Zavolas spins two-hit shutout for Mudcats in 3-0 win over P-Nats

Potomac NationalsBehind the best start of any Carolina League pitcher in 2019, the Carolina Mudcats (42-31, 3-1) earned a 3-0 win on Sunday afternoon over the Potomac Nationals (31-40, 1-3).

RHP Noah Zavolas (W, 4-3) allowed just two hits in a complete game shutout performance. The right-handed starter struck out a career high 11 batters and needed just 101 pitches in the victory. Potomac sent just 29 batters to the plate, two over the minimum, in the loss.

The Mudcats struck in the fourth inning against RHP Andrew Lee (L, 2-5), as they scored first for the fourth time in the four-game series. After three-hitless innings from Lee, 1B Ryan Aguilar led off the fourth frame with a double. Lee retired the next two hitters but gave up a two-out RBI double to 2B Eddie Silva. Silva’s hit proved to be the eventual game-winning hit.

Carolina plated a run in the following frame, as RF Rob Henry reached on a two-out fielding error by 3B Anderson Franco. Aguilar followed with his second double of the game, which gave Carolina a 2-0 lead. Lee allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits over six innings. Lee now has just one win in his four quality starts in 2019.

Zavolas was dialed in from the get-go in his career-best performance. The Carolina starter retired the first nine batters that he faced, six via strikeout. CF Nick Banks led off the fourth inning for Potomac with a single. Banks got to third base with two outs but the P-Nats stranded him 90 feet away. In the fifth inning, 1B KJ Harrison doubled with one out and got to third base with two outs but likewise remained 90 feet from scoring. After Harrison’s double, Zavolas retired 14 straight Potomac hitters, which completed the shutout.

Out of the Potomac bullpen, RHP Jorge Pantoja worked a scoreless seventh inning but gave up a leadoff home run to Aguilar in the eighth frame, while RHP Andrew Istler spun a scoreless ninth inning.

Zavolas’ nine-inning shutout was the first shutout of more than seven innings by a single pitcher in the Carolina League thus far in 2019. In the loss, CF Gage Canning had his team-high seven-game hitting streak snapped, while DH Cole Freeman and LF Aldrem Corredor each had a three-game hit streak end.

Off of a series loss at home to begin the second half of the 2019 season, the P-Nats will welcome in the First Half Northern Division Champion Wilmington Blue Rocks to town on Monday night and begin a three-game set vs. the affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

First pitch at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium on Monday 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.

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