WOODBRIDGE, Va. - The high Single-A Potomac Nationals edged the Lynchburg Hillcats 2-1 in 14 innings, grabbing the first game in the Carolina League Northern Division playoffs’ best-of-three series.
Michael Taylor’s clean single to left scored the winning run from third base to give the P-Nats Game 1 of the series. The P-Nats can sweep the series with a victory Thursday night.
“I was just trying to put the bat on the ball,” Taylor said. “I struggled a little bit earlier in the day. I was looking for a pitch I could hit right there.”
Taylor found the pitch he was looking for, a 3-2 slider, and his base hit ended the longest P-Nats game of the season. The 14-inning affair took four hours and 30 minutes to complete.
“What was he, 0-for-6 at that time?” said Potomac manager Brian Daubach. “Had a lot of chances early in the game to do some damage. Stayed to it. He got a huge hit for us.
“You play a long game like this with another game (Thursday). It carries over quite a bit. It is a tough one to come back from when you lose. We got Blake Schwartz (on Thursday,) who had a great year for us on the mound, looking to continue what we did tonight. Hats off to the bullpen. I thought Sammy Solis was great.”
Solis and the bullpen kept the Hillcats off the board from the fourth through the 14th innings.
Brian Dupra (1-0) got through a bases-loaded jam to earn the win. Robert Fish angled for the loss (0-1).
Lynchburg took the lead in the third on a RBI single by second baseman Emerson Landoni.
Potomac starter Solis went five innings with a no-decision, allowing only three hits, one run and one walk. He struck out five batters and threw 68 pitches, 48 for strikes.
Randolph Oduber smacked a run-scoring double in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs to tie the game at 1-1.
The Hillcats struck out 15 P-Nats in 14 innings. The P-Nats countered with 13 punchouts.
P-Nats’ Rafael Martin struck out the side in the top of the 11th.
Game 2 is Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium. Schwartz gets the call to start for the P-Nats.