Wednesdays’ News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Pawtucket,
4:05 p.m.
Grace (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Havliand (1-0, 6.35)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-0 vs. Hartford,
12:00 p.m.
Long (0-1, 1.80) vs.
Wynkoop (1-0, 1.42)
Potomac Lost, 16-6 @ Frederick,
11:00 a.m.
Reyes (0-1, 3.60)
vs. Akin (0-0, 81.00)
Hagerstown Won, 4-3
(15 inn.)
vs. Lakewood,
6:05 p.m.
Watson (0-1, 5.79) vs.
Romero (0-0, 9.00)

Pawtucket 5 Syracuse 4
• Cole 4+ IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, 5BB, 6K, HR
• Antolin (L, 0-1) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 1K, 2-2 IR-S
• Skole 1-2, R, 2BB
• Bautista 1-4, 2R, BB, SB

The Chiefs scored three times in the first five innings, but were shut down the by the PawSox ‘pen over the last four in a 5-4 loss. A.J. Cole’s longball woes continur as he served up a solo shot in the 1st and walked five over four-plus innings. He was charged with four runs on three hits. The loss went to Dustin Antolin, who let in two inherited runners and one of his own as he was unable to hold the 4-2 lead in Pawtucket’s three-run 5th. Matt Skole reached base with a single and two walks while Rafael Bautista scored twice, reached base twice, and stole a base to led the Syracuse offense, which piled up 14 strikeouts – five by Brian Goodwin.

Hartford 4 Harrisburg 0
• Simms (L, 0-1) 6IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Cordero 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Stevenson 2-4, 2K
• N. Soto 1-3, BB

Three Hartford pitchers combined on a six-hit shutout of Harrisburg, 4-0. John Simms turned in a quality start of two runs on two hits, no walks, and three whiffs, but was charged with the loss. Andrew Stevenson had two of the six singles while Neftali Soto, Raudy Read, and Yadiel Hernandez each drew a walk to comprise the Senators offense.

Frederick 16 Potomac 6
• Estevez (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 8H, 7R, 7ER, 0BB, 5K, 3HR
• Guilbeau 1⅓ IP, 6H, 8R, 7ER, 3BB, 1K, HR, 1-1 IR-S
• Davidson 3-4, R, BB
• Wiseman 2-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Robles 1-4, K, 2 OF assists, (*sigh*) HBP

Potomac battled back from a 5-0 deficit to pull within one at 5-4, and again to two at 8-6, but a touchdown in the Frederick 6th and rouge in the 7th completed the 16-6 smackdown. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez was strafed for seven runs on eight hits, including three home runs, over four and 2/3rds innings to take the loss. Austin Davidson led the P-Nats attack with three singles and a walk, but the clutch hit came just twice in 16 scoring chances and led to ten men left on base. Potomac also committed three errors and had a passed ball.

Hagerstown 4 Lakewood 3 (15 inn.)
• Sharp 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K, WP
• VanVossen (BS, 1) 3IP, 1H, R, ER, BB, 3K, 2WP
• Mills (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• C. Kieboom 3-7, E(2)
• Soto 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2BB
• Neuse 2-7, R, 2B, 2RBI

After blowing it in the 9th on a defensive misplay—Aldrem Corredor stepped on first instead of throwing to second to start a would-be 3-6-3 double play with one out and runners on the corners—Hagerstown got the gamewinner on a Juan Soto leadoff walk in the 15th followed by a Sheldon Neuse* double for a 4-3 win in extras. Jordan Mills got the win in relief. Sterling Sharp started and pitched five innings of two-run ball on four hits and two walks. James Bourque and Sam Held both pitched three innings of scoreless relief while Carter Kieboom and Nick Banks both had three hits.
* With just 632 listed in attendance at the start of the game, can’t really say he brought the noise.

Monday’s News & Notes

Looks like The Onion didn’t find the game all that, um, appealing
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-2;
Lost, 10-4
@ Pawtucket,
6:15 p.m.
Voth (7-9, 3.15 in ’16) vs.
Kendrick (6-5, 4.73 in ’16)
Harrisburg Won, 6-2 vs. Hartford,
6:30 p.m.
G. Ross (5-1, 0.83 in ’16) vs.
Niebla (0-1, 5.30 in ’16)
Potomac Won, 8-7 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
J. Baez (9-7, 3.94 @ A- in ’16) vs.
Alvarado (10-9, 3.41 @ A- in ’16)
Hagerstown Lost, 11-3 vs. Lakewood,
6:05 p.m.
C. Pena (2-2, 2.95 @ GCL in ’16) vs.
Fanti (7-0, 1.57 @ GCL in ’16)

Rochester 6 Syracuse 2
• J. Turner 3⅔ IP, 3H, R, ER, 3BB, 4K, WP
• Grace (L, 0-1) 2IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, 3-0 IR-S
• Martin (BS, 1) 1⅓ IP, 5H, 3R ,3ER, 3BB, 1K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Goodwin 3-4, RBI, SB, CS
• Snyder 2-3

Rafael Martin was in midseason form as he let in the last five runs over an inning and a third to turn a 2-1 Chiefs lead into a 6-2 loss to the Red Wings. Jacob Turner got the start and was lifted after loading the bases with two out in the 4th. Matt Grace got the last out and stranded all three runners but was responsible for the go-ahead run that came in on a two-run homer served up by Martin. Brian Goodwin led the Syracuse hit column with 3-for-4 game, followed by Brandon Snyder at 2-for-3.

Rochester 10 Syracuse 4
• Hill 4⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, 0BB, 4K, 3HR, HBP
• Antolin 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Skole 2-3, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Falu 1-2, R, HR, RBI

Syracuse dropped a third straight game to Rochester, 10-4. Taylor Hill was lit up for five runs on eight hits (three HR) over four and 2/3rds innings. He hit one batter, walked none and struck out four. Irving Falu, Clint Robinson, Brandon Snyder, and Matt Skole each hit solo shots to make the most of just six hits and no walks drawn by the Chiefs offense. Roster move: RHP Matt Albers selected and recalled to Washington.

Harrisburg 6 Altoona 2
• Williams (W, 1-0) 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 9K, HBP
• Lara (H, 1) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Read 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• N. Soto 2-4, R
• Stevenson 2-4, 3RBI, 2CS

Raudy Read’s three-run HR in the last of the 6th erased a 2-0 deficit as Harrisburg tripled up Altoona, 6-2 to split the four-game series. Austen Williams got the win with a quality start of two runs on five hits and no walks in six innings pitched. He struck out nine. Andrew Stevenson also drove in three with a pair of singles, though he was caught stealing twice. Neftali Soto was third Senator with multiple hits in Harrisburg’s ten-hit parade.

Potomac 8 Wilmington 7
• Rodriguez 4IP, 4H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 5K, 3WP; 82-56 PIT-K
• Crownover (W, 1-0) 3IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K
• Gutierrez 4-5, 2B, RBI
• Robles 3-4, 4R, 2B, HR, BB, 2RBI, SB
• Sagdal 2-5, R, HR, RBI

The P-Nats outslugged and outlasted the Blue Rocks to take the game, 8-7, and the series, 2-1. Jefry Rodriguez labored through four innings, giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits and a walk. He struck out five and was charged with three wild pitches. Matt Crownover got the win in relief, with one run allowed on two hits and two walks over three innings. Victor Robles reached base four times, scored four times, and was a triple shy of the cycle while Kelvin Gutierrez stroked three singles and a double to lead Potomac’s 15-hit offense.

Asheville 11 Hagerstown 3
• Davis (L, 0-1) 4IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, BB, K, 3HR, BK, HBP
• Noll 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Banks 2-4

Asheville returned the favor from the second game of last night’s doubleheader and thrashed Hagerstown 11-3 to split the four-game series. Weston Davis worked a scoreless 1st before giving up runs in each of the next three innings. He gave up five runs on three HR’s and six hits total over four innings. He walked one, struck out one, and hit a batter. Blake Perkins and Nick Banks both singled twice while Jake Noll singled, doubled, and drove in a run. Roster move: LHP Jordan Mills assigned from Washington; no corresponding move yet.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Carter Kieboom, Edwin Lora both homer in the late innings to decide one-run games

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 10-0 vs. Rochester,
1:05 p.m.
J. Turner, (4-7, 4.71 in ’16) and
Hill (6-13, 4.60 in ’16) vs.
Tepesch (8-4, 3.96 in ’16) and
TBD
Harrisburg Won, 6-5;
Lost, 5-1
vs. Altoona,
1:30 p.m.
Williams (1-7, 5.68 in ’16) vs.
Brubaker (2-6, 5.32 @ A+ in ’16)
Potomac Won, 4-3
(12 inn.)
@ Wilmington,
1:35 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (7-11, 4.96 @ A-in ’16) vs.
Blewett (7-10, 3.80 @ A- in ’16)
Hagerstown Won, 2-1;
Won, 16-2
vs. Asheville,
2:05 p.m.
Davis (3-6, 2.67 @ SS-A in ’16) vs.
Pint (1-5, 5.35 @ Adv. Rk. in ’16)

Rochester 10 Syracuse 0
• J. Ross (L, 0-1) 2⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 3K, WP; 75-47 PIT-K
• Adams 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Skole 1-3, 2B
• Bautista 1-4, 2B

The only thing colder than the weather was the Syracuse lineup, as two Rochester pitchers combined for a four-hitter and a 10-0 shutout in the AAA opener for both teams. Joe Ross did not exactly make the case to come back to DC sooner than the minimum as he was, um, winged for four runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks over just two and 2/3rds innings. The Red Wings put the game away with a six-run 7th, including a grand slam off Mike Broadway. Matt Skole (pictured above) and Rafael Bautista both doubled, while Pedro Severino and Grant Green singled to compose the Chiefs’ hit column. Roster move: OF Michael Taylor optioned from Washington; the corresponding move has not been announced yet.

Harrisburg 6 Altoona 4 – GAME ONE
• Fedde (W, 1-0) 5IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 5K,
• Brinley (SV, 1) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Ward 1-2, 2R, 2B, HBP
• N. Soto 2-3, 2R, RBI
• A. Sanchez 1-3, R, HR, 3RBI

Erick Fedde pitched five strong innings while Adrian Sanchez highlighted a four-run 4th with a three-run bomb as the Senators straightened the Curve, 6-4 in the opener. Fedde let in an unearned run on four hits and two walks while striking out five to earn his first “W” of the season. Wander Suero nearly blew a 6-1 lead as he coughed up three runs in the 7th. Ryan Brinley came on to get the final out by way of the K to earn the save. Raudy Read drove in two with a double while Neftali Soto singled twice to plate one as the Harrisburg lineup got six runs on six hits and two walks.

Altoona 5 Harrisburg 1 – GAME TWO
• Blackmar (L, 0-1) 4IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Valdez 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• S. Kieboom 1-3, 2B, 2K
• Hernandez 1-3, RBI

Altoona got three runs in the 1st and it was more than enough to split the doubleheader for a 5-1 win over Harrisburg. Mark Blackmar went the first four innings, giving up the aforementioned three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three to take the loss. Spencer Kieboom had the sole extra-base hit while Yadiel Hernandez drove in the Senators’ only run with a 2nd-inning groundout. Harrisburg had just five hits and two walks total with nobody reaching twice.

Potomac 4 Wilmington 3 (12 inn.)
• Silvestre 4IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• Borne 4⅔ IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Bacus 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2-0 IR-S
• Lora 2-5, R, HR, RBI, SB
• Mejia 2-5, 2R, HR, RBI, CS

Edwin Lora’s ninth career HR broke a 3-3 deadlock as the P-Nats edged the Blur Rocks, 4-3 in 12 innings. Hector Silvestre got the start but was dinged for all three Wilmington runs on four hits and three walks over four innings. He struck out five but was lifted after 83 pitches. Grant Borne led the eight innings of shutout ball tossed by the Potomac ‘pen, with four and 2/3rds turned in. Veterans Kyle Schepel and Dakota Bacus both stranded two runners with two outs in the 9th and 11th innings respectively with Bacus picking up the win. Bryan Mejia also homered (career no. 14) as both he and Lora went 2-for-5 to lead the P-Nats attack.

Hagerstown 2 Asheville 1 – GAME ONE
• Acevedo 5IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Held (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, BB, K
• Perkins 1-3, R
• C. Kieboom 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI

Carter Kieboom’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 6th broke up the Star Trek Convention on the Municipal Stadium scoreboard as Hagerstown took the opening game of the doubleheader, 2-1. Asheville nearly got both runs back as back-to-back singles and Juan Soto’s second error in as many games put the tying runs in scoring position with nobody out. Sam Held settled down to get two grounders, one plating the lone Tourist run, and struck out the final batter with the tying run on third. Suns starter Carlos Acevedo pitched five scoreless innings with just three hits allowed in his first no-decision of ’17.

Hagerstown 16 Asheville 1 – GAME TWO
• Mills (W, 1-0) 5IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 6K, 3WP
• Bourque 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 0K
• Johnson 2-3, 2R, 2HR, BB, 5RBI
• Perkins 3-5, 2R
• J. Soto 3-3, 3R, BB, K

Like a mid-’80s Mike Tyson, the Suns hit ’em hard, early, and often in the nightcap for 16-2 demolition, and a doubleheader sweep. Daniel Johnson and Sheldon Neuse both drove in five, with Johnson smacking two homers and Neuse connecting for a grand slam, as the Hagerstown lineup strafed the Asheveille pitchers for 14 hits and four walks. Blake Perkins and Juan Soto both had three hits while Angelo La Bruna was the beer man with an 0-for-4 night.

Saturday’s News & Notes

No rain… but still a washout.

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed vs. Rochester,
1:05 p.m.
J. Ross, (0-2, 4.35 in ’16) vs.
Berrios (10-5, 2.51 in ’16)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-3 vs. Altoona,
6:00 p.m.
Fedde (2-1, 3.99 in ’16) and
Blackmar (4-5, 5.37) vs.
Waddell (7-9, 4.12 in ’16) and
Coley (12-10, 4.65 @ A+ in ’16)
Potomac Lost, 6-2 @ Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 2.08 in ’16) vs.
Blewett (8-11, 4.31 @ A- in ’16)
Hagerstown Lost, 11-1 vs. Asheville,
4:05 p.m.
Mills (4-5, 3.71 @ SS-A in ’16) and
Acevedo (2-5, 3.45 @ SS-A in ’16) vs.
Santos (6-4, 4.16 @ SS-A in ’16) and
Baker (3-4, 6.00 @ Adv. Rk. in ’16)

Syracuse – PPD
Joe Ross will make the first of one, perhaps two starts, for Syracuse today while he awaits his recall to MLB.

Altoona 5 Harrisburg 3
• Long (L, 0-1) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 1ER, BB, 7K, HBP
• Self 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Stevenson 2-3, R, 2BB, 2RBI, SB
• Ward 2-4, 2B, SF, RBI

Errors (five) and missed opportunities (1-for-8 RISP, 10 LOB, 14K) were the name of the game last night in Harrisburg, as the Senators fell behind 2-0 early and never could catch up. Jaron Long took the loss, giving up four runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk over five innings. Andrew Stevenson reached base four times with a pair of singles and two walks, and was among five Sens to collect two hits, joining Drew Ward, Neftali Soto, Alec Keller, and Adrian Sanchez in the hit parade. Derek Self tossed two scoreless innings to lead the bullpen.

Wilmington 6 Potomac 2
• Reyes (L, 0-1) 5IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 6BB, 2K, HBP, WP
• Guilbeau 3IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 7K, HR
• Wiseman 1-4, R, 2B
• Mejia 1-4, 2B

The Blue Rocks broke through for four runs in the 6th to open up a 2-1 game and cruised to a 6-2 defeat of the P-Nats. Luis Reyes walked six and hit a batter but gave up just one hit over five innings, but that was enough to wear the loss. Taylor Guilbeau struck out seven but was lit up for the aforementioned four—three by way of an Earl Weaver special—in his first of three innings pitched. Rhett Wiseman and Bryan Mejia both doubled but the Potomac hitters were held to just five hits and one walk and struck out 13 times.

Asheville 11 Hagerstown 1
• Watson (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 6K, HR, 2WP
• Pantoja 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• C. Kieboom 2-3, BB
• Soto 2-4

Asheville also went to town on the Hagerstown bullpen, scoring eight runs in the late innings en route to an 11-1 thrashing. Tyler Watson allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over four and 2/3rds innings to suffer the loss. Mick VanVossen was dinged for three runs in the 7th while Sterling Sharp wasn’t, giving up five in the 8th. Carter Kieboom and Juan Soto both had two singles and an error as the Suns committed five total on the night. Jake Noll’s solo HR in the 4th prevented the shutout as the offense had just seven hits and four RISP opportunities.

AFL/Offseason Update: Oct. 22, 2016

andrew-stevenson-10-21-16Glendale reverted to its losing ways as they didn’t play well in Peoria and lost 8-2 for its sixth loss in the last seven games.

Andrew Stevenson (pictured) was the sole National to appear in the game. He led off and played centerfield but was 0-for-4. Defensively, he made three putouts and fielded five balls total.

Austin Voth is slated to start the final game of the week for the Desert Dogs, an afternoon road game in Surprise.

                          #                          #                          #

TRANSACTION UPDATE
A couple of more re-signs:
• C Jake Lowery
• OF Zach Collier

THE POTOMAC NATIONALS

If you’re a fan of “narrative” and superstition, then Potomac’s “even year” streak ended with a first-round exit to Lynchburg, a team they had taken out in the first round twice previously since the playoff format changed from best-of-five to best-of-three in 2013. However, as a P-Nat season-ticket holder (disclosure ☑), this year’s team seemed to be short of the mark of previous championship teams.

Of course, it didn’t help that the 2016 Carolina League felt like a second-tier collegiate football conference. The gap between the playoff teams and the non-playoff teams was huge, thanks to three of the eight teams winning 80+ games. The four playoff teams were the four teams with a winning record.

Which is not to say it wasn’t a team worth watching: Erick Fedde shook off a rough start and went on a tear. Drew Ward repeated the level and started very strong, slipped a little, then played well enough to get the bump. Andrew Stevenson came as advertised and was replaced by another hot prospect who also lived up to the hype. Jose Marmolejos was the steady Eddie he’s been for his entire career.

About the only complaint might be that there wasn’t enough age-appropriate pitching, but that’s nitpicking. It’s happened before and to a (much) greater degree.

And with that, I turn to the Top 5’s…

TOP 5 BATS TOP 5 ARMS
1. Jose Marmolejos, 1B
.295 GPA, .495 SLG%
1. Erick Fedde, RHSP
2.85/3.22/1.13, 9.33 K/9
2. Drew Ward, 3B
.292 GPA, 11HR in 64G
2. Ryan Brinley, RHRP
1.37/2.68/0.89, 1.60 BB/9
3. Andrew Stevenson, CF
.266 GPA, 27SB in 68G
3. Philips Valdez, RHSP
3.74/3.42/1.15, 6+ IP in 7 of 11GS
4. Raudy Read, C
.250 GPA, 30 doubles in 101G
4. Mario Sanchez, RHRP
3.46/3.87/1.31, 23 of 32G for 2+ IP
5. Osvaldo Abreu, SS
.234 GPA, .824 OPS in Aug.
5. Gilberto Mendez, RHRP
2.01/2.82/1.16, 0HR in 49⅓ IP

Avoiding repeats was the challenge here since three of the Suns’ Top 5 might have been named here, too. While I’m still not a fan of Wilson Ramos’s Raudy Read’s defense, I can understand that if he can improve to passable, that bat could develop into something that every team wants: a catcher that can hit. Abreu did finish the season strong (.311/.366/.447 in last 33G) and does have the tools to be a good shortstop. Add that to an AFL nod, and that’s enough for me to put him onto this list.

The bevy of relievers, including one repeating the level, should hardly come as a surprise given the number of innings thrown by guys who no longer have to register for Selective Service (270⅔ excluding rehabs and position players).

Folks interested in seeing the full team’s statistics can find them here.

Hagerstown, Potomac Eliminated From the Playoffs

So LongBoth Potomac and Hagerstown lost last night and were eliminated from the playoffs to close the books on the 2016 Washington Nationals minor league season.

Lynchburg 3 Potomac 1
• Crownover (L, 0-1) 6+ IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 4K
• Orlan 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Abreu 2-4, R, 2B
• Page 1-3, BB

The P-Nats never led this one, falling behind 1-0 after four innings and 3-0 after seven. They got the tying runs to the plate in both the 8th and 9th innings, but plated just one run with Bryan Mejia’s two-out double in the 9th. For the game, Potomac was 1-for-9 with RISP and left on seven. Osvaldo Abreu was the sole batter not to whiff as the P-Nat batters fanned 12 times total, including three times swinging in the 1st.

Matthew Crownover did his part, pitching into the 7th and giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks while striking out four, but was saddled with the loss. Gilberto Mendez came on with a runner on first that reached on Raudy Read error and retired just one of three batters before Lynchburg sent him packing with a two-run homer that proved to be the difference. R.C. Orlan got the last five outs in as many batters faced, but the offense couldn’t match his effort.

The loss was the first time Potomac had failed to reach the Mills Cup finals since 2011, when the P-Nats fell to the Keys 3-2 in the then (much more fair) best-of-five Divisional series. Lynchburg will now face the defending Carolina League champs Myrtle Beach, which upset (well, see previous parenthetical) Salem to win both Game 3 and the C.L. South Division series, 2-1.

Lakewood 5 Hagerstown 2
• Watson (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Peterson 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Sagdal 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Beckwith 2-3, RBI

Likewise, Hagerstown fell behind 2-0 before they even came to bat and were never able to catch Lakewood, which took the game, 5-2 and swept the series, 2-0. Tyler Watson, who was making just his fifth Low-A start, was predictably knocked around for three runs on six hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds innings to wear the “L.” Jake Johansen got the last out of the 5th and pitched into the 7th before he ran out of gas. He left with runners on first and second but Mariano Rivera could not strand them as he gave up a two-out, two-run triple that effectively put the game out of reach.

Offensively, the Suns did little after Ian Sagdal led off the game with a HR to cut the deficit to 2-1. Blake Perkins followed with a single but a double play stopped the momentum, as did twin-killings in the 5th and 6th innings. Hagerstown managed just seven hits total and drew just one walk. The heart of the lineup – nos. three through seven – went 0-for-17 and accounted for four of the six batting strikeouts and both runners stranded in scoring position with two outs.

The first-round exit was the first for Hagerstown since 2012, when they were also swept by Greensboro. Lakewood gets an extra day off as they await the outcome of the Sally South series, which was tied up when Rome blew a 3-0 lead and lost 4-3 to Charleston to force a Game 3 tonight.

Thursday’s News & Notes — Playoff Edition

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac Won, 7-0
(7 inn.)
@ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 2.08) vs.
Lugo (8-5, 4.04)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-1 OFF DAY N/A

Potomac 7 Lynchburg 0 (7 inn.)
• Whiting (W, 1-0) 7IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Gutierrez 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Carey 2-3, R, 3B, RBI
• Page 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

Rain delayed the start and ended it early, but in between, Potomac dominated Lynchburg for a 7-0 shutout in seven innings. Staff ace Boone Whiting went the distance, allowing just two hits and a walk while fanning three to get the win. Kelvin Gutierrez led the 13-hit parade with two singles and a double, as eight of the starting nine batters hit safely while the beer man (Bryan Mejia) contributed with a pair of sacrifices.

The series now shifts to Lynchburg, where Potomac will have two chances to win one game to advance to the Carolina League Finals for the third time in four seasons. Roster move: C Jake Lowery activated from the TIL.

Lakewood 6 Hagerstown 1
• Rodriguez (L, 0-1) 4+ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K, WP
• Guilbeau 2⅓ IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 1K, 2-2 IR-S
• Sagdal 1-3, BB
• Perkins 0-2, R, 2BB

The BlueClaws limited the Suns to just four hits and came up big in the middle innings for a 6-1 victory in the SLDS opener. Jefry Rodriguez pitched into the 5th, giving up a double and a walk then wild-pitching them over to 2nd and 3rd before giving way to the ‘pen. Taylor Guilbeau couldn’t get an out on his own until the third batter he faced, as he gave up a single and a sacrifice before getting a strikeout. He issued an intentional walk to load the bases then surrendered a two-run double to let in both of Rodriguez’s runs and the first of four charged to him. Hagerstown’s offense drew just four walks while striking out 12 times. Ian Sagdal (single, walk) and Blake Perkins (two walks) were the only two batters to reach base twice.

After a mandated travel day, the series resumes on Friday in Hagerstown, with the Suns needing to win both Games 2 and 3 to return to the Sally League Finals, where they lost in five games to the Tourists in 2014. Roster move: C Adderling Ruiz reassigned from Potomac.

Wednesday’s News & Notes — Playoff Edition

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Whiting (11-3, 3.45) vs.
Esparza (2-4, 3.92)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Rodriguez (7-11, 4.96) vs.
Tirado (7-1, 3.90)

Potomac vs. Lynchburg – C.L. Division Series
For the third time in three seasons, the Hillcats and P-Nats will square off in the first round of the Carolina League Playoffs. In 2013 and 2014, Potomac prevailed 2-0 in the best-of-three series, but also had home-field advantage as double-half winners. This season, it’s just the opener in Woodbridge, then Game 2 and Game 3 (if necessary) in Lynchburg. The Hillcats took 12 of the 22 games between the two teams, but the P-Nats won five of nine in the second half. Pitching matchups have not yet been announced beyond tonight, but if the rotation is not altered, it’ll be Hector Silvestre in Game 2 and Matt Crownover in Game 3.

Hagerstown vs. Lakewood – S.A.L. Division Series
Like Potomac, Hagerstown makes its first playoff appearance since 2014. The Suns have been on the road since August 29, but like most 80+ game winners, have played well both home and away (44-26 vs. 39-31). Hagerstown dominated Lakewood early (11-0) but won just four of the last 11 games against the Phillies affiliate. According to MiLB.com, the playoff rotation will be Jefry Rodriguez, Tyler Watson, and (if necessary) Joan Baez. Roster moves: RHP Luis Reyes placed on the 7-Day DL.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3
(10 inn.)
END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 3-1 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 9-5 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4 Syracuse 3 (10 inn.)
• Ross 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Voth (L, 7-9) 6⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 1ER, 5BB, 7K
• Solano 2-3, 3RBI
• N. Soto 3-5, R
• Martinson 2-5, 2R

Syracuse secured the worst record in the I.L. with a 4-3 loss in 10 innings to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the season finale. MLB Rehab Joe Ross went the first three frames, giving up a run on a home run and three hits total over the first three innings. Austin Voth followed and took the loss, pitching the final six and 2/3rds and charged with three runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks (two intentional) while striking out seven. Jhonatan Solano drove in all three Chiefs runs while Neftali Solo singled three times to lead the Syracuse offense. Roster moves: IF Wilmer Difo reassigned from Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 5 Hartford 4
• J. Martin 8IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K; 0-1, 2SAC
• Ross (W, 5-1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Bautista 4-5, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• A. Sanchez 3-4, 2R
• Marmolejos 3-5, RBI

The Sens rallied for three in the 9th for a 5-4 walkoff win against the Yard Goats. Alas, it was too little, too late as Altoona beat out Harrisburg by one game for the playoffs. J.D. Martin replaced Erick Fedde and went the first eight innings, giving up all four Hartford runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Greg Ross got the “W” with a scoreless 9th. The Sens singled six times in seven at-bats in the final frame with Jose “Orange” Marmolejos driving in the deciding run on his third single of the afternoon. Rafael Bautista led the hit parade with three singles and a double, finishing September with a 15-for-36 flourish. Roster Moves: RHP J.D. Martin reassigned from Potomac, IF Khayyan Norfork reassigned from Syracuse.

Potomac 3 Myrtle Beach 1
• Mayberry (W, 4-4) 7IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 9K
• Mendez (H, 4) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Davidson 2-4, R, RBI
• Robles 3-4

Potomac won its third second-half title in four seasons behind a masterful outing by Whit Mayberry on a Monday Afternoon in Woodbridge.

Roster moves: RHPs Wirkin Estevez, Dakota Bacus activated from the 7-Day DL; C Adderling Ruiz reassigned from Hagerstown; C Jake Lowery placed on the 3-Day TIL.

Hagerstown 9 Asheville 5
• Borne (W, 5-2) 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 5K
• Peterson 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Wiseman 4-5, R, 2RBI
• Noll 4-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Reetz 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

The Suns battered Tourist pitchers for 19 hit as they took the season finale, 9-5. Grant Borne won his fifth game with five innings of one-run ball on five hits and no walks while striking out five. Beers were on Angelo La Bruna as the only Hagerstown batter to go hitless with Jake Noll and Rhett Wiseman leading the attack with eight hits, three runs, and three RBI combined.

Batavia 4 Auburn 3
• Sharp 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Ramirez (L, 4-3) 1⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• J. Soto 2-4, R, 2B, E(2)
• Ripken 2-4, 2B, RBI

Auburn completed its 0-for-September with its seventh straight loss, 4-3 to Batavia. ABC News 5 Anchorman Sterling Sharp got the callup from the GCL to make one more start and let in three runs on six hits and no walks over five innings for a no-decision. Yonathan Ramirez gave up the deciding run in the 7th to take the loss, his third. Juan Soto and Ryan Ripken both singled and doubled to lead the Doubledays offense, which managed nine hits but was 0-for-7 with RISP. Roster move: RHP Sterling Sharp reassigned from the GCL.

Monday Afternoon in Woodbridge

Potomac turned to Whit Mayberry on two days’ rest and the 26-y.o. veteran responded with seven monster innings as the P-Nats clinched a second-half title with a 3-1 victory.

The midseason pickup threw 79 pitches, 56 for strikes, and struck a career-high nine, getting Cuban cleanup man Yasiel Balaguert three times after the Prince Fielder doppelgänger had tortured Potomac pitchers for eight hits and four RBI over the past three games.

Early on, the P-Nats racked up the hits — three in the 1st, two in the 2nd, one in the 3rd — but the clutch hit was absent as they had just one run to show for it.

They finally broke through in the 5th with a little “help” from the Pelicans pitcher who threw past first base to allow Victor Robles to turn a bunt single into a Little League double, though he might have been able to make it a “triple” had he not done his best imitation of Deion Sanders by spinning around halfway past first base and backpedaling into second base.

Austin Davidson followed with a single to left to send in Robles. MLB rehab Stephen Drew did his best imitation of Robles with an HBP to push Davidson to second and Osvaldo Abreu completed the two-run rally with another single to left.

The two teams traded donuts in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, with Gilberto Mendez following Mayberry and working around a single before giving way to closer (and postseason All-Star) Ryan Brinley in the 9th.

Maybe it was nerves, but the defense was less than steady in the 9th for Brinley, with Bryan Mejia booting a grounder to second for his 26th miscue to open the innings and Austin Davidson bullfighting a two-out grounder to the 5/6 hole that was ruled a single. A subsequent safety to right plated the lone Myrtle Beach run and brought up the go-ahead run.

Light-hitting Jesse Hodges put a charge into the final out but a warning-track flyball is the same as a can of corn in the scorebook as the P-Nats celebrated their third second-half title in the past four seasons.

The win earned Woodbridge nine one less road game, as the Lynchburg Hillcats will have to come to the Pfitz on Wednesday to open best-of-three Carolina League North Divisional Series. Unofficially, it’ll be Matt Esparza (2-4, 3.92) facing off against Potomac’s Boone Whiting (11-3, 3.45).