(ZEBULON, NC) - The Potomac Nationals were eliminated from the second half playoff race losing to the Carolina Mudcats 3-1 tonight at Five County Stadium. With the loss, Potomac fails to make the playoffs for just the second time in the last six seasons.
Potomac struck first with a second inning run against Jordan Cooper. Steven Souza Jr. led off the inning with a single. He then stole second and reached third on a throwing error on the steal. Souza Jr. scored on a wild pitch to give Potomac a 1-0 lead.
But that would be the last time the Nationals would score. Carolina got to Nationals starter Rob Gilliam in teh second inning. LeVon Washington had an RBI single while Justin Toole hit an RBI double scoring Washington to put Carolina up 2-1.
The Mudacats added a third run in the fifth on a solo home run from Tony Wolters. It was the second straight day Wolters hit a homer against Potomac.
The Nationals offense was shut down by the Mudcats as they ended up with just five base runners and the the final was 3-1 in favor of Carolina. Potomac failed to get more than one runner on in any inning.
Cooper (9-7) got the win by going seven innings giving up just one unearned run. He tossed only 92 pitches and struck out seven. Gilliam (1-2) was efficient with 70 strikes among his 102 pitches over seven innings and gave up all three runs with only two earned against. Grant Sides tossed a perfect ninth for his fifth save of the season.
The Nationals finish their four-game set with the Mudcats tomorrow at 7:15 PM in North Carolina. RHP Matt Swynenberg (6-5, 5.19) makes the start for Potomac against RHP Benny Suarez (0-0, 2.45) of Carolina. The Potomac Nationals are celebrating their 35th Anniversary of professional baseball and family fun, for all your ticket needs please visit www.potomacnationals.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.