FredNats’ bats fall silent in 7-1 loss in Lynchburg
The Fredericksburg Nationals were held to just three hits by a strong pitching effort from the Lynchburg Hillcats on Saturday night, and late run support broke what had been a pitchers’ duel in a 7-1 Hillcats victory.
It marked the fifth straight loss for the FredNats (0-5) to start the season, and the Hillcats (5-0) put themselves in a position to sweep the six-game series in Sunday’s finale.
The Hillcats used some small ball to take a 1-0 lead in the first, as Korey Holland reached on an infield single and scored thanks to a pair of stolen bases and a throwing error from Fredericksburg catcher Geraldi Diaz. Holland swiped four bags on the night, and the Hillcats had six steals in total.
The unearned run would be the only blemish on Rodney Theophile’s ledger, as the FredNats starter pitched 4.0 solid innings in his first appearance since 2018. The young Nicaraguan righty allowed two hits and two walks, striking out four.
The FredNats didn’t have a hit through five innings, but managed to scratch a run across in the second when Hillcats starter Sergio Morillo walked a batter and hit three Nationals with pitches. The first Fredericksburg hit came from J.T. Arruda with one out in the sixth, a clean single off of Jaime Arias (2-0).
Lynchburg scored the go-ahead run in the sixth off of Leif Strom (0-2), who entered in relief after getting the Opening Day start on Tuesday. A throwing error from shortstop Paul Witt led to an unearned run, putting the Hillcats ahead 2-1. Lynchburg added two more runs in the seventh and iced the game in the eighth with a three-run homer from Jhonkensy Noel, his third long ball of the series. Daritzon Feliz (S, 1) got the final six outs to seal the Hillcats victory.
The FredNats look to avoid the sweep on Sunday afternoon in the series finale against the Hillcats. LHP Alfonso Hernández will start for Fredericksburg opposite Hillcats RHP Lenny Torres. First pitch from Bank of the James Ballpark is scheduled for 3:00, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 2:45 on the FredNats Baseball Network.