Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 12-5;
Won, 3-2
(8 inn.)
vs. Charlotte,
6:35 p.m.
Cole (1-2, 6.03) vs.
Danish (1-3, 3.15)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-3;
Lost, 5-4
vs. New Hampshire,
7:00 p.m.
Long (4-4, 2.65) vs.
Dawson (1-5, 6.16)
Potomac Lost, 8-7 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Baez (1-5, 5.03) vs.
Civale (Hi-A Debut)
Hagerstown Lost, 10-6 vs. Columbia,
7:05 p.m.
Does it matter?
Tim Tebow’s going to be there

Charlotte 12 Syracuse 5 – GAME ONE
• Voth (L, 1-6) 5IP, 8H, 8R, 8ER, 3BB, 3K, 2HR
• Snyder 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Robinson 3-4, 3R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Skole 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI
• Ramsey 2-3, R

Charlotte jumped on Austin Voth for five in the 1st and cruised to 12-5 win over Syracuse in the opener. Voth gutted out five innings but was disemboweled for eight runs total on eight hits, including two homers. He walked three and struck out three. Brandon Snyder was the Chiefs’ most effective reliever, coming off third base for a scoreless inning in the 7th. Clint Robinson and Matt Skole both homered in the loss. combining for four runs scored and four RBI.

Syracuse 3 Charlotte 2 – GAME TWO
• Antolin 4IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 5K
• Martin (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Butler 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Snyder 1-3, R, 2B, BB

Andrew Stevenson’s eighth-inning single walked off the Knights as the Chiefs split the doubleheader with a 3-2 win in “extras.” Dustin Antolin got the sport start and gave up both Charlotte runs on two hits and two walks while fanning five in four innings pitched. The win went to Rafael Martin who struck out four in two perfect innings of relief. Joey Butler led the Syracuse hit column with a 2-for-4 effort with a run scored and a run driven in. Roster moves: RHP Gabriel Arias placed on the 7-Day DL; 1B-3B Matt Skole activated from the 7-Day DL; RHP Joe Nathan released.

New Hampshire 6 Harrisburg 3 – GAME ONE
• Williams (L, 1-6) 6IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Read 2-3
• Perez 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI

A four-run 4th by New Hampshire erased an early 1-0 lead as Harrisburg was doubled up, 6-3 in the opener. Austen Williams lost for the sixth time in nine starts with the aforementioned four runs let in on seven hits over six innings. He walked none and struck out three. Raudy Read singled twice, Neftali Soto walked twice, and Stephen Perez drove in two as the Sens were held to six hits total.

New Hampshire 5 Harrisburg 4 – GAME TWO
• Simms (L, 2-3) 4⅓ IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 5K, HR, WP
• Valdez 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1-0 IR-S
• Marmolejos 2-2, 2R, 2B, 3B, 2BB, RBI
• Ward 2-4, 2RBI

Drew Ward’s two-run single in the last of the 7th brought the Senators within a run but the game ended on a foul pop and the winning run on third in 5-4 loss to the Fisher Cats. John Simms was knocked around for all five New Hampshire runs on nine hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds. Phillips Valdez and Jimmy Cordero combined for two and 1/3rd scoreless innings of relief to keep things close. Jose “Orange” Marmolejos doubled, tripled, and walked twice on what appears to be his last day of MLB rehab. Roster move: OF Yadiel Hernandez placed on the 3-Day TIL.

Lynchburg 8 Potomac 7
• Estevez 6IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Mendez (BS, 1; L, 1-1) 1IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 0K, HR
• Sundberg 2-3, 3R, BB
• Robles 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI, HBP
• Gutierrez 2-4, 2R, RBI

Wirkin “For the Weekend” left after six innings and a 2-1 lead. The pitcher’s duel devolved into a bullfight, with Lynchburg’s matadors relievers waving in fewer than Potomac’s for an 8-7 win. Jorge Pantoja, Ronald Pena, and Gilberto Mendez each pitching a single inning and combined for seven runs allowed on eight hits, including a solo HR (Pena) and an Earl Weaver special (Mendez) with the loss going to Mendez. The P-Nats answered each late-inning rally and got the tying and winning runs in scoring position with one out in the 9th before Kelvin Gutierrez was caught looking and Ian Sagdal flew out.

Delmarva 10 Hagerstown 6
• Bogucki 5IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 3K, WP
• Held (BS, 2; L, 1-3) 1IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 1BB, 0K, HR, WP
• La Bruna 2-2, R, BB, RBI
• Agustin 2-4, R, 2B, SB
• Corredor 1-2, R, 2B, 3BB

SSDL, as the Suns ‘pen was scorched for eight runs over the final four innings as the Shorebirds turned a 5-2 deficit into a 10-6 victory. A.J. Bogucki spun five innings of two-run ball on four hits and a walk over five innings. Sam Held blew his second save and lost for the third time with a four-run, five-hit shellacking in a single inning. Blake Perkins was the beer man as Hagerstown pounded out ten hits and drew five walks, with Aldrem Corredor leading the charge with three walks and a double. Roster moves: IF Sheldon Neuse placed on the 7-Day DL, retroactive to May 29; IF Paul Panaccione reassigned from Auburn.

Day Tripping the Nats Affiliates: Woodbridge

Part Three 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

Unlike most of the current Washington Nationals Minor League affiliates, Woodbridge, Virginia, home of their Potomac National advanced A class team in the Carolina League, does not have a long history of professional baseball. In fact, the first season in which a Minor League club played in Woodbridge was 1984. Prior to that season, the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to relocate their current Carolina League team, the Alexandria Dukes, approximately twenty miles south to the city. A new stadium was built, which was originally called Davis Ford Park, and ready in time for the debut of the Pirates new club—the Prince William Pirates—in their home opening day game of the 1984 Carolina League season.

Since 1984, five different teams have played in the city—the Prince William Pirates, Prince William Yankees, Prince William Cannons, Potomac Cannons, and Potomac Nationals—and all have been members of the Carolina League. Moreover, they have been affiliated with six different Major League clubs: Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, and the Washington Nationals.

When the Montreal Expos were relocated after the 2004 season, the team was renamed the Washington Nationals and set up shop at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, DC. As part of that transition, the Nationals changed leagues and/or renamed a number of their affiliates, including switching their High-A club from the Florida State League to the Carolina league to become the Potomac Nationals. Two thousand seventeen is the thirteenth consecutive season that the P-Nats, as they are known to local fans, have been affiliated with the Washington Nationals.

Over the years the name of the stadium also evolved. It was renamed Prince William County Stadium in 1986 and took on its current name G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium in 1995. The ballpark is referred to by locals as “The Pfitz.”

The main seating area of G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium, which is a very simple styled ballpark, is located behind the infield diamond and ranges from dugout to dugout. A narrow walkway traverses this seating section and separates the field-level box seats from a reserved seats section that rises upward from the walkway. A photo of the ball field as seen from the upper section of seats behind home plate is shown above.

Food concessions are located on a small covered concourse that is located behind this main infield seating area. Moreover, there are additional food services, picnic tables, and the team store in an open-air courtyard just inside the entrance gate of the stadium.

Since 2005, a number of players have made a stop in Woodbridge to play for the P-Nats and then advanced to make their Major League debut with Washington or another Major League club. While at the ballpark, check out the Potomac Nationals Wall of Fame in the covered concession area with pictures that honor former Washington Nationals prospects, including Drew Storen, Derek Norris, Steven Strasburg, and Bryce Harper, who played at The Pfitz and later made the jump to the majors.

As mentioned in Parts 1 and 2 of this post, a key goal of the Washington Nationals Minor League Baseball Road Trip is to see some of their 2017 top 30 prospects in action on the ball field at The Pfitz. The table above lists the five Nats 2017 MLB Top 30 Prospects who began the season as members of the Potomac Nationals.

On the 2017 opening day, which was an away game versus the Wilmington Blue Rocks, all four field players were in their starting lineup: Victor Robles (#) in center field and batting leadoff, Kelvin Gutierrez (#16) at third base and hitting cleanup, Edwin Lora (#28) played shortstop and hit eighth, and Telmito Agustin (#26) in left and batting ninth. On the other hand, Joan Baez (#24) made his debut in the P-Nats uniform as their starting pitcher in Game 4 of the new season, an away game versus the Frederick Keys.

As usual for fans of the Suns, Senators, and Washington Nationals, who need to travel a good distance to the ballpark, I recommend attending a day or early evening game. This would potentially allow some pre- or postgame daylight time to explore the stadium and local area. A check of the Potomac Nationals 2017 schedule on their official website shows that they play all of their Sunday home games at 1:05PM and they have one weekday game at 12:05PM in both July and August. Check the travel matrix in Part 1 for an estimate of the travel distance and time for your day trip to the Pfitz.

The city of Woodbridge is located in the northeast corner of Prince William County, at a point where the Occoquan River meets the Potomac River. The P-Nats ballpark is located just six miles and approximately a 15-minute drive from a very interesting historic riverfront villag – Occoquan, VA. I feel that this quaint waterfront village is a “don’t miss” destination on any visit to attend a Potomac Nationals game.

This former mill village is quite small and an ideal destination for a fun side trip. Just park and enjoy walking around the attractive village; exploring some of its interesting specialty, craft, and antique shops, and maybe having lunch or a snack at a riverfront restaurant or cafe.

Attractions Near Woodbridge
• Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 14050 Dawson Beach Rd., Woodbridge, VA
• Historic Occoquan Village Visitors Center, 200 Mill St., Occoquan, VA

Dining In or Near Woodbridge
• Ornery Beer Company & Public House, 14389 Potomac Mills Rd., Woodbridge, VA
• Bungalow Alehouse, 2840 Prince William Pkwy., Woodbridge, VA
• The Electric Palm Restaurant, 12745 Sea Ray Ln., Woodbridge, VA
• Frostie Moose Soft Ice Cream Store, 12581 Milstead Way, Woodbridge, VA
• Madigan’s Waterfront Restaurant, 201 Mill St., Occoquan, VA
• Cock and Bowl Belgian Bistro, 302 Poplar Alley, Occoquan, VA
• The Virginia Grill, 301 Mill St., Occoquan, VA
• The Blue Arbor Café, 201 Union St., Occoquan, VA
• The Secret Garden Café, 404 Mill St., Occoquan VA

In the fourth and final part of this post, I will look at the Harrisburg Senators and their stadium FNB Field. Also, I will review the Washington Nationals 2017 Top 30 Prospects on the Senators’ current roster and suggest some travel plans for attending a Senators home game as well as attractions and eateries in or near Harrisburg, PA.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3
(10 inn.)
vs. Charlotte,
6:35 p.m.
Voth (1-5, 4.89) vs.
Giolito (2-5, 5.44)
Harrisburg Won, 1-0 vs. New Hampshire,
6:30 p.m.
Williams (1-5, 7.17) vs.
Greene (1-4, 3.96)
Potomac Won, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 8-4 vs. Hagerstown,
7:05 p.m.
Watson (4-1, 3.42) vs.
Dietz (0-4, 5.62)

Gwinnett 4 Syracuse 3 (10 inn.)
• G. Ross 7IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 3K, 2WP; 1-2, RBI
• Cotts (L, 1-2) 1+ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Martin 1BF, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3-1 IR-S
• Robinson 2-4, 2B, 2RBI
• Raburn 2-4

Syracuse delayed the inevitable with a run in the 9th but gave it right back in the bottom of the 10th for a 4-3 loss and a four-game sweep. Starter Greg Ross did his part with three runs let in on seven hits and three walks over seven innings and an RBI single at the plate. Neal Cotts took the loss with an assist from Rafael Martin, who let in the gamewinner with a single allowed to the first and only batter he faced. Clint Robinson went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI while Andrew Stevenson got the sole hit by the three Chiefs batters under the age of 30. Roster move: LHP Matt Grace optioned from Washington.

Harrisburg 1 Richmond 0
• Eitel (W, 1-1) 6IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 6K, HBP
• Robinson (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• N. Soto 1-3, 2B
• Hernandez 1-1, RBI

Four Senators pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout of the Flying Squirrels, 1-0. Derek Eitel picked up the win with six innings pitched, one hit and one walk allowed, and six whiffs. The save went to Wander Suero, who worked around two walks in the 9th, while R.C. Orlan and Andrew Robinson both turned in a goose egg to earn a hold. Yadiel Hernandez’s 6th-inning pinch-hit single plated Alec Keller for the game’s only run. Roster move: OF Chris Heisey assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 2
• Silvestre (W, 5-1) 6IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 1K
• Mendez (SV, 5) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 1K, 3=1 IR-
• Robles 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI, 2BB
• Davidson 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI

Potomac’s three-run 5th was enough for the pitchers to work with as they edged Wilmington, 3-2 in the series finale. Hector Silvestre got his 5th “W” with six-plus innings of one-run ball on four hits and four walks while setting down one (1) on strikes. Gilberto Mendez got the last five outs for his fifth save. Victor Robles homered for the 6th time, drove in two, and walked twice while Austin Davidson walked, singled, and doubled while driving in the final Potomac run.

Delmarva 8 Hagerstown 4
• Pena (L, 3-3) 1⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 1ER, 3BB, 2K, HBP
• VanVossen 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Noll 3-4, R, 2-2B, BB
• Perkins 2-5, 2RBI

The Shorebirds scored in each of the first four innings as they doubled up the Suns in the series opener, 8-4. Carlos Pena was chased after an inning and 2/3rds, charged with four runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks as he lost for the third time. Jake Noll reached base four times with a single, walk, and two doubles to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Monday’s News & Notes

Click the image above to learn the difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-1 @ Gwinnett,
1:05 p.m.
G. Ross (2-3, 6.97) vs.
Weigel (1-1, 7.71)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 vs. Richmond,
12:00 p.m.
Eitel (0-1, 6.75) vs.
Coonrod (1-5, 4.76)
Potomac Lost, 4-3 @ Wilmington,
12:05 p.m.
Silvestre (4-1, 4.66) vs.
Castillo (3-2, 2.61)
Hagerstown Won, 7-2 vs Hagerstown,
7:05 p.m.
C. Pena (3-2, 6.39) vs.
Muckenhirn (1-5, 4.66)

Gwinnett 6 Syracuse 1
• O’Sullivan 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Satterwhite (L, 0-2) 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Falu 2-4
• Solano 0-1, 3BB

The Chiefs broke up the shutout bid early to take a 1-0 lead but allowed six unanswered runs to drop a 6-1 decision to the Braves. The newest Syracuse pitcher tossed three scoreless innings before giving way to Cody Satterwhite, who gave up a run in each his three innings thrown. Irving Falu singled twice while Jhonatan Solano walked three times but the rest of the Syracuse lineup was just 2-for-27 with a walk. Roster move: RHP Sean O’Sullivan assigned from Washington.

Richmond 3 Harrisburg 2
• Hill 6⅔ IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HR, HBP
• Brinley (L, 3-3) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Read 2-4, R, 2B
• Abreu 1-3, 2B, BB, E(8)

Richmond answered Harrisburg’s rally to tie in the bottom of the 7th with a solo HR in the 8th to win it, 3-2. Taylor Hill got the start and only let one ball leave the yard as he allowed two runs on seven hits over six and 2/3rds innings, with a big assist from Jimmy Cordero, who stranded three while getting the last out of the 7th. Ryan Brinley took the loss with the aforementioned HR allowed over the final two innings. Raudy Read singled, doubled, and scored a run while Osvaldo Abreu walked and doubled as the Sens were held to six hits total.

Wilmington 4 Potomac 3
• Crownover 5⅔ IP, 7H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Rivera (H, 1) ⅓+ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 0K
• Schepel (BS, 2; L, 1-1) 2IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K, 3-3 IR-S
• Robles 2-4, R, RBI, SB
• Gushue 2-3, BB

The wheels came off the bus in the 7th as the Blue Rocks scored all four of its runs in a 4-3 win over the P-Nats. Matthew Crownover started and tossed five and 2/3rds scoreless, scattering seven hits, walking one, and fanning seven. Mariano Rivera III got the last out of the 6th, but put on three straight in the 7th before turning the ball over to Kyle Schepel who gave up three straight singles to empty the bases and let in one of his own for the loss. Victor Robles stayed upright except for his 9th steal and singled twice as did Taylor Gushue (minus the steal, natch) to lead the Potomac offense.

Hagerstown 7 West Virginia 2
• Bourque (W, 1-3) 6IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 7K
• Fuentes 2⅔ IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 1K
• Perkins 2-5, 2R, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Corredor 2-4, R, 2RBI, HBP
• Johnson 2-5, R, 2B

Hagerstown scored five times in three innings to take an early 5-1 lead and cruised to a 7-2 win over West Virginia. James Bourque won his first game with six innings of one-run ball on four hits with no walks and seven K’s. Steven Fuentes nearly closed it out with two and 2/3rds innings pitched before the Power got to him for an unearned run in the 9th. Table-setters Blake Perkins and Aldrem Corredor scored three times and combined for four hits and four RBIs to lead the Suns’ 11-hit parade.

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.

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.

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.