Woodbridge, VA-The Potomac Nationals (45-28, 3-1) dropped their first contest of the second half to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (43-30, 3-1) on Monday evening as the birds won the series opener by the final score of 3-2.
Potomac RHP A.J. Cole (4-3), the eventual losing pitcher, tossed a quality start after turning in 6.0 innings in which he surrendered three runs with only two earned. Cole gave up five hits, including one home run and issue one walk while fanning five.
A flurry of late strikeouts induced by the winning pitcher, Myrtle Beach RHP Nick Martinez (6-4) as well as Pelicans RHP Jon Edwards kept Potomac bats silent after the home club scored their final run in the 4th inning. Martinez and Edwards combined for seven consecutive strikeouts from the completion of the bottom of the 5th inning through the 7th.
Martinez went 6.0 stanzas and allowed just two earned runs on six hits, including a solo home run, with one walk and eight strikeouts.
The Pelicans scored first as 1B Trever Adams ripped an RBI single in the 1st inning into center field plating 2B Rougned Odor, who doubled off the left field wall to get aboard.
Myrtle Beach struck again as LF Jake Skole cranked his second homer of the season over two tiers of signs in right field to open the 3rd frame and give the Pelicans a 2-0 lead.
The Nationals jumped on the board in the 3rd inning via C Cole Leonida's seventh four-bagger of the season swatted over the first barrier in left field to cut the Pelicans' lead in half.
The P-Nats tied the game 2-2 in the 4th on a fielder's choice RBI grounder to SS Luis Sardinas off the bat of 1B Kevin Keyes.
Then, in the 6th, Myrtle Beach pulled ahead for good as the visitor's produced an unearned run against Cole. Sardinas got on base as the result of a fielding error by SS Jason Martinson. Sardinas stole second base and advanced to third base on a 6-3 groundball off the bat of C Pat Cantwell. Sardinas then scored on an RBI single nailed into center field by Odor, who finished with a three-hit night to complement one run scored and one RBI.
Pelicans RHP Jon Edwards (3 SV) garnered a three-inning save and struck out five en route to his third save of the campaign.
The Nationals will cart RHP Blake Schwartz (5-2, 2.47) to the mound to face off with Myrtle Beach RHP Alec Asher (4-4, 3.26) in Game Two on Tuesday night.
Gates at Pfitzner Stadium for a Two-for-Tuesday promotion in which reserved tickets, hot dogs, and sodas are buy-one-get-one free will swing open at 5:30pm in anticipation of a 7:05pm first pitch.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will begin streaming Friday night with the P-Nats Baseball Lead-Off Show at 6:50pm in preparation for the live play-by-play 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 --
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.