Potomac escapes with 5-4 win over Pelicans
Thanks to a two-run seventh inning, the Potomac Nationals (45-57, 12-20) tallied a series-opening victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (55-48, 12-21). The Pelicans erased two separate deficits, but an RBI single by 1B Ian Sagdal in the seventh inning put Potomac on top 5-4. The Pelicans left the tying run in scoring position in the ninth, as LHP R.C. Orlan (SV, 3) retired pinch-hitter P.J. Higgins to end the game.
The night got off to a good start for Potomac, as the P-Nats tallied a run in each of the first two innings. LF Jack Sundberg walked with one out in the first inning, and on a two-out single by Sagdal, RF Robert Garcia committed two errors on the same play, which allowed Sundberg to score. In the second inning, SS David Masters led off the frame vs. RHP Mike Rucker (ND) with a double. After Rucker retired the next two Potomac hitters, 2B Bryan Mejia made it 2-0 with an RBI single.
After dancing around men in scoring position in the first two frames, LHP Taylor Guilbeau (ND) ran into the long ball in the third inning. Garcia walked with one out, and two batters later, 3B Jesse Hodges tied the game with a two-run home run.
With the game deadlocked at 2-2 halfway through the matchup, Potomac took its second lead of the night with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Mejia led off the inning with a single, the second of three hits on the night for the second baseman. After another single, a sacrifice bunt, and an intentional walk, Sagdal put Potomac back on top with an RBI groundout.
Potomac’s lead lasted less than an inning, as the home run bit Guilbeau once again. DH Vimael Machin reached on a one-out single, while LF Eddy Martinez turned a one-run deficit into a one-run Myrtle Beach advantage with a two-run home run. Martinez’s 12th home run of the season made it 4-3 Myrtle Beach, the Pelicans’ only lead of the night.
Rucker departed after five innings and gave way to RHP Jake Stinnett (L, 0-1). In his 2017 Carolina League debut, the righty worked around a walk a scoreless sixth frame, but failed to get through the seventh inning. CF Daniel Johnson led off the home half of the seventh inning with a game-tying solo home run. The next three batters singled, which included an RBI base hit from Sagdal that made it 5-4 Potomac, the eventual final.
After six innings from Guilbeau, the Potomac bullpen shut out the Pelicans. RHP Gilberto Mendez (W, 2-2) gave up a leadoff triple to SS Zack Short in the seventh, but then struck out the next three batters that he faced. Orlan entered in the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff single to C Tyler Pearson, but immediately picked off the pinch runner in Roberto Caro. Short doubled just out of the reach of Johnson with two outs, but in a pinch-hitter role, Higgins grounded out to Masters and ended the game.
Potomac will look to make it five wins in the past seven contests, as the P-Nats will host the Pelicans Fridaynight. First pitch is set for 7:05pm. The Potomac broadcast will get underway at 6:20pm with the P-Nats Leadoff Show. You can listen to the Potomac broadcast at potomacnationals.com or on the TuneIn Radio App.