LYNCHBURG, VA - The Potomac Nationals are still in search of their first win of the 2009 season as the defending Mills Cup Champions fell to 0-2 after getting blown out by Lynchburg, 14-7 on Friday night. The Hillcats pounded out 17 hits - 10 for extra-bases - and have now beaten the P-Nats in seven consecutive meetings between the two teams.
Young lefthander Will Atwood (0-1) suffered the loss for Potomac in his Carolina League debut. The 22-year-old allowed seven runs on eight hits in just 2.2 innings of work. The Potomac bullpen couldn't stop the bleeding from the Hillcats' relentless offensive attack as four relievers combined to allow seven runs over the final 5.1 innings of the contest.
Lynchburg DH Ray Chang began the onslaught in the 2nd when he delivered a two-out bases clearing double off of Atwood to give the home team a 3-1 advantage. The Hillcats scored two more times in the inning and then plated two more in the 3rd on a two-run double off the bat of catcher Kris Watts. The bottom two hitters in the Lynchburg lineup combined to score five runs and drove in three runs apiece.
The Hillcats scored three more in the 4th and one in the 5th on a Watts solo homer to take a commanding 11-3 lead. That production was more than enough run support for rookie Justin Wilson (1-0) who won his professional debut after going the first 5.0 innings and surrendered just three runs on three hits.
Down 14-3 in the 9th, Potomac rallied for four runs on RBI singles by Stephen King, Jesus Valdez and Francisco Plasencia. Valdez and Aaron Seuss each tallied multi-hit games and Chris Marrero hit the P-Nats' first home run of the season in the 2nd inning to pace the Potomac offense. Dan Lyons was on base all five times he stepped to the plate and also scored two runs from the leadoff spot.
The series continues Saturday night from Calvin Falwell Field at Lynchburg City Stadium for game three at 6:05 p.m. Dan McGinn will have all the action beginning at 5:45 p.m. with the Potomac Nationals pre-game show and you can hear all the action online at www.potomacnationals.com
The P-Nats return home to celebrate their 2008 Carolina League Championship on Friday, April 17 when they host the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from Pfitzner Stadium at 7:05 p.m. It's the first Freebie Friday of the season and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Replica Championship Ring courtesy of the News & Messenger.
Join the party all season long at Pfitzner Stadium with the Potomac Nationals! Single-game tickets, season tickets and mini-plans for the 2009 season are still available. For more information, call (703) 590-2311 or visit www.potomacnationals.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.