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P-Nats Trio to Compete in Mid-Season Classic Versus the California League's All-Stars

June 7, 2013 - Carolina League (CarL) - Potomac Nationals News Release

Woodbridge, VA- The Potomac Nationals, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are proud to announce that the club will send three players to the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game to be played in San Jose, California at Municipal Stadium, home of the San Jose Giants (Class-A Advanced, San Francisco Giants), on Tuesday, June 18th.

Left-handed pitcher, Robbie Ray, right-handed pitcher, Blake Schwartz, and outfielder, Billy Burns have been selected to compete in the mid-season classic that pits the perennial prospects of the Carolina League against their counterparts in the California League.

Ray, 21, leads the Carolina League in strikeouts with a whopping 81 K's over 12 starts. The Brentwood, Tennessee native has earned a (4-2) record to complement a 2.32 earned run average, while logging one complete game. The 6'2", 170 pound crafty southpaw has yet to surrender more than two earned runs in any one start this season and has only allowed two home runs in 62.0 innings pitched. Holding Carolina League swingers to an anemic .184 batting average, Ray has turned in six quality starts and is (3-0) with a 1.85 ERA on the road and has maintained a 2.89 ERA in six starts at home inside the confines of Pfitzner Stadium. Ray struck out a career-high ten batters against the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) on 4/21.

Ray was selected out of Brentwood High School (TN) by the Washington Nationals in the 12th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and is Baseball America #18 overall prospect in Washington's Minor League system.

Schwartz, 23, has taken the Carolina League by storm in 2013 after beginning the season with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League where the pride of Rosemount, Minnesota went (2-0) with one save, and fanned 21 batters in 14.1 innings logged. Schwartz began his Potomac career with 11.0 straight scoreless frames and owns a (5-1) record alongside a petite 1.29 ERA over eight starts. Schwartz' only losing decision of the season came on 5/7 on the road against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals) in a start which yielded just one earned run.

Schwartz leads the Potomac pitching staff with five wins and owns the lowest ERA among all P Nats arms with at least 40 innings pitched. The 6'3", 200 pound righty was the fastest hurler to four victories in 2013 and thus far has held opposing Carolina League swingers to a .156 collective batting clip. Schwartz has struck out 32 batters in 48.2 innings and tossed a complete game, one-hitter, seven inning shutout on 5/12 vs. the Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox).

Schwartz was plucked by the Nationals in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB Draft after his senior season at Oklahoma City University following three collegiate campaigns with Minnesota State University at Mankato.

Burns, 23, from Marietta, Georgia, the perpetual speedster of the Carolina League who leads the contingent in stolen bases, has amassed 28 swipes in 31 attempts. While wreaking havoc on the basepaths and tormenting opposing Carolina League battery mates, the feisty switch-hitter leads all qualifying Nationals hackers in batting average with a .283 batting clip and has scored 38 runs which is tied for 4th in the CL. Burns is 2nd in the league in one-base percentage (.418) and tied for 1st in walks (35). Burns has collected two doubles, four triples (tied for team lead), and 12 RBIs on the 2013 campaign. Additionally, Burns has lifted a pair of sacrifice flies and deadened five sac bunts while getting hit by a pitch five times this season.

Burns, the #26 prospect in the Washington Nationals farm system per Baseball America, only returned to switch-hitting in the Nationals instructional league in 2011 after hitting solely from the right side in college at Mercer University. The table-setting sparkplug is slapping from the left side of the plate at a .299 average against right-handed pitching with five extra-base hits and 10 RBIs.

Burns has yet to commit an error in 48 contests.

The 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game will be played in San Jose, CA at Municipal Stadium, the home of the San Jose Giants. It will mark the first time that the team has hosted this event. Baseball's top prospects, representing 18 Major League teams and 18 Minor League affiliates, will descend upon Municipal Stadium on June 18 as two of the nation's elite Class-A Advanced leagues matchup in the 17th California-Carolina League All-Star Game. After last year's 9-1 victory by the Carolina League in Winston-Salem, N.C., the two Class-A Advanced circuits are deadlocked in the game's history with identical 7-7-2 records.

Tickets still remain for the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game in San Jose. To learn more and purchase tickets visit sjgiants.com/allstargame or call (408) 297-1435. If fans are unable to attend the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game, the game will be televised locally on Comcast Hometown Network Digital Channel 104 and nationally on MiLB.TV . Fans will also be able to listen to the game for free online at sjgiants.com and via the San Jose Giants Mobile App. Whether fans are listening, watching or attending the game, the San Jose Giants want to encourage everyone to use the official social media hashtag of the 2013 All-Star Game, #SJASG13. Fans can begin right now by participating in the All-Star Game poster contest. Visit sjgiants.com/allstargame and download the official 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game poster. Then, take a picture of your poster hanging up in your business, home or school and post it on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook tagging the San Jose Giants, using #SJASG13. One lucky fan will win a bag filled with All-Star merchandise!

The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!


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