Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (66-41, 24-14) took both ends of a makeshift doubleheader on Thursday night against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (63-45, 23-16). The Nationals defeated the Pelicans 6-1 in the completion of a suspended contest from June 27th and then shot down Myrtle Beach 4-1 in the backend of the de facto twin bill.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the 3rd in Game One, and after a 35 day gap in between the last pitch thrown by Myrtle Beach LHP Victor Payano (5-7), the eventual losing pitcher, the P-Nats exploded with four runs off Payano.
Potomac CF Michael Taylor and C Adrian Nieto crushed back-to-back jacks. Taylor's bomb was a three-run blast over the batter's eye in dead center and Nieto, a switch hitter, belted his first dinger from the right side of the plate this season, a lazer beam off the second tier of signage in left field.
The Pelicans scored their only run back on 6/27 via a wild pitch tossed by the recently traded RHP Ivan Pineyro, now a member of the Chicago Cubs system.
Payano gave up six runs, four earned, on nine hits including the pair of home runs while walking three and fanning five.
Nationals LHP Sammy Solis (2-0) was the winning pitcher after making technically his first professional bullpen outing. Solis gunned through 5.0 scoreless innings in which he allowed just three hits with no walks and five strikeouts to his line.
The P-Nats plated individual runs in the 4th and 6th innings to take a 6-1 lead they would not relinquish on an RBI single smacked into right field by RF Caleb Ramsey and a Taylor run scoring one-base knock ripped into left center field, respectively.
Potomac RHP Cameron Selik tossed a one-two-three 9th inning to close out the victory by inducing a strikeout called to 2B Odubel Herrera, a popout off the bat of 1B Trever Adams, and a groundout from 1B Joe Maloney.
In the backend ballgame, which was scheduled for seven innings, Potomac RHP Blake Schwartz (9-4) stole the show to earn his Nationals staff-best ninth win.
Schwartz dealt 6.0 stanzas and surrendered just six hits which produced only one earned run while walking one and striking out six men.
The Pelicans leaped out with one run in the 1st on back-to-back doubles from C Pat Cantwell, who hit a ball trapped by CF Billy Burns in right center, and Herrero, who crushed a ball that almost got out of the yard over the right field wall. RF Randolph Oduber knocked the ball down with his glove to the warning track at the peak of his jump right against the barrier.
The Nationals returned fire with two runs in the home half of the 1st off the losing pitcher, RHP Paul Schwendel, courtesy of an infield RBI single for Ramsey and a sacrifice fly lofted by 1B Kevin Keyes.
Potomac pulled ahead 4-1 with a pair of runs in the 5th inning. Burns, with an RBI single, extended his Carolina League-long 24 game hitting streak while also stretching his 26-game on-base streak. Ramsey added a sac fly to give the Nationals their three run advantage.
Nationals RHP Robert Benincasa (SV 11) remained perfect in his save opportunities with the Nationals garnering his 11th save. Benincasa made one pitch to 2B Edwin Garcia and worked a 5-4-3 double play ball to cut down the single of SS Hanser Alberto. The final out of the game came on a popout to SS Adrian Sanchez off the lumber of RF Preston Beck.
The Nationals send RHP Brian Rauh (2-1, 3.79) to face off with Myrtle Beach RHP Jerad Eickhoff (7-3, 3.47) at 7:05pm in the series Game Two standoff on Friday evening.
Statistics from the makeup of the suspended game will furnish the box score for 6/27/13.
The P-Nats will be giving away an Ian Desmond player poster to the first 1,000 fans sponsored by: Burke & Herbert Bank. Gates open at 6:00pm.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming Friday evening with the P-Nats Lead-Off Show at 6:50pm in preparation for the live play-by-play broadcast beginning at 7:05pm. Broadcast coverage of Potomac Nationals Baseball is accessible by heading to www.potomacnationals.com.
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 to see the future stars of the Washington Nationals at The Pfitz 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!
-- Potomac Nationals --