A combined 31 runs and 32 hits were put up by Potomac and Kinston in a 17-14 Nationals victory Tuesday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. Kinston trailed 17-6 going into the bottom of the eighth inning before scoring seven runs in the eighth, then adding another and putting the tying run to plate in the ninth.
Kinston led 3-0 going into the second inning before Potomac exploded for seven runs. Potomac smacked six hits, sending 12 men to the plate in the seven run second, as two key Kinston errors lead to five unearned runs. Kinston traded blows with Potomac, trailing 11-6 before the Nationals blew the game open again with a six run seventh inning. Potomac batted around again, smacking five hits and opening up a 17-6 lead.
Kinston didn’t say die, batting around in the seventh inning. The five hit inning was capped off by a three-run Beau Mills home run. It was Mill’s Carolina League leading 21st home run of the season, giving him a Carolina League leading 89 RBIs. Kinston continued the rally in the bottom of the ninth inning when Niuman Romero led off with a single and Johnny Drennen followed with a double that glanced off the top of the centerfield wall. Kinston cut the score to 17-14 when an error by Potomac third baseman Stephen King plated Romero. Kinston would have added at least two more runs, but an inning saving diving catch by Nationals shortstop Michael Martinez saved the day. A would be bloop single by Kinston’s Lucas Montero was snagged by the falling shortstop on a web gem worthy stop. Romero went 4-for-5 with three RBI for Kinston. Montero went 3-for-6 with three runs scored. Mills went 2-for-5 with four RBI.
Kinston starter Carlton Smith (10-6) picked up the loss for Kinston, giving up ten runs (only four were earned) in four innings. Josh Tomlin had a fantastic outing from the bullpen late for Kinston. Pitching 2 2/3 hitless innings, striking out the final six batters he faced for a total of seven K’s on the night.
Kinston will try and snap a four game losing skid Wednesday night at Historic Grainger Stadium in the final game of the three game series with Potomac. Shawn Nottingham takes the mound for Kinston, game time 7pm.