Potomac wins Mills Cup behind Oduber, Silvestre

Nationals prospects lift club to Class A Carolina League championship

Potomac wins Mills Cup behind Oduber, Silvestre

After losing Game 1 of the Mills Cup to Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach on Saturday, Potomac rallied. The Nationals won three straight games and captured the Carolina League championship with a 5-1 victory Wednesday in Game 4.

Many of the Nationals who were celebrating Wednesday were a part of the Class A Hagerstown team last year that lost the South Atlantic League championship series in four games to Savannah. There would be no such disappointment for them this year.

Potomac jumped out to an early lead thanks to a three-run home run from left fielder Randolph Oduber in the first inning. The Nationals added another run in the second and tacked on a final insurance run in the seventh.

The early runs proved to be enough, however, thanks to Potomac's pitching staff. Left-hander Hector Silvestre struck out six batters and held Myrtle Beach to one run on five hits and one walk in six innings. Right-handers Manny Rodriguez and Gilberto Mendez combined to strike out four batters in three perfect innings to close out the title.

Oduber finished the night 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and three RBIs. Catcher Pedro Severino, the Nationals' No. 12 prospect, added an RBI single and a walk. The 21-year old hit .333/.450/.467 in the playoffs.

Second baseman Tony Renda, the Nationals' No. 18 prospect, went 1-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two runs. After hitting .307/.381/.377 in the regular season to win the Carolina League batting title, Renda hit .304/.385/.435 in six playoff games.

Potomac went 78-58 during the regular season and won the Northern Division in both halves of the season. It swept Lynchburg in their best-of-three semifinal series last week to reach the Mills Cup for the second consecutive year.

This year's Mills Cup had a different ending for Potomac, however. A year ago, it was swept by Salem. Wednesday night, the Nationals celebrated the franchise's fifth Carolina League championship and first since 2010.

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.