Home Fredericksburg Nationals fall in series finale at Columbia, 7-6, wrapping road trip

Fredericksburg Nationals fall in series finale at Columbia, 7-6, wrapping road trip

Chris Graham

fredericksburg nationals The Columbia Fireflies rallied from down three runs to beat Fredericksburg 7-6 in the series finale on Sunday, the final game of a two-week road trip for the Nats.

Paul Witt crushed his 10th homer of the season in the top of the first inning, giving the Freddies, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, an early 1-0 lead.

That was short lived though, as Columbia, the Low-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, battled back in the bottom of the second. Erick Peña singled with two outs, and then stole second base. Brennan McNair drove him home with a single to right field to tie the game.

But in the top of the third, the Freddies staged their own rally. Sammy Infante doubled and Blake Klassen singled to put runners on the corners. Cortland Lawson was able to lift a ball into right field for a sacrifice fly that scored Infante, before Wilmer Perez singled back up the middle to bring Klassen across. That gave the Nats a 3-1 edge.

In the bottom of the third, Columbia loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a hit by pitch. Later in the frame, Dionmy Salon capitalized with a single to left field to bring the Fireflies within a run.

The game stayed there until the home half of the fifth, which began with a Jean Ramirez triple, before an Austin Charles fly ball brought Ramirez in to tie the game at 3-3.

In the top of the seventh, the Nats strung together some clutch two-out knocks. Cortland Lawson and Wilmer Perez each singled, ahead of Armando Cruz. The young shortstop fouled off seven pitches in the at-bat, before smoking a two-run triple into the right-field corner to take a 5-3 lead. Christopher De La Cruz later brought Armando Cruz home with an infield single to put the Freddies up 6-3.

But in the home half, Matt Merrill allowed a two-out triple and a pair of walks to load the bases.

Fredericksburg turned to Holden Powell out of the bullpen, who proceeded to give up a go-ahead grand slam to Hayden Dunhurst.

The Columbia bullpen shut the door from there, locking down a dramatic 7-6 victory to wrap up the series.

Chase Wallace got his second win of the year, Cooper McKeehan earned his eighth save, while Holden Powell was tagged for his first loss.

The FredNats return to Virginia Credit Union Stadium on Wednesday, June 28th to begin a six-game series against the Salem Red Sox.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].