Zebulon, NC-The Potomac Nationals (9-11, 5-5) could not get their offensive motor in gear against the Carolina Mudcats (9-11, 8-6) as runs continued to be at a premium for Potomac in their series finale on Thursday evening at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats received a stellar outing from RHP Will Roberts (1-3), the winning pitcher, to conquer the Nationals by the final score of 4-1.
The clubs exchanged solo home runs in the 1st frame as CF Michael Taylor launched his second round-tripper of the 2013 season over the left center field barrier, a line drive lazer beam that got out of the yard in a hurry.
Then, CF Tyler Naquin, the first batter faced by P-Nats RHP Taylor Hill, ripped a solo bomb that had just enough carry to clear the stacked signage in right center field to tie the contest at 1-1. Naquin finished the game going 2-for-3 with two runs scored including a ground rule double up the left field chalk.
Hill allowed four runs, two earned, on eight hits with no walks and one strikeout over 5.0 innings pitched.
Carolina clubbed home their go-ahead run in the 3rd frame courtesy of an RBI single grounded into right field off the stick of SS Francisco Lindor, who had a 2-for-4, two RBI night at the plate.
The Mudcats tacked on two more runs in the 5th frame to put the score at 4-1 with another RBI single from Lindor lined to left field that chased home 3B Justin Toole, who reached on a fielding error by 2B Adrian Sanchez, then an RBI single by 1B Jerrud Sabourin on a line drive into right field that plated Lindor.
Roberts was terrific in garnering his first victory of the season tossing 7.0 innings and allowing just the aforementioned homer off the bat of Taylor. After that longball, Roberts retired the next 16 batters in succession before surrendering back-to-back infield singles to LF Billy Burns, on a ball wrapped to the six hole, and to Taylor, on a dribbler up the third base line in the 6th inning.
The Nationals begin a three-game road set tomorrow night against the Southern Division's Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Texas Rangers) in Myrtle Beach, SC at TicketReturn.com Field.
Potomac sends LHP Robbie Ray (1-1, 1.96) to duel with RHP Nick Martinez (2-1, 3.78) in the series opener.
First pitch Friday night is slated for 7:05pm with the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network getting underway at 6:50pm in anticipation of the live play-by-play.
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 in preparation for the summer months 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.