Potomac infielder Gary Patchett has played most of his five of professional seasons at Class A, but he thinks he can play at a higher level. He speaks from experience: Patchett returned to the Cannons last week after his second stint at AAA Louisville.

"Obviously someone had the confidence to send me there, and it was a great experience," Patchett said. "It made me realize that I can play up there, and there's not that much difference between me and some of the guys in the [Reds'] system."

Patchett, 25, stayed on Louisville's roster for three weeks and appeared in five games, getting no hits in only two at-bats. He also played in seven games in 2002 with the Bats.

Patchett didn't make the leap to AAA twice because of his bat -- he is a career .243 hitter -- but he has proven his worth as a utility player. He played both second and shortstop at Louisville, and he has played those positions and third base regularly for the Cannons.

"My defensive game is definitely a little more advanced than my offensive game right now," Patchett said. "I just stayed ready and worked hard when I was at Louisville so I could help out when they needed me."

Patchett, an undrafted free agent from San Jose State in 2000, has played some of his best offensive baseball late this summer. After his average dipped to .169 in May, he is hitting .255 for Potomac.

It's Playoff Time for Potomac

The Cannons will face Wilmington in the divisional series of the Carolina League playoffs, barring a total collapse by the Blue Rocks. They lead the Northern Division over Frederick by 10 games in the season's second half; the Cannons made the postseason by winning the first half.

The first game of the three-game series will be played Sept. 8 in Wilmington, Del. Tickets are on sale for the second game, Sept. 9 at Pftizner Stadium. The Cannons will host the third game, if necessary, the following evening.