Home Fredericksburg Nationals lose at Columbia on Saturday on rare walk-off balk

Fredericksburg Nationals lose at Columbia on Saturday on rare walk-off balk

Chris Graham

fredericksburg nationals The FredNats dropped a heartbreaker on Saturday to the Columbia Fireflies, losing 3-2 on a rare walk-off balk.

Columbia, the Low-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, tagged Brad Lord in the bottom of the first inning. After Lord got two quick outs, Austin Charles singled into center field. Brett Squires then continued his big series with an RBI double off the wall in right-center to plate Charles, and give the Fireflies a 1-0 edge.

Then in the top of the third inning, Paul Witt came up with two outs against Shane Panzini, and crushed his ninth homer of the year to tie the game at 1-1.

The Freddies, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, kept the hits coming in the fourth inning, as Branden Boissiere walked and Max Romero Jr. singled to put runners on first and second. Cortland Lawson came through in a big spot for Fredericksburg, smoking a double just fair inside the left field line to bring Boissiere home for a 2-1 lead.

FredNat pitching held Columbia scoreless until the bottom of the seventh. Lizandro Rodriguez led off the inning with a line drive, opposite field home run to left-center field which tied the game 2-2.

In the bottom of the ninth, Rodriguez led off with a walk, and moved to second base on a fielder’s choice. From there, Marquis Grissom Jr. was called for two consecutive balks, bringing Rodriguez all the way around from second base to score the winning run without a ball in play.

Oscar Rayo got the win on his line, and Grissom was tagged with the loss.

In the series finale, Bryan Caceres gets the ball for the FredNats, against righty Mauricio Veliz.

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].