Cooper (9-7) won his third straight start by holding the Nationals to one unearned run while scattering four hits. He struck out seven and walked one batter. Over his final three outings of the season, the right-hander surrendered just one unearned run and two walks over 19 innings. He fanned 16 in the process of winning all three decisions.
Grant Sides earned his fifth save, tossing a perfect ninth. Carolina improves to 63-73 while Potomac drops to 61-74. The Wilmington Blue Rocks were also a winner to eliminate the Nationals from the postseason.
Rob Gilliam (1-2) took the loss after allowing three runs over seven innings. Trailing 1-0 in the last of the second, the Mudcats went to work against the right-hander. Todd Hankins doubled to lead off, and scored on a base hit by LeVon Washington. The speedy center fielder would later score on a double by Justin Toole, giving Carolina a 2-1 lead.
That one-run advantage would be all Cooper needed, but shortstop Tony Wolters provided insurance by scorching a line drive over the right field wall for a 3-1 edge. The shot was Wolters' eighth of the year and second in as many games.
The Carolina Mudcats finish their series with the Potomac Nationals on Friday, August 30, at 7:15 p.m. It is the final home game of the regular season for the Mudcats. Tickets are available by calling (919) 269-2287 or visiting carolinamudcats.com.