Woodpeckers blank FredNats 1-0 in series opener

by | Apr 17, 2024 | ALLFFP, FredNats

Excellent pitching was the theme in the series opener between the Woodpeckers and Fredericksburg Nationals, as Fayetteville edged out a 1-0 win on Tuesday night at Virginia Credit Union Stadium.

For the FredNats, Liam Sullivan took the hill in his second start of the year. He stranded at least one base runner in each of his five innings of work, but only had one man reach scoring position against him. All told, Sullivan scattered five base hits and three walks, but fanned eight Fayetteville hitters over five shutout innings.

However, Woodpecker starter James Hicks was dominant. He held the Freddies in check across five scoreless frames of his own, with just one base hit against him while matching Liam Sullivan’s eight K’s.

Fredericksburg turned to Moises Diaz to begin the sixth inning, and he continued to befuddle Fayetteville batters. Diaz worked a pair of scoreless, hitless innings with a pair of punchouts as well.

But for the ‘Peckers, Raimy Rodriguez matched Diaz step-for-step out of the bullpen. He did run into some trouble in the home half of the seventh, when Caleb Farmer roped a one-out double into left field. Then with two men gone, Armando Cruz put a ball in play to the shortstop Chase Jaworsky. He went to throw across the diamond, but the throw hit the field umpire, which is still a live ball. Caleb Farmer rounded third base and kept going towards home as Rodriguez tracked the ball down, but he fired a seed home to cut down Farmer, and keep the scoreless tie.

Fredericksburg turned to Thomas Schultz in the top of the eighth inning, but his first pitch to Kenni Gomez was turned around for a solo home run to put the Woodpeckers up 1-0.

That lead held until the bottom of the ninth inning, as Gavin Dugas began the comeback effort with a leadoff double. He was then balked to third base after a strikeout, and Elijah Green drew a walk to put runners on the corners. However, the 18 year-old Rodriguez struck out Caleb Farmer and induced a groundout against Roismar Quintana to end the game with the tying run at third base. Fayetteville ran their record to 7-3, as the FredNats fell to 6-4.

Rodriguez earned the win, while Schultz was tagged with the loss. In game two on Wednesday, Bryan Sanchez (0-0, 7.71 ERA) opposes Ethan Pecko (0-0, 2.84) in a 12:05 start.

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