Defense Bites Potomac in 4-0 Loss to Dash
Winston-Salem, NC - A crucial error by 2B Bryan Mejia led to three unearned runs in the sixth inning, as the Potomac Nationals (61-52, 24-22) fell 4-0 to the Winston-Salem Dash (70-45, 29-16) on Saturday night. It was the third straight loss for Potomac overall, and second consecutive loss at the Southern Division Champion Dash.
The top two scoring offenses in the league went fairly quietly through the first five innings, as neither team pushed a run across the plate. RF Blake Rutherford threw out CF Jack Sundberg at the plate in the top of the second inning, while Potomac left two men in scoring position in the fourth frame. The Dash threatened against RHP Joan Baez (L, 7-9) in the opening inning, but left runners on second and third base, and then failed to convert on a first/third and one out scenario in the fifth inning.
RHP Alec Hansen (ND) went just two innings in his return to Winston-Salem, while four more pitchers combined on the final seven-shutout frames. Hansen walked a pair in his second inning of work, but got help from Rutherford on the out at the plate, while RHP Lincoln Henzman worked the third, fourth, and fifth innings. RHP Drew Hasler (W, 6-2) tossed a scoreless sixth inning, while his offense gave him the lead in the home half of the frame.
The error by Mejia allowed CF Luis Robert to reach first base to begin the home half of the sixth inning. LF Luis Gonzalez followed that with an RBI double, which plated Robert and made it 1-0 Dash. Baez then got an out, issued a walk, got another out, and issued another walk, as the Dash had the bases loaded with two outs. On Baez's final pitch of the night, SS Laz Rivera hit a soft line drive to centerfield, which plated two runs and made it 3-0. Winston-Salem got the final run of the game in the following frame against LHP Hayden Howard, as Sundberg lost a ball in the lights with two outs, which resulted in Gonzalez's second double of the night, and 2B Nick Madrigal plated him with a two-out single.
Potomac got the tying man into the on-deck circle in the final frame against RHP Mike Morrison, but 1B Nick Basto struck out for the second out of the inning, and RF Rhett Wiseman popped out to Rivera to end the game.
In the loss, SS Luis Garcia had his five-game hit streak snapped, while Mejia extended his hit streak to seven games. Sundberg had the only multi-hit night for Potomac, as the outfielder tallied two singles and picked up two walks in the loss.
Potomac hasn't lost four consecutive games since a five-game losing streak 7/5-7/9, and will turn to LHP Nick Raquet (2-2, 6.67) in an effort to avoid a fourth straight defeat. Raquet picked up a victory in his last start, as he didn't allow a run over five innings. The Dash will look to LHP John Parke (3-3, 3.94) in search of a series sweep. Parke has picked up the loss in each of his last two outings, and allowed five runs over six innings in his last start.
First pitch at BB&T Ballpark on Sunday is set for 2:00pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 1:45pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com, at http://bit.ly/P-NatsBroadcast, or on the TuneIn Radio App.
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