Advance Single-A Potomac finished off a marathon season of accomplishments on Friday with an 8-2 victory over Myrtle Beach in Game 4 of the Carolina League’s Mills Cup Finals. As a result, the P-Nats took the series, three games to one, and were crowned 2008 Carolina League Champions.
The P-Nats became the first team within the franchise to win a Carolina League title since the Prince William Cannons beat the Durham Bulls in 1989.
Potomac put two runs on the board in the first inning and never looked back. Despite a homer by Ernesto Mejia in the second, the Pelicans couldn’t muster any type of rally against starter Erik Arnesen. Arnesen went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just two runs while striking out four in the victory.
Jhonatan Solano earned Mills Cup Finals MVP honors for his efforts in the series. Solano tied Game 3 with a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. He finished the four-game set with the Pelicans by going .429 (6-for-14) with two home runs, four RBIs and five runs scored.
If numbers are to tell the tale, Monday’s showdown between Single-A Potomac and Myrtle Beach wasn’t supposed to end anything like this. But statistics on paper don’t account for poised pitching by a 23-year-old right-hander coupled with an offensive onslaught from unforeseen contributors.
Luis Atilano stifled the Pelicans’ league-best offense as the Nationals cruised to a 15-0 Game 1 victory in the Carolina League Championship Series at BB&T Coastal Field. Myrtle Beach scored 764 runs this season, but that didn’t seem to matter against Atilano. He hurled five innings while allowing six hits and fanning four.
Atilano, who went 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA this season, moved the P-Nats to within two victories of a league championship in this best-of-five series. Meanwhile, Michael Martinez led the P-Nats offense with a 4-for-5 night, including a double, three runs and two RBIs.
Andrew Lefave, Jhonatan Solano and Boomer Whiting also turned in multi-hit games. the P-Nats put a six-spot on the board in the fourth inning and five more up in the sixth to ensure victory.
The two teams will meet Tuesday for Game 2, with Jeff Mandel hurling for the P-Nats while Carlos Rivas takes the hill for Myrtle Beach.