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FredNats sweep doubleheader on Fan Appreciation Night

Fredericksburg NationalsThe Fredericksburg Nationals swept the Lynchburg Hillcats in a doubleheader on Saturday night, thrilling a sellout crowd of 5019 fans with a 4-2 win in game one and a walk-off 4-3 win in game two.

In the first game, Jackson Rutledge impressed with 4.1 innings of one-run baseball and Jaden Fein hit his first professional homer in a 4-2 win over the Hillcats.

Rutledge struck out six batters and allowed only four hits in his final start of the year, lowering his FredNats earned run average to 5.32 after a rocky start to his time at Low-A. Fein’s two-run homer in the second inning was followed by a Jeremy De La Rosa RBI double and Steven Williams RBI single in the third against Lenny Torres (L, 2-7) to give the FredNats a 4-0 lead.

Lynchburg pushed two runs across in the fifth thanks to a pair of wild pitches from Brendan Collins, but Dustin Saenz (W, 1-0) got the final six outs to secure the seven-inning victory.

In game two, the Hillcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Michael Cuevas thanks to RBI singles from Alexfri Planez and Jorge Burgos. Cuevas would settle down after that, completing 5.0 innings without allowing another run.

The FredNats evened the score in the fourth against Hillcats starter Juan Zapata with doubles from Jordy Barley and Jake Randa, followed by a game-tying two-run homer from Viandel Peña.

The game would remain tied through the seven prescribed innings of the doubleheader format, and Lucas Knowles (W, 3-1) stranded the automatic Lynchburg runner in the top of the eighth to keep the game 3-3. Yeury Gervacio (L, 0-1) was unable to do the same, as Jacob Young advanced to third on a Darren Baker sacrifice bunt and scored on a Barley grounder to second to win the game for the FredNats.

The FredNats will play the final game of their inaugural 2021 season on Sunday afternoon. First pitch from FredNats Ballpark is scheduled for 1:35, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 1:20 on the FredNats Baseball Network.