Boone, FredNats squeeze out win over Woodpeckers

Fredericksburg NationalsDespite managing only three hits and striking out 16 times, the Fredericksburg Nationals rallied late for a 4-1 win over the Fayetteville Woodpeckers on Wednesday night.

After tying the game 1-1 in the eighth on a Jake Randa bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, the FredNats took the lead in the ninth by scoring three runs without a hit. Jake Boone’s safety squeeze bunt pushed across the eventual winning run.

In a spot start, Matt Merrill delivered a career-high six strikeouts over 3.0 scoreless innings for the FredNats. Tanner Driskill contributed 2.0 scoreless frames of relief in his return to the club.

Fayetteville starter Misael Tamarez was at his best, striking out a career-high 11 batters over 5.0 shutout innings. The Woodpeckers broke through in the seventh against Trey Turner, turning a leadoff walk into the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly from Joey Loperfido.

The FredNats wasted no time in answering back, loading the bases against Jose Betances (L, 0-2) in the eighth before Randa was hit on the back foot with a pitch to force in the tying run. After Tomás Alastre (W, 1-1) pitched a quick bottom of the eighth, the FredNats went back to work in the ninth.

Geraldi Diaz drew a leadoff walk, then advanced to second and third on wild pitches from Betances. Boone’s sacrifice bunt put the FredNats ahead 2-1, and bases-loaded walks to Ricardo Méndez and Junior Martina extended the advantage to 4-1. Alastre worked around a single in the ninth to lock down the win.

The FredNats continue their series against the Woodpeckers on Thursday. First pitch from Segra Stadium is scheduled for 6:30, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:15 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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