Potomac wins to tie Mills Cup Finals at 1-1

A 5-3 win for Potomac evens the Carolina League Championship series at 1-1

The tables were turned on the Winston-Salem Dash as the Potomac Nationals used both the long ball and the big inning to twice overcome one-run deficits for a 5-3 victory. The win evened the Carolina League championship series at 1-1, which will resume tomorrow night in Woodbridge.

Trevor Holder was the stopper for the second time in as many starts with 5⅓ innings pitched, with two runs allowed on eight hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. Zach Dials got the win in relief, allowing hits to the first two batters he faced in the sixth but then retiring the side in the seventh.

Early on, the P-Nat lumber was still in a slumber as Winston-Salem’s Dylan Axelrod faced 10 batters before Derek Norris led off the fourth with a double. After Bill Rhinehart popped put and Tyler Moore struck out, it appeared that he would be stranded until Jamar Walton launched a two-run blast to left to give Potomac its first lead at 2-1.

Dash cleanup hitter Seth Loman chased Holder with a one-out solo shot in the sixth, tying the game at 2-2, and Ozzie Lewis greeted Dials with a triple to center. Jose Martinez followed with a single to left to send in Lewis and return the lead to Winston-Salem at 3-2.

Axelrod was lifted after seven innings in favor of journeyman Brandon Kloess. Francisco Soriano walked and stole second second base. After Nick Moresi struck out, Soriano would score after Dan Lyons and Norris hit back-to-back singles, chasing Kloess. Lefthander Hector Santiago came on to face Bill Rhinehart. Santiago got the out, but the flyball was deep enough for Lyons to score the go-ahead run. Tyler Moore singled to complete the rally.

With a 5-3 lead, Patrick McCoy took the ball in the eighth and let up a leadoff single to Brandon Gilmore, giving the crowd of 4,009 hope for another rally. But the burly lefty crushed any hopes of that by retiring the next six batters to notch the save and send the two teams back to Virginia, in what now amounts to a best-of-three with Potomac as the host.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

8 thoughts on “Potomac wins to tie Mills Cup Finals at 1-1”

  1. I think the term they use when you give up 8 hits and 2 runs over 5 innings is a ‘gutsy’ performance. The good news is 2 more games at home for the good guys.

  2. Four of the eight hits came with two outs, three with one out, and only one was the leadoff variety. I was tempted to use “scattered” but that’s reserved for when the majority come with two outs 😉

  3. When he keeps the ball down, Holder’s effective. When he doesn’t, he’s not. Still not sure about the bulldog metaphor (aside from the UGa. angle) because, except for mealtime, they’re not exactly feisty ;-).

  4. Whatever you want to call it seems like Holder’s starts are battles in that he takes a lot of artillery and hits from the enemy. Sometimes, he wins, sometimes he loses, but it’s not shutdown stuff he’s got. Nice to see him have some solid results in the playoffs, and I hope that he can build off of this for a successful 2011. Assume he starts back at Potomac next year, right?

    1. He’s a pitcher in the purest sense of the word — he’s gonna get you out by hitting his spots, but you’re right: His margin for error isn’t very big right now. A lot can happen between now and next April so I’m not going to make any predictions about next year’s roster.

  5. Sue: Hope you’re going to be able to do a write up on the FIL invitee list. Some repeaters, some new faces, and a suprise or two (to me, at least).

  6. The FIL list DOES have some surprises — pleasantly in Graham Hicks case and a bit baffling in Stephan King’s case. I really thought the Nats were going to jettison him this year.
    Sue, you saw him a lot over the last couple of years, they must think he’s still got a chance to be special.

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