FredNats walk it off in wild 12-11 win

Fredericksburg NationalsIn front of a record sellout crowd of 4704 raucous fans, the Fredericksburg Nationals defeated the Salem Red Sox 12-11 in walk-off fashion on Friday night.

The FredNats twice blew significant leads, including a five-run lead in the ninth, before Jeremy Ydens took advantage of a pair of Salem errors in the bottom of the ninth to score the winning run.

Salem jumped ahead 1-0 in the first against Michael Cuevas, starting the game with a pair of singles and cashing in with a Jaxx Groshans two-out RBI infield hit. Ydens robbed Stephen Scott of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch in right field to limit further damage. Cuevas went 4.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on a career-high nine hits.

Ryan Zeferjahn worked a scoreless bottom of the first, but couldn’t escape the second as the FredNats exploded for five runs. José Sánchez laced a two-run double to left-center, and Viandel Peña followed with a long three-run homer into the manual scoreboard area. It was the first of two homers on the night for Peña, marking the first multi-homer game of his career.

The Red Sox chipped away at the 5-1 deficit, scoring two runs in the fourth on a Nicholas Northcut double and a Jecorrah Arnold single. They came all the way back in the fifth, as Cuevas balked home a run and Joe Davis collected an RBI single.

Some small ball helped the FredNats reclaim the lead in the sixth, as Jake Boone faced Salem reliever Devon Roedahl with the bases loaded and one out. The first two offerings of the at-bat were wild pitches, allowing two runs to score, and Boone lifted a sacrifice fly to the warning track to empty the bases and put Fredericksburg in front 8-5.

Ricardo Méndez hit his first FredNats homer in the seventh, stretching the lead out even further, and Junior Martina doubled to right-center to make the score 10-5. A passed ball got a run back for the Red Sox in the top of the eighth, but Peña’s second homer of the game in the bottom half of the inning gave the FredNats an 11-6 lead heading to the ninth.

Edward Ureña came on for his Fredericksburg debut, but allowed a leadoff solo homer to Nick Yorke for the second baseman’s fourth hit of the game. An RBI triple from Gilberto Jiménez brought home another run and, though Ureña struck out the next two batters, a walk to Stephen Scott forced a pitching change. Leif Strom fared little better, allowing a two-run single to Northcut and a game-tying single to Luke Bandy to complete a five-run comeback for the Red Sox. Tyler Yankosky (W, 1-0) entered to face Yorke with the go-ahead run at second, and coaxed a groundout to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.

Alexander Montero (L, 0-1) didn’t allow a hit in the ninth, but the Salem defense failed twice to allow the FredNats to escape with a victory. Ydens led off the inning with a pop-up behind second base, and shortstop Matthew Lugo collided with Yorke to put him in scoring position. Onix Vega bunted Ydens over to third, and Martina lifted a shallow fly to right field that would not have been deep enough to score the winning run. Ydens, however, bluffed a tag and drew an errant throw from Bandy, scampering home when the toss sailed near the on-deck circle.

The FredNats continue their series against the Red Sox on Saturday night. First pitch from FredNats Ballpark is scheduled for 6:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 5:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
augusta free press news
Augusta Free Press