Potomac Whacks Myrtle Beach In Opener

Michael Martinez gets four hits.

The Potomac Nationals didn't waste any time waking up their bats as they knocked off Myrtle Beach 15-0 in the opener of the Carolina League Championship Series.

While there was plenty of hitting, you'd likely have to go with Michael Martinez as the biggest offensive news of the night in Potomac's 15-0 win. Martinez was 4-for-5 and scored three times. He added a double, two RBI and two stolen bases to his evening as well. Pretty much every time there was scoring to be done, Martinez was in the middle of the action. In the first, he singled to put runners on first and third, setting up an RBI opportunity for Dee Brown. In the third, it was Martinez who scored on Brown's sacrifice fly after leading off the inning with a double and he also figured prominently in the fourth, fifth and eighth inning rallies.

The middle-infield prospect hit .266 at Potomac this season and stole 25 bases.

Jhonathan Solano and Boomer Whiting each collected three hits in the game and the power came on a three-run shot by Francisco Plasencia and a grand slam by Michael Burgess.

Starter Luis Atilano made the most of the offensive explosion and pitched five innings before turning things over to the Potomac bullpen, which has been outstanding in the post-season. Cole Kimball and Dan Leatherman handled the final four innings without allowing a run. Atilano has now thrown 11 shutout innings in the playoffs and has allowed just eight hits. The Nats bullpen has allowed just one earned run in 21 playoff innings for a 0.43 ERA. The starters aren't too far behind, with a 0.82 ERA in the playoffs.

An impressive part of the shutout is that Myrtle Beach featured the Carolina League's top offense this season and came into the series opener hitting .318 in the post-season and scored 27 runs in their five playoff games.

The two teams play Game Two at Myrtle Beach Tuesday night (September 9) before the series takes a day off and heads back to Potomac for Game Three. Jeff Mandel (6-6, 3.68) goes for Potomac against lefty Carlos Rivas (6-4, 5.20) in Game Two.


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