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Pelicans blank Potomac 8-0 in rain-shortened opener

Potomac NationalsWith a four-run first inning and a five-frame shutout performance on the mound, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (47-71, 26-25) blanked the Potomac Nationals (57-61, 27-24) in a five-inning rain-shortened series opener on Tuesday night.

The Pelicans got off to as good a start as possible, as the first five hitters of the night tallied hits against RHP Ryan Tapani (L, 0-2) in his fourth start of the year for Potomac. Singles from 2B Carlos Sepulveda and LF Grant Fennell put two runners on base for 3B Cam Balego, who put the Pelicans on the board with an RBI double to left field. C Miguel Amaya followed with a two-run double, while 1B Luke Reynolds made it 4-0 in favor of the Pelicans with an RBI double. Myrtle Beach led 4-0 after just half an inning.

Opposite Tapani, LHP Brailyn Marquez (W, 2-0) dominated the Potomac lineup over five innings. In his second Carolina League start, Marquez followed his debut last Tuesday with another shutout performance. Though he gave up three hits and hit a batter, the left-handed starter saw just one man reach scoring position, as LF Aldrem Corredor doubles with two outs in the first inning. Marquez hasn’t allowed a run over 10 innings in Carolina League play.

Myrtle Beach tallied multiple runs in both the fourth and fifth frames. Sepulveda plated a run on a groundout against Tapani, while an error led to an eventual bases loaded walk from Amaya. Tapani allowed six runs, all earned, over four innings. RHP Jorge Pantoja surrendered two runs in the fifth inning, as triples from SS Aramis Ademan and Sepulveda led to another pair of runs for the Pelicans. Myrtle Beach led 8-0 after 4.5 innings.

Marquez returned for the fifth inning in an effort to make the game official before rain moved through the area. The Myrtle Beach starter quickly retired the side with a strikeout and a pair of groundouts, as he closed out inning. The umpiring crew immediately called for the tarp, which stayed on the field and resulted in the game getting called after five innings. Myrtle Beach took the rain-shortened opener 8-0.

With four consecutive losses, the P-Nats will turn to LHP Nick Raquet (9-8, 4.38) on Wednesday night in an effort to stop the slide. Raquet has spun five consecutive quality starts and picked up the victory in each of his last four outings. For the Pelicans, RHP Javier Assad (4-8, 3.63) is scheduled to pitch in search of a guaranteed series victory. Assad picked up the victory in his last start and has recorded a quality start in each of his last two outings.

First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Wednesday night is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:50pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at or on the TuneIn Radio App.