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Pelicans power past P-Nats in rubber match, 11-2

Potomac NationalsThe Potomac Nationals (58-62, 28-25) dropped the rubber match of their series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (48-72, 27-26) on Thursday night, missing an opportunity to gain ground in the division with an 11-2 loss.

LHP Tim Cate (L, 4-4) pitched a quality start, allowing three runs over 6.0 innings, but took the loss as the P-Nats ended their homestand with a 1-5 record. The game was close through six innings, but Myrtle Beach exploded for eight runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

The Pelicans struck first in the third inning as CF Zac Taylor chopped an RBI double down the third base line to take a 1-0 lead. Potomac would answer in their half of the inning when SS Gilbert Lara hit a RBI triple that Pelicans RF Jose Gutierrez lost in the lights. Lara would score one batter later on RF Jack Sundberg’s RBI single to put Potomac ahead 2-1.

Potomac’s lead would be short-lived, however, as 1B Luke Reynolds hit a two-run homer for the Pelicans in the fourth to put Myrtle Beach in front 3-2. The homer would prove to be the game-winning hit.

Cate and Pelicans LHP Brendon Little (W, 1-1) traded zeroes through the middle innings, with both starters completing 6.0 frames. As light rain turned into a steady drizzle, Myrtle Beach took advantage of extra opportunities to break the game open in the seventh off RHP Jacob Howell. 2B Carlos Sepulveda opened the scoring with an RBI double, and LF Grant Fennell followed with an RBI single before 3B Cam Balego blasted a two-run home run. DH Aramis Ademan, who entered the game as a pinch runner earlier in the inning, greeted RHP Angel Guillen with an RBI single to set the stage for Gutierrez’s final RBI single to cap an eight-run inning.

RHP Scott Effross and RHP Jesus Camargo combined for 3.0 scoreless innings to complete the Pelicans victory and leave town with a series win. The P-Nats remain 2.5 games behind first-place Salem with 17 games remaining in the regular season.

The P-Nats hit the road for a three-game series against the Winston-Salem Dash on Friday night as RHP Malvin Peña faces off against RHP Jonathan Stiever. First pitch at BB&T Ballpark is set for 7:00 pm, with the P-Nats Leadoff Show starting at 6:45. Fans can listen to the Potomac broadcast at or on the TuneIn Radio App.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press