KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – The Wood Ducks struck first against the Nationals but were unable to hold their lead, as Potomac took game two of the four-game series, 6-3, Tuesday night at Grainger Stadium.
The Woodies (31-15) opened the scoring in the second inning with a Sam Huff opposite field home run to right, his second with Down East, and 17th of the year, to put the Woodies ahead 1-0.
Potomac (27-27) answered, and took the lead in the fourth against Reid Anderson (loss, 2-1). Cole Freeman was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and then advanced to third on an Aldrem Corredor single through the left side on a hit-and-run. KJ Harrison followed with a sac fly to left to even the score at 1-1. After a walk to Telmito Agustin, David Masters lifted a ball down the right-field line that fell out of the reach of Leody Taveras, bringing in two runs to put the P-Nats in front, 3-1.
Anderson went 5.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits, he walked four and struck out four.
The Woodies cut into the lead in the fifth. Huff led off the inning with a double, and scored on consecutive groundouts, with Julio Pablo Martinez collecting the RBI, to make it 3-2.
However, Potomac was quick to respond in the sixth. Masters reached on a one-out walk, and came into score on a two-out double from Osvaldo Abreu, to make it 4-2.
The P-Nats were backed by a strong start from Kyle Johnston (win, 5-4), who gave up two runs on four hits and struck out five over six innings of work.
In the seventh, Ryan Dorow slugged his seventh home run of the year, a solo shot, tucked just inside the left field foul pole, to pull the deficit back to one.
After Wes Robertson fired 2.1 scoreless in relief, Michael Matuella entered for the ninth, and Potomac got to him for a couple of critical insurance runs. Abreu walked with one out, and then Nick Banks singled to put runners at first and third. Freeman then picked up an RBI with a safety squeeze, and a second run came across on a Corredor single, to push the advantage to 6-3.
The third game of the four-game set will be played Wednesday at 11 a.m. on Education Day, presented by Lenoir Community College. Right-hander Jason Bahr (2-1, 2.04) will take the mound for the Woodies, opposed by Nationals lefty Grant Bourne (1-2, 5.14). The broadcast will begin at 10:50 a.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com and on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps. For tickets and more information, visit woodducksbaseball.com, or call (252) 686-5172.