Zebulon, NC-The Potomac Nationals (8-9, 4-3) cranked plenty of baseballs that almost left the ballyard during their blustery road series opener with the Carolina Mudcats (7-10, 6-5) at Five County Stadium on a chilly Monday evening but they could not muster a run throughout the course of the contest to support the start of RHP Taylor Jordan (1-1), the losing pitcher, while Carolina coasted to a 3-0 shutout victory.
Mudcats RHP Cody Anderson (3-0), the winning pitcher of record, tossed a gem through 6.0 scoreless innings surrendering just three separated singles off the sticks of LF Billy Burns, SS Cutter Dykstra, and C Adrian Nieto.
Jordan was solid, missing his fourth consecutive quality start by two outs as the top-25 Baseball America prospect motored through 5.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out five.
The Mudcats earned their first run in the 1st inning on an RBI fielder's choice bouncer off the bat of RF Jordan Smith, who had three spectacular plays defensively.
Smith caught a Jason Martinson warning track shot like a wide receiver holding a bucket over his left shoulder, robbed 3B Adrian Sanchez of a line drive extra-base hit with a leaping grab in the right center field gap, and stole a hit away from Martinson again with a Superman leap towards the infield.
Carolina tacked on another run in the 6th stanza to take a 2-0 lead when 3B Justin Toole ripped a line drive RBI single passed the dive of Dykstra and into left center field off LHP Ben Hawkins, who relieved Jordan.
Hawkins threw 1.2 shutout innings surrendering one hit and two walks.
RHP Derek Self allowed a solo home run over the left field barrier to LF Bryson Myles in the 9th frame to provide a 3-0 advantage to the hosting Carolina club.
Carolina RHP Jeff Johnson (SV 3) loaded the bases by walking Martinson in the 8th inning but got out of the situation by getting Nieto to hit a groundball to first base.
Johnson earned the "two-inning" save after gunning through a 1-2-3 9th inning as 1B Kevin Keyes and Sanchez went down swinging, while RF Caleb Ramsey grounded out to shortstop to end the game.
The Nationals will continue their seven-game road trip in Zebulon, NC with the Carolina Mudcats on Tuesday night as a 7:15pm first pitch is scheduled before heading to Myrtle Beach, SC next weekend for their first 2013 series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Game Two will feature Potomac RHP A.J. Cole (0-0, 4.76) against RHP Jacob Lee (0-1, 4.41).
The Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League play at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, and are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Washington Nationals. P-Nats 2013 season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. Sponsorship opportunities for the '13 season are now available. Plan your corporate outing now in preparation for the summer months as the P-Nats offer discounted group rates and all-inclusive picnic options. Visit the P-Nats online at www.potomacnationals.com or call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 for more!
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