The Potomac Cannons' Taber Maier said he has been working on becoming a better pinch-hitter. He unexpectedly got his chance in the fourth inning last night during Potomac's 13-5 win over the Winston-Salem Warthogs before 3,329 in a Class A Carolina League game at Pfitzner Stadium.
Maier replaced second baseman Rob Macrory, who was ejected for arguing a call in the third inning. When Maier batted for the first time, the Cannons trailed 3-1 but had the bases loaded.
He took a slider for a ball. He then smashed a high fastball off the left field wall that scored three runs and spelled the beginning of the end for Warthogs starter Jason Lakman.
"I just tried to approach it as if it was my first at-bat of the game," Maier said. "You don't go in thinking, `Man, I've been sitting here and I'm not ready.' You go in relaxed and try to put the ball in play."
The Cannons went on to score a season-high nine runs in the fourth inning. Potomac sent 14 batters to the plate, and seven reached base before Winston-Salem recorded an out.
In the third inning, Macrory was ejected for arguing a close call at first. He was thrown out by Lakman on a bunt attempt.
"It probably put a little fire in us," Maier said. "Who knows? It all came together after that."
Left fielder David Kim went 3 for 5 with four RBI and first baseman Luke Quaccia added three RBI. Center fielder William Ortega hit his ninth homer.
Winston-Salem's Jim Terrell hit a sacrifice fly that scored Danny Ramirez in the first inning, breaking two Potomac pitching streaks -- the team's 19 2/3 scoreless inning streak and starter Robert Smith's personal streak of 16 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run. Smith, however, lasted five innings, giving up three earned runs to improve to 2-7.
BLUE ROCKS 3, KEYS 1: Joe Dillon's RBI single highlighted a two-run third inning that lifted host Wilmington to a Class A Carolina League victory over Frederick.
METS 6, BAYSOX 2: Host Binghamton (46-71) scored six runs in 3 1/3 innings off Bowie starter Mike Bell to take a Class AA Eastern League win.