The Potomac Nationals face off against Winston-Salem tonight in a critical Game Three of the Carolina League Championship from Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA.
The Nationals got back in the best-of-five Mills Cup with a 5-3 win Tuesday in Winston-Salem to even the series at 1-1.
Nationals right-hander Jimmy Barthmaier takes on Winston-Salem right-hander Terry Doyle, with first pitch at 7:03 p.m.
Barthmaier won his last four decisions to end the regular season for the P-Nats, going 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA in nine games, five of those starts, with 26 strikeouts and only seven walks. The lanky right-hander from Atlanta has been one of the keys for the starters, keeping the team in games during their end of season playoff run.
"He has four solid pitches that he commands very well. Jimmy must maintain a good mix of keeping the hitters guessing and off balance to be successful tonight," Potomac pitching coach Paul Menhart said.
It will be important for the P-Nats to get some offense on the board early against the Dash. Winston-Salem's starters have not allowed a run in the first three innings of either game of the series.
Doyle has been very good this season, especially against the P-Nats. The Boston College product has allowed only three earned runs in 18 innings against Potomac. Doyle was 8-8 with a 3.71 ERA in 20 starts for the Dash this season, including 99 strikeouts.
"It is critical to try to get to Doyle early," Potomac play-by-play announcer Will Flemming said.
"It seems like the minute the P-Nats get baserunners the Dash starters get out of rhythm. The first two games they have just blown through the first three innings."
Flemming says the key is to get something off the Winston-Salem starter and force them to go to their bullpen. The P-Nats were able to score three runs in the eighth inning Tuesday against the Dash relief corps to turn the game around.
Game Four is scheduled for Friday night, also at 7:03 p.m.