Two-Run Ninth Pushes Keys Past P-Nats in Series Opener
Woodbridge, VA- Despite leading 4-1 entering the eighth inning, the Potomac Nationals dropped their series opener against the Frederick Keys 5-4 on Friday night.
Frederick scored two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings, capped off by a sacrifice fly from DH Randolph Gassaway that scored the tying and go-ahead runs on the play. With the bases loaded and one out, Gassaway lifted the RHP Carlos Acevedo (L, 0-1) offering to right field, scoring C Daniel Fajardo from third. The throw from RF Rhett Wiseman went wide of third base, allowing SS Chris Clare to score all the way from second.
Potomac held a lead for most of the game, starting with a two-run bottom of the third. Trailing 1-0, CF Jack Sundberg led off with a single against Frederick RHP Michael Baumann (ND) and stole second base. Two batters later, SS Luis Garcia drove in Sundberg with an RBI single to tie the game. With 3B Ian Sagdal at the plate, Garcia stole second and scored on Sagdal's second hit of the night.
With the lead in tow, RHP Wil Crowe (ND) closed out his first start since coming off the disabled list in strong fashion. The right-hander went four innings, striking out three batters while allowing just one run in his first start as a P-Nat since June 13th.
The P-Nats extended their lead off of Frederick RHP Steven Klimek with a run in the sixth and another in the seventh. Wiseman walked with one out in the sixth and LF Nick Banks, the next batter, took his place with a fielder's choice. C Jakson Reetz followed with an RBI double to right field, scoring Banks to make it a 3-1 game. 2B Bryan Mejia laced a solo home run (3) to start of the seventh to increase the lead to 4-1.
Frederick began their comeback against The P-Nats' bullpen in the eighth. The first four batters in the inning singled off of LHP Taylor Guilbeau, capped off by an RBI single from LF Jake Ring that knocked the lefty out of the game. With the bases load and no outs, Acevedo got Gassaway to ground into a double play and RF T.J. Nichting to strikeout to end the frame after just allowing one run to score.
The sacrifice fly and subsequent error in the top of the ninth gave Frederick their first lead since Wilson Garcia's solo home run (18) in the top of the first.
Potomac left 11 runners on-base in the loss, thanks to Frederick's season-high nine walks allowed. Garcia led the way for Potomac's offense, notching a three-hit night for the second consecutive game.
Potomac looks to even the series on Saturday night, as LHP Ben Braymer (3-3, 3.40) takes the mound against the Keys. As a starter this season, Braymer has picked up four quality starts in five tries. RHP Koda Glover, on rehab with The P-Nats, is expected to pitch in the game as well. For Frederick, LHP Lucas Humpal (2-8, 4.55) makes his second start of the year against Potomac. In his first, Humpal gave up six runs over seven innings.
First pitch at Northwest Federal Field on Saturday is set for 6:35pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:20pm 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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