FredNats complete comeback, then stumble late in 11-9 defeat

Fredericksburg NationalsThe Fredericksburg Nationals were on the verge of their biggest comeback win of the season, but gave up three runs to the Delmarva Shorebirds in the bottom of the eighth inning on Thursday night in an 11-9 loss.

Trailing 8-2 in the seventh, the FredNats scored six runs to tie the game and added one more in the top of the eighth to take a brief 9-8 lead. Instead, the Shorebirds rallied one last time to send the FredNats to their third straight loss.

The FredNats opened the scoring in the second, turning a Junior Martina walk into the game’s first run when Onix Vega’s single to left field was bobbled by John Rhodes to allow Martina to score from first base. That lead would be short-lived, as Rhodes tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the second and took a 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly from Darell Hernaiz.

Gilberto Chu issued a career-high four walks over 3.2 innings in his FredNats start, and let in another run in the third on a Colton Cowser RBI double. An error from FredNats third baseman José Sánchez opened the door for two more Delmarva runs in the fourth, the first scoring on a sacrifice fly from Collin Burns and the second on a bases-loaded walk to Billy Cook from reliever Carlos Romero.

Romero surrendered a three-run homer to Rhodes in the fifth, extending the Delmarva lead to 8-2. Tyler Yankosky kept the game within reach with 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, and the FredNats offense finally broke through in the seventh.

Shorebirds reliever Gregori Vasquez began the seventh inning by allowing three straight singles to Jake Randa, Sánchez, and Leandro Emiliani. A sacrifice fly from Braian Fernández brought home a run, and a pair of two-out, two-run singles from Martina and Vega against Leonardo Rodriguez (W, 2-1) tied the game 8-8.

In the eighth, a Randa leadoff walk was followed by a fielder’s choice before Jeremy De La Rosa beat out an RBI infield single to put the FredNats ahead 9-8.

Tomás Alastre (L, 2-2) entered for the bottom of the eighth with a month-long scoreless streak, but a leadoff infield single to Reed Trimble was followed by a walk and a wild pitch to tie the game 9-9. With two outs, Donta’ Williams doubled off the left field wall to put the Shorebirds in front and Rhodes followed up with his fifth RBI of the night on a single to add an insurance run. Thomas Girard (S, 2) worked a hitless ninth to lock down Delmarva’s third win in a row.

The FredNats continue their series against the Shorebirds on Friday. First pitch from Perdue Stadium is scheduled for 7:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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