The Potomac Nationals couldn’t keep up with the Joneses. The Myrtle Beach trio with the same surnames each had at least one RBI, including Mycal Jones’ walk-off homer in the 12th inning as the Pelicans topped the Nationals 7-6 at BB&T Coastal Field.
Mycal Jones is batting .480 in five games since being called up from Low-A Rome, Travis Jones’ first-inning homer was the sixth of the season for the former South Carolina Gamecock, who was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, and Mike Jones was 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. The three are hitting in the 2, 3 and 4 spots, respectively, in the Pelicans’ batting order.
Myrtle Beach (24-41) got on the board first when Travis Jones homered over the left-field bleachers in the bottom of the first, and Potomac answered in the top of the second when Dan Lyons reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Jose Lozada’s single to right.Potomac (28-37) took a 2-1 lead when Michael Burgess drove a homer into the Pelicans’ bullpen in the top of the third.
The Nationals extended the lead in the fifth, starting when Chris Curran reached on Mycal Jones’ second fielding error of the game. Curran stole second, and then scored on Steve Lombardozzi’s double to right center. Lombardozzi went to third on Dan Nelson’s sac hit and Myrtle Beach starter Randall Delgado walked Derek Norris before Bill Rhinehart’s double brought them in to give the Nationals a 5-2 edge.
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That spelled the end of the night for Delgado, who was replaced by Davis Francis after giving up six hits over 4 2/3 innings, with two walks, two strikeouts and an earned run.
Myrtle Beach began chipping away at the lead in the bottom of the inning, starting when L.V. Ware reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and then scored on Mycal Jones’ RBI single.
Nationals starter Trevor Holder gave way to Dan Leatherman to start the sixth, but the Pelicans got to him quickly, starting with a Travis Jones single, followed by a Mike Jones RBI single and an RBI double into the left field corner from Matt Kennelly that tied the game at 5.
Curran led off the seventh with a double, and moved to third on a Lombardozzi sac bunt. Francis intentionally walked Michael Burgess, and then hit Derek Norris with a pitch to load the bases with one out. Rhinehart hit a long sac fly to score Curran and put Potomac back up 6-5.
But Myrtle Beach answered right back. Ware reached on a fielding error and went to second as Cole Miles reached on a bunt. Mycal Jones thought he was going to be the man to load the bases when he seemed to have been hit by a pitch, but home plate umpire Joey Amaral called it a foul ball and he and Travis Jones would go on to strike out before Mike Jones’ infield single drove in Ware to tie the game again.
Potomac had a chance to take the lead in the ninth with the bases loaded and one out, but Clemens got Rhinehart to strike out swinging and Tyler Moore fouled off four straight pitches with a full count before flying out to deep center field to end the threat.
Holder and Delgado both registered no decisions in the game. Holder went five innings, giving up eight hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts and no walks.
Francis gave up one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in 2 1/3 innings for Myrtle Beach. Clemens gave up one hit in two innings of relief and closer Luis Avilan (1-1) took the win, going three hitless, shutout innings with six strikeouts.
For Potomac, Leatherman gave up three hits and two runs while striking out two in one inning. Zach Dials gave up two hits but no runs with three strikeouts for Potomac, and Clayton Dill (3-5) took the loss after giving up just one hit, Mycal Jones’ homer, over two innings.
Myrtle Beach outhit Potomac 16-8 and both teams committed two errors. The Nationals stranded 10 baserunners, and the Pelicans left seven.Game 2 of the three-game set is tonight at 7:05.