Salem, VA-The Potomac Nationals (2-3) saw their 2013 Mills Cup Championship chase come to an end following a 6-4 Game Three loss to the Salem Red Sox (5-0) on Tuesday night at LewisGale Field inside Salem Memorial Ballpark Stadium.
The Salem Red Sox are the 2013 Carolina League Champions.
The Red Sox won eleven consecutive games to finish their 2013 campaign from August 28th vs. the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) in Game Two of a doubleheader to their triumph over the Potomac Nationals this evening.
The Salem franchise secured its fifth Carolina League Championship and first since 2001 in a victory that completed a three-game sweep. The Red Sox defeated the Nationals by the scores of 5-3 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two of the Mills Cup Championship Series at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA.
Salem DH Sean Coyle was named the Mills Cup Championship Series Most Valuable Player as voted by media members covering the contest after driving in seven runs over three games.
The winning pitcher, RHP William Cuevas (1-0) hurled 6.0 innings and surrendered just three runs, two earned, in the quality start. Cuevas walked one and fanned three while allowing six base hits en route to the league championship clinching win.
Potomac LHP Sammy Solis (0-1), the losing pitcher of record, made it through just 3.1 frames in which he gave up five earned runs on six hits. Solis walked a pair of batters and struck out four men.
The Red Sox jumped on the scoreboard with two runs in the 2nd inning off Solis as Coyle ripped a two-run double into the gap in left center field scoring the singles of 1B David Chester and SS Nick Natoli.
The Nationals returned fire against Cuevas in the 3rd when C Adrian Nieto nailed a run scoring single the other way into left field summoning 2B Cutter Dykstra to home plate. Dykstra reached on a throwing error by Cuevas on a dribbler up the third base line.
Up 2-1, Salem poured on four runs in the bottom of the 4th inning when RF Matty Johnson lofted an RBI sacrifice fly to center field leading to an errant throw by CF Michael Taylor that moved two runners into scoring position, Chester to third base and Natoli to second base. Coyle then cranked a carbon copy two-run double on an offering from RHP Rafael Martin to the alleyway in left center field which gave the Red Sox a 6-1 lead.
In the 5th inning, a two-RBI double socked to the wall in right field by Nieto brought home the bloop singles of Dykstra and Taylor to cut the Salem advantage to 6-3.
The Nationals produced their final run of the game versus RHP Michael McCarthy and eventual last run of the 2013 season in the 7th courtesy of a throwing error by Chester after a 5-3 groundout from Dykstra which scored the double of 3B Francisco Soriano. This defensive miscue yielded a 6-4 score.
P-Nats RHP Brian Dupra and RHP Colin Bates combined for 4.0 scoreless innings out of the Potomac bullpen to give the Nationals a chance. Together they allowed just one hit and no walks.
Red Sox RHP Matt Price (SV 1) earned his first save of the 2013 Carolina League Playoffs with two scoreless frames. Price scattered two hits, walked none, and struck out one.
In the 9th, Price got Soriano on a comebacker, Dykstra on a groundout to 2B Mookie Betts, and after SS Adrian Sanchez laced a line drive double to the right field corner, Taylor spanked a hard grounder to 3B Stefan Welch who gunned to Chester at first base. This corner-to-corner putout ignited a celebration at Salem Memorial Ballpark as the Red Sox sealed a championship-caliber 2013 campaign.
Stay updated with all Potomac Nationals news, events, and notes by heading to the P-Nats official website, www.potomacnationals.com during the off-season in preparation for the 2014 season.
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 2014 season tickets and mini plans are now on sale. Sponsorship opportunities for the remainder of the 2014 season and beyond are 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!
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.