(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) Paul Demny put together his best start as a Potomac Nationals Monday night in Myrtle Beach. The righthander shut out the Pelicans over seven five-hit innings. Unfortunately for the P-Nats hurler, Robbie Erlin was on the mound for Myrtle Beach, and the southpaw stole the show. Erlin struck out 10 Nationals over his seven innings of work, allowed only two baserunners and retired the last 12 Potomac men who came to bat. Myrtle Beach squeaked out a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth, and held on for a three-hit, 2-0 shutout in the series opener.
With one out in the eighth inning, Michael Olt hit a ground ball under the glove of Potomac third baseman Stephen King. Jared Hoying then guided a ball through the right side of the infield to put two men aboard. After Jared Prince popped out for the inning's second out, Pelicans catcher Zach Zaneski hit a laser into rightfield that broke the scoreless tie and would be all the offense Myrtle needed. A bases loaded walk added a second and final run.
Joseph Ortiz (2-1), who came on in relief of Erlin, retired Potomac in order in the eight and worked around a leadoff Jose Lozada single to earn the victory. Adam Olbrychowski (1-1) pitched the eighth for Potomac and was the hard-luck loser.
Before the drama in the eighth, it was a vintage pitchers duel as Demny and Erlin traded zeroes. Both clubs were sent down in order in the first. Potomac got one of its two hits off Erlin in the second, when J.P. Ramirez lined to center field with two outs. They would not have another baserunner until Jeff Kobernus led off the fourth with a single; after that base hit, Erlin retired the next 12 Potomac hitters - eight of them with strikeouts.
Potomac (6-10) will continue the series with Myrtle Beach (12-5) Tuesday night at 7:05 P.M. Mitchell Clegg takes the ball against Barrett Loux.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.