Wednesday’s opening playoff win is another example of the resiliency displayed by the high Single-A Potomac Nationals.
The P-Nats were down 1-0 until the bottom of the ninth and held the Hillcats scoreless for 11 innings before pulling out a 2-1, 14-inning win in a crispy four hours and 30 minutes from Pfitzner Stadium.
Randolph Oduber and Michael Taylor provided the game-changing RBI singles, both with two outs in the ninth and 14th innings, respectively. The bullpen did not allow a run for nine innings. Starter Sammy Solis yielded just three hits and one run.
Taylor said the win is another demonstration of how this team has stuck together all season long with great pitching and stellar defense and then squeezing in a clutch hit to put them over the top.
“We have had a good balance of (when our) pitching comes through and then days that we struggle they pick us up,” Taylor said. “And then sometimes the bats are the ones that do it. We got a little bit of everything on this team and that is what makes it work.”
Taylor was named Carolina League player of the week for his offense at the end of the regular season and said he has worked with hitting coach Mark Harris on being patient in his approach.
“Really just letting the ball travel,” Taylor said. “A lot of times I get caught out front and just being patient and let it get there.”
Taylor believes this P-Nats team, which won both halves of the Carolina League season for the first time since 2008, has the ability to win the Mills Cup again.
“Definitely,” Taylor said. “We definitely have all the parts here. Great coaching staff. Good group of guys, a lot of chemistry in the clubhouse. Everything just kind of clicks.”
Potomac leads the best-of-three series 1-0 with Game 2 vs. Lynchburg tonight at 7:05 p.m. from Pfitzner Stadium.