Potomac Nationals sweep Pelicans in doubleheader

pel-bostickThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans suffered two defeats at the hands of the Potomac Nationals on Saturday at Pfitzner Stadium.

With a 6-3 lead in a suspended game from June 27, the Birds surrendered eight unanswered runs to fall 11-6 in game one and lost 1-0 in an extra-innings contest in game two on a walkoff single by Potomac’s Stephen Perez.

Game one of the defacto doubleheader picked up in the top of the fifth inning with two on and one out, and the Pelicans ahead 6-3. Ryan Bores induced an inning-ending double play to get through the frame with the lead intact.

The Nationals (8-7, 46-38) batted around and scored five runs to pull ahead in the sixth. Bores allowed a single and then a home run to Mike McQuillan to open the frame, pulling the P-Nats within one run. After Pedro Severino reached on an error, Tony Renda tied the game with a single. With two on, a potential double play turned into a run when Christopher Bostick’s throw got by first baseman Preston Beck. The throwing error allowed Renda to score and break the tie, and the Nationals added insurance on a single by Shawn Pleffner to take an 8-6 lead. Three of the runs in the inning were unearned.

Potomac tacked on three more runs, all earned, on Bores and left-hander Cody Ege.

The Pelicans (10-7, 54-31) had baserunners in four of the five innings played but failed to score off of Blake Schwartz (2-0) who went the whole way for the win. Bores (0-1) suffered the loss in game one.

In game two, Myrtle Beach threatened in the opening frame. Chris Garia reached on a fielding error by Khayyan Norfork before getting to third with no outs on a double by Bostick. Nationals starter Austin Voth then notched back-to-back strikeouts before getting Beck to fly out to left to end the inning. It was the only time in the eight-inning ballgame that the Pelicans got a man to third base.

Jason Knapp and Martire Garcia matched zeros with the Nationals over the first seven innings. Knapp fired four scoreless innings, allowing five hits but no walks with a season-high eight strikeouts. The Pelicans’ defense helped things out in the third inning, erasing a man at the plate on a relay from Williams and Bostick on a double by Pleffner.

Garcia did not allow a baserunner in his first two innings of work in relief of Knapp and worked around a leadoff walk in the seventh.

The regulation seven-inning game was tied 0-0 and went to extras. Again Garia found himself in scoring position, this time in the top of the eighth inning. He drew a four-pitch walk off of Chris Manno with two outs and stole his team-leading 27th base. Bostick though struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat.

Then the Nationals walked it off in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Renda found his way on with an infield single on a ground ball to second base. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Perez brought him around on a chopper to right field. Renda just beat the tag of catcher David Lyon after the throw from Bolinger.

Garcia (1-1) took the loss in game two, while Manno (2-0) picked up the win.

Second place Carolina also lost on Saturday, but the two defeats dropped the Pelicans into second place in the second half Southern Division standings for the first time since June 27.

The Birds complete the series with the Nationals at 6 p.m.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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