Potomac's most successful season in nearly a decade came to a quiet end last night at Pfitzner Stadium as the Cannons were shut out by the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the final game of the Class A Carolina League Northern Division best-of-three playoffs, 4-0, before 849.
"They just outplayed us," first baseman Joey Votto said. "We weren't able to string together a bunch of hits."
After a 14-run offensive explosion in Thursday night's Game 2 victory, Potomac's bats went cold at a most inopportune time. The Cannons managed only three hits -- singles by Votto, Kevin Howard, and Jason Vavao. It was the eighth shutout loss for Potomac this season.
"I certainly hope we didn't use the whole thing up last night," said Votto, who had his only hit of the series on his 21st birthday. "That's tough when stuff like that happens. It's frustrating."
Wilmington pitcher Devon Lowery silenced the Potomac bats, striking out five, walking four and allowing two hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Potomac starting pitcher Ricardo Aramboles lasted only 3 1/3 innings, scattering five hits, walking five and allowing three earned runs. The first batter of the second inning, Mike Aviles, sent Aramboles's first pitch over the fence to put the Blue Rocks on the scoreboard.
Wilmington put the game out of reach with a three-run homer from Donnie Murphy off Jeremy Schmidt in the fourth inning.
Despite the loss, Potomac reached several significant milestones this year. The Cannons won the first half of the Northern Division season, going 37-32. It was the first time they had finished above .500 for a half-season since 1998. This was their first playoff appearance since 1995. And until Thursday's victory, it had been 15 years since Potomac won a playoff game.
Potomac continues to hold the longest streak of futility in the Carolina League, going 15 years without a league title. The Cannons were a New York Yankees affiliate the last time they won the league.