie,
7:05 p.m.
Eitel (0-1, 21.60) vs.
Jaye (0-4, 5.12)
Potomac Lost, 4-3 (10 inn.) vs. Frederick,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (3-1, 3.83) vs.
Sedlock (4-2, 6.18)
Hagerstown Won, 6-0 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Watson (3-1, 3.89) vs.
Muckenhirn (1-4, 4.91)

Syracuse – OFF DAY
The Chiefs figured out how to not lose and not blow a lead by not playing yesterday, their second scheduled off day in May. They’ll start a six-game swing through North Carolina and Georgia with three apiece against Charlotte and Gwinnett before returning to upstate New York a week from today. Roster move: Not yet, folks; Greg Ross was moved up a day and Joe Ross was scheduled to pitch today.

Harrisburg 14 Erie 13
• Hill 3IP, 8H, 9R, 9ER, 2BB, 3K, 4HR, WP
• Orlan (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Suero (S, 7) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Marmolejos 5-6, 3R, 2B, HR(GS), 5RBI, CS
• Ward 3-5, 2R, 3RBI
• Abreu 3-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI

Jose Marmolejos stunned Erie with a two-out grand slam in the top of the 9th to give Harrisburg a 14-13 win. The comeback was made necessary by Taylor Hill who continues to throw in-game batting practice with four homers (nos. 11-15 in 40IP in ’17) and eight hits (67 total) given up over just three innings. The offense was able to keep up as they pounded out 18 hits, led by the Orange with five (he also doubled), and followed by Drew Ward and Osvaldo Abreu with three hits each. R.C. Orlan pitched a perfect 8th for the win while Wander Suero went 1-2-3 in the 9th for the save.

Lynchburg 4 Potomac 3 (10 inn.)
• Crownover 7IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K, WP
• Rivera (BS, 2; L, 0-1) 2⅓ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K
• Gutierrez 2-5, 2B
• Sundberg 1-3, R, 2B, BB

After a brief stabilization, the P-Nats’ orbital decay continued with its eighth loss in its last ten games, 4-3 to Lynchburg. Matthew Crownover pitched a season-high seven innings and let in the first two Hillcats runs on five hits and three walks while fanning five. Mariano Rivera III blew the save in the 9th and took the loss in the 10th. Kelvin Gutierrez singled and doubled while Jack Sundberg doubled and walked but the Potomac lineup was held to just six hits total. Roster move: RHP Kyle Schepel reassigned from Harrisburg.

Hagerstown 6 Delmarva 0
• C. Pena (W, 3-2) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• J. Mills 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Perkins 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Corredor 2-4, 2B
• Reetz 2-5, R, 2B, RBI

Two Hagerstown pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout by 6-0 margin over Delmarva. Carlos Pena went the first seven and allowed four hits as he won his third game. He struck out two and walked non. Jordan Mills closed it out and worked around a pair of one-out singles in the 8th. Jake Noll was the beer man in an 11-hit offense that saw Blake Perkins, Aldrem Corredor, and Jakson Reetz connect for both a single and a double.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Won, 8-1 @ Erie,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (1-0, 4.50) vs.
Ladwig (1-1, 4.91)
Potomac Won, 4-3 (9 inn.);
Lost, 3-2
@ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Crownover (3-1, 2.14) vs.
Hartson (2-1, 3.16)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-3 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
C. Pena (2-2, 7.84) vs.
Humpal (1-3, 4.26)

Lehigh Valley 3 Syracuse 2
• McGowin 6IP, 3H, 0R, 3BB, 3K, HBP
• Nathan (BS, 1; L, 0-2) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 1BB, 0K, 2HR
• Bautista 3-5, 2B
• Falu 2-4, RBI

It was Joe Nathan’s turn to blow a save as the 42-y.o. veteran served up two homers and all three Lehigh Valley runs for a 3-2 loss and a series sweep of Syracuse. The latest implosion gave a no-decision to Kyle McGowin, who pitched six scoreless innings and allowed three hits and three walks while striking out three. Rafael Bautista singled twice and doubled once to lead the Chiefs’ 10-hit parade.

Harrisburg 8 Richmond 1
• Long (W, 4-4) 7IP, 9H, R, ER, BB, 2K; 1-3, R
• Cordero 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Perez 3-4, R, SF, RBI, CS
• Ward 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Ballou 2-5, R, 2-2B

Drew Ward and Isaac Ballou connected for back-to-back doubles to cap off a four-run rally in the 7th as the Senators grounded the Flying Squirrels, 8-1 in the series finale. Jaron Long got the win with seven innings of one-run ball, scattering nine hits and walking one while fanning two. Jimmy Cordero and Andrew Robinson mopped up with a scoreless inning apiece in relief. Stephen Perez led the Harrisburg hit coulmn with three singles and drove in a run with a sac fly.

Potomac 4 Lynchburg 3 (9 inn.) – GAME ONE
• Reyes 6IP, 9H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 10K, WP
• R. Pena (W, 2-1) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Gushue 1-1, BB, RBI
• Sagdal 1-2, 2B, 2RBI

Potomac rallied for three in 7th, with Homer Simpson Victor Robles getting plunked to drive in the tying run to send the seven-inning game into “extras,” where the P-Nats won in the 9th, 4-3. Luis Reyes struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing all three Lynchburg runs on nine hits and a walk. Ronald Pena tossed three scoreless innings and set down four on strikes for his second win. Taylor Gushue and Ian Sagdal both delivered pinch-hit RBIs with a one-run single and a two-run double, respectively.

Lynchburg 3 Potomac 2 – GAME TWO
• Borne (L, 0-1) 3⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Guilbeau 2⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Sagdal 1-3, 2B
• Agustin 1-2, R

In the second game, Lynchburg edged Potomac 3-2. Grant Borne made the spot start and pitched three and 2/3rds innings, letting in two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four. Taylor Guilbeau finished the game with two and 1/3rd innings pitched, one unearned run allowed on one hit and one walk and two whiffs. The P-Nats, who only had four hits in the opener, had just two in the nightcap: a double by Ian Sagdal and a single by Telmito Agustin.

Lakewood 6 Hagertown 3
• Bourque (L, 0-3) 6IP, 11H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 5K
• Howard 3IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Perkins 2-4, R, 2B, SF, RBI
• Corredor 2-5, 2-2B, RBI

Lakewood scored in three of the first four innings to build a 4-0 lead and cruised to a 6-3 win over Hagerstown to earn a split of the four-game series. James Bourque was charged with all six runs on eleven hits over six innings for his third loss. He walked one and struck out five. Hayden Howard pinched the Blueclaws for three scoreless innings with one hit and two walks allowed to close out the game. Blake Perkins and Aldrem Corredor combined for four hits and two RBI but the rest of the Suns were just 2-for-27.