Tetreault's Stellar Start Erased by Late Lynchburg Rally
Lynchburg, VA - The Potomac Nationals (6-8) got a brilliant start from RHP Jackson Tetreault, but faltered late as the Lynchburg Hillcats (9-5) scored seven unanswered runs off the Potomac bullpen to win 7-5 on Wednesday afternoon.
Tetreault allowed only two hits over 6.0 scoreless frames, outdueling reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week Eli Morgan through the middle innings. But the P-Nats, who led 5-0 at the seventh inning stretch, allowed three runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to drop the three-game series and head back home on a two-game skid.
The Nationals loaded the bases in the first against Morgan, who had not allowed a run through his first two starts for the Hillcats. The righty worked out of the jam to keep the game scoreless, and settled into a groove until the top of the fourth when DH Aldrem Corredor hit his first home run of the year, a solo shot off the videoboard in right field to put the P-Nats up 1-0.
With a slim lead, Tetreault pitched flawlessly to the Hillcats for his finest start of the year. The righty faced the minimum through four innings, fanning six batters in total and leaving the game in line for his third victory.
Both teams capitalized when the game was turned over to the bullpens. In the top of the seventh, the Nationals greeted RHP Jonathan Teaney with a solo home run from C Alex Dunlap and an RBI single from SS Osvaldo Abreu. LHP Yapson Gomez got the final two outs of the inning for the Hillcats, but not before Corredor brought home his second and third runs of the afternoon with an RBI double down the left field line.
Leading 5-0, P-Nats manager Tripp Keister handed the ball to RHP AJ Bogucki. Just as the Nationals quickly rallied in the top half of the inning, the Hillcats collected back-to-back singles from 3B Nolan Jones and LF Oscar Gonzalez to put Bogucki on the ropes. 1B Gavin Collins got Lynchburg on the board with an RBI single, and with two outs C Mike Rivera brought home two with a single of his own to draw to within a pair.
Potomac left two runners in scoring position against LHP Kyle Nelson (W, 1-0) in the eighth, and would go on to regret that missed opportunity as the Hillcats picked up right where they left off in the bottom half. RHP Jeremy McKinney (L, 0-1) had trouble locating the strike zone, and loaded the bases with a double and a pair of walks. He then hit Gonzalez in the hand with a pitch to cut Potomac's lead to one, and two batters later allowed a sacrifice fly to Collins to tie the game 5-5.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth, Rivera came through for the second time in as many innings with a two-run single to put Lynchburg ahead 7-5. It capped a 6-for-12 series for the Hillcats catcher, and gave Nelson a two-run cushion going to the ninth. 3B Anderson Franco hit a two-out single to bring the tying run to the plate for the Nationals, but Nelson fanned RF Gage Canning to end the game.
The P-Nats return home to Woodbridge on Thursday to begin an eight-day, seven-game homestand. They take on the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday night, with starting pitchers for both teams to be determined. First pitch from Northwest Federal Field is set for 7:05 pm, and the Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50 with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen live at potomacnationals.com, at http://bit.ly/P-NatsBroadcast, or on the TuneIn Radio App.
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