Fredericksburg Nationals earn comeback win on opening night

by | Apr 5, 2024 | ALLFFP, Events, FredNats

The FredNats overcame an early deficit to nab a 4-2 win on opening night over the Delmarva Shorebirds.

Jarlin Susana earned the starting nod for the FredNats, and spun a 1-2-3 top of the first, but surrendered a leadoff double to Anderson De Los Santos in the second inning. He wound up advancing to third base on an E8, and then scored on a groundout off the bat of Angel Tejada. Susana settled down after that run, as he got each of the next two hitters to look at strike three.

Susana allowed one more baserunner in the third, but ended the frame by striking out Thomas Sosa with a man on second base. That would be the end of Susana’s night, as he turned in three strong innings with just one unearned run on his line, with four strikeouts and no walks.

Fredericksburg opened the home half of the third with an Armando Cruz single and a Brenner Cox walk. After a pair of strikeouts, a successful double steal put runners on second and third for Gavin Dugas, but he flew out to center to end the inning.

Bryan Polanco was the first man out of the bullpen for Fredericksburg, and he was very sharp in his 2024 debut. The right-hander worked around a walk and an E5 to put up a zero in the fourth inning. Polanco did allow a leadoff homer in the fifth to make it 2-0 Delmarva, but didn’t give up anything further through the sixth inning.

For the Delmarva pitchers, they limited the Nats to just a single base hit going into the sixth inning. Starter Jacob Cravey worked four scoreless innings, then Trey Gibson kept it up with a smooth fifth inning.

But in the bottom of the sixth, the Nationals’ bats came alive. After a strikeout, Gavin Dugas and Elijah Green each singled to put runners on first and second. Brandon Pimentel kept the line moving with a sharp single through the right side of the infield to plate Dugas, which cut the deficit to 2-1. Roismar Quintana then battled to draw a walk, loading the bases for Jose Colmenares.

Colmenares swung at the first pitch he saw and punched it on the ground to third base, but Elijah Green got a good read on the ball and scored from third to tie the game at 2-2. Armando Cruz followed Colmenares with a clean single into right field, bringing Roismar Quintana in from second base to put the FredNats ahead 3-2.

Bryan Polanco protected that slim lead with a scoreless seventh, then Merrick Baldo breezed through the ‘Birds in the top half of the eighth.

Fredericksburg was on the hunt for an insurance run in the bottom of the frame, as Pimentel singled and Quintana drew a walk to open things up. Armando Cruz walked as well to load the bases for Brenner Cox. He put a ball in play to the second baseman, which was enough for Pimentel to score and add to the FredNat lead, making it 4-2.

Thomas Schultz entered in the top of the ninth, looking to lock down the opening night win for Fredericksburg. He did just that, working a scoreless inning with a pair of strikeouts to secure a 4-2 Nationals win. Polanco earned the victory, Trey Gibson took the loss, and Schultz picked up his first professional save.

In game two, righty Marc Davis takes the bump for the FredNats against Delmarva’s Blake Money. First pitch is set for 7:05.

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