The Potomac Nationals (1-0, 1-0) used some timely hitting and stellar pitching to defeat the Lynchburg Hillcats (0-1, 0-1) in Game One of the Northern Division Championship Series 4-2. LHP Hector Silvestre (W, 1-0) tossed seven innings of five-hit, one-run baseball with five strikeouts to earn the win.
Potomac grabbed the initial lead in the bottom of the first when CF Isaac Ballou scored on a 3B Kevin Ahrens error. Ahrens fielded the ground ball cleanly and lost it on the transfer when trying to get Ballou at home.
The Hillcats tied it up at one in the top of the sixth when Ahrens singled to centerfield scoring 2B Emerson Landoni. 1B Jose Martinez promptly singled to right with Ahrens at second base during the next at bat. RF Brandon Miller corralled the hit and fired a dart to thwart Ahrens tying to take home.
With the game tied and two down in the bottom of the sixth, LF Randolph Oduber golfed a solo home run to left field off Hillcats’ starter LHP Blair Walters (L, 0-1) to put Potomac up 2-1.
The P-Nats tacked on two more insurance runs in the seventh off LHP Brady Feigl. 2B Tony Renda singled in C Pedro Severino who reached on a one-out double. Two batters later, 1B John Wooten grounded out to plate Ballou, giving Potomac a 4-2 lead.
The Nationals’ relievers shut down the Hillcats in the eighth and ninth to lock up the win. RHP Manny Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning. In the ninth, RHP Gilberto Mendez (Sv, 1) allowed a run, but shut the door to earn the save. As the tying run at the plate, Levi Hyams grounded out to first base to end the game.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, which is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast Game Two of their playoff series against Lynchburg on Thursday, September 4th. Broadcast coverage will begin with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:50pm in preparation for the 7:05pm start. Both starting pitchers are TBA.