Paul Demny shut out the Lynchburg Hillcats for seven innings on Thursday. (Steve Mihelerakis)
September 1, 2011 6:14 PM ET
(LYNCHBURG, VA) The Potomac Nationals continued their winning ways on Thursday in Lynchburg. Led by an outstanding start by Paul Demny, the P-Nats surged to an early lead and never looked back, taking their third straight game over the Hillcats. With the win and Frederick's loss in Kinston, the Nationals move within half a game of the Keys for the second half title in the Northern Division.
Destin Hood drove in Cutter Dykstra in the top of the first inning to stake the Nationals to a lead they would never relinquish. Dykstra singled to open the game, and in the same stadium where his father stole 103 bases in 1983, swiped a pair of bases to move to third base with one out before Hood knocked him in.
Demny encountered his only difficulty in the first. A pair of softly hit infield singles opened the inning against the righthander. But a made-to-order double play helped Demny escape unscathed. From there, he locked in and dominated. Over the next six innings, he allowed just three more hits, all of which were ground balls and only one of which left the infield. Demny struck out six and walked one to earn his tenth win.
Zach Walters continued his offensive surge with a double to lead off the second inning. Walters, who had three hits on the evening, scored the first of his two runs when Sean Nicol singled to left with two outs. Eury Perez then laced a single to center to push Potomac in front 3-0.
Potomac added single runs in the sixth and eighth innings. In the sixth, Brian Peacock singled and stole second base. He scored on Sandy Leon's RBI single to right field. Leon struck again with a sacrifice fly in the eighth that scored Walters and made it 5-0.
On the night, Potomac stole a season high six bases to run their 2011 total to 199.
The Nationals were one out away from their fifth shutout of the season. But Shawn McGill hit a towering home run to left field to give Lynchburg its only run of the game with two outs in the ninth.
Potomac looks for a four-game sweep on Friday with Sammy Solis on the mound against Caleb Brewer at 7:05. The P-Nats return to Woodbridge on Saturday for the final regular season series of the year, a four-game set with the Kinston Indians. On Saturday the Nationals will raffle off a new car to a lucky fan and fire off the last Fireworks extravaganza of the year. Monday is Fan Appreciation Day, and the P-Nats will have exciting prizes and giveaways for all those in attendance. To get your tickets and to reserve your playoff package now, call the ticket office at 703-590-2311 or visit the club online at www.potomacnationals.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.