Potomac Nationals take 2-1 lead in Carolina League finals

potomac nationalsDH John Wooten pelted two home runs including the go-ahead two-run shot in the fourth inning as the Potomac Nationals (4-1, 3-0) defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (3-3, 0-1) 12-7 to take a 2-1 series lead in the Mills Cup Championship. The Nationals overcame a five-run deficit early and never looked back with ten unanswered runs. Myrtle Beach scored six runs in the third inning only to be countered by six P-Nats runs in the bottom of the fourth.

The scoring started in the bottom of the first when Wooten clocked the first of his two home runs to left field. Wooten now has three dingers in the last two games of this series. The Pelicans answered with a run in the second on an RBI-single by SS Michael De Leon.

In the top of the third, Myrtle Beach got the best of Nationals starter LHP Matthew Spann. After a pair of singles and a walk, Spann allowed a two-out grand slam to C David Lyon. He was then pulled for LHP Kylin Turnbull (W, 1-0) who promptly surrendered a single and De Leon home run to give the Pelicans a 7-2 lead.

Turnbull would settle down after that though. Following those two hits, he shut down the Pelican offense over 5.1 in which he did not allow another run. Turnbull in total gave up three base hits and struck out eight.

With the P-Nats in dire need of a rally, the bottom of the fourth inning delivered on exactly that. Potomac scored six runs on five base hits in the frame off Pelicans starter RHP Sam Wolff (L, 0-1). It began with a leadoff double from DH Mike McQuillan followed by SS Stephen Perez’s first single of the Mills Cup to score a run. Perez was previously 0-9 in the series. After a 3B Khayyan Norfork walk and C Pedro Severino sacrifice bunt, CF Isaac Ballou ripped a triple down the right field line to score a pair. With two outs, 1B Shawn Pleffner legged out an infield single to bring home Ballou and keep the inning alive for John Wooten. With Potomac trailing by a run, Wooten blasted his second homer of the contest to give the P-Nats an 8-7 lead.

In the fifth inning, Severino drove in Perez with a single, and 2B Tony Renda was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to extend the lead to three runs. McQuillan put an exclamation point on it in the sixth with a two-run bomb to right off the Pelicans RHP Ryan Bores.

Potomac LHP Jake Walsh tossed a scoreless ninth to close out the game. Every hitter in Potomac’s lineup recorded at least one base hit including three-hit efforts from Pleffner and LF Randolph Oduber. The P-Nats will attempt to close out the series Wednesday night with their 2-1 series lead.

The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network, which is accessible at www.potomacnationals.com, will broadcast Game Four of the Mills Cup Championship Series on Wednesday, September 10th. Potomac will send LHP Hector Silvestre (1-0, 1.29) to the mound while Myrtle Beach will toss LHP Luis Parra (1-0, 1.59). Broadcast coverage will begin with the P-Nats Leadoff Show at 6:50pm in preparation for the 7:05pm start.

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