Game 3 of the best-of-five series was a see-saw contest with emotion and momentum picking neither side, switching back and forth between dugouts all night.
Yet somehow, the Potomac Nationals, who won on a wild pitch in Game 1 of the Northern Division Championship Series in 15 innings and a night later on a RBI single in Game 2 in 10 innings, found another way to win. With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the tenth, Michael Burgess, who struck out over once every three at-bats with Low-A Hagerstown, took a 3-1 pitch from right-hander Brett Butts (0-1) to drive in the winning run with as Dee Brown scored on the walk-off walk.
Pinch hitter Boomer Whiting and Burgess both drew walks against left-hander Tyler Wilson, who would soon be replaced by Ferdin Tejeda, in the bottom of the ninth. After a strikeout of Stephen King, Jhonatan Solano helped put the P-Nats in position to win it in extra innings as the catcher launched the first pitch from Tejeda over the left field fence for a three-run homer to tie the game 7-7.
The Nationals took the early lead in the bottom of the first as Andrew Lefave drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle.
The Pelicans, though, answered in the top of the third as Potomac starter Ross Detwiler issued a two-out walk to Phillip Britton and then allowed back-to-back doubles to Gorkys Hernandez and Willie Cabrera with the Cabrera's driving in a two runs to even the score 2-2.
Michael Martinez, who hit his first home run of the season against Myrtle Beach starter Ryne Reynoso back on May 14, took the right-hander deep again, this time with a runner aboard in the bottom of the third giving the P-Nats a 4-2 lead.
The Pelicans would tie the game again in the top of the fifth inning as league RBI leader Ernesto Mejia stroked a two-out, two-run single off of Detwiler to center field with the bases loaded to even things up 4-4.
An inning later, Myrtle Beach would take its first lead, 6-4, as reliever Dan Leatherman allowed the go-ahead run to score on a Britton RBI groundout to second and an insurance run on a Hernandez RBI double to left-center field. Brandon Hicks then added a solo homer with one out in the top of the eighth inning off of right-hander Clint Everts, who had struck out the first five batters he faced, to make it 7-4 Pelicans.
Detwiler finished by tossing 4 2/3 innings getting charged with four runs, all earned, on four hits while matching a career-high nine strikeouts and issuing three walks.
The P-Nats will try and win the Mills Cup for the first time since 1989 on Friday night as right-hander Erik Arnesen (0-0) gets the start opposite left-hander Cole Rohrbaugh (1-0). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.