The Fredericksburg Nationals opened up a two-week home stand by sweeping both ends of a doubleheader against the Delmarva Shorebirds on Tuesday.
In Game 1, which was a resumption from an April game that was suspended due to rain, the two clubs took the field in the bottom of the second inning with Delmarva, the Low-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, ahead 2-1. Brad Lord held the score there, until the top of the fifth inning. Carter Young and Angel Tejada both singled, then Samuel Basallo got plunked to load the bases. Lord struck out a pair of batters to get two outs, but Erison Placencia singled into right field to plate Young and push Delmarva ahead 3-1.
But in the home half, Fredericksburg, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, bounced back. Paul Witt drew a lead-off walk, before Cortland Lawson plated Witt with a triple. Daylen Lile then came through with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3.
Delmarva had their own response though, in the top of the sixth. Stiven Acevedo laced a triple off his own, then Adam Crampton ripped a single through the left side of the infield which gave the ‘Birds a 4-3 edge. An Angel Tejada double later in the frame drove Crampton in, putting the FredNats in a two-run hole.
The back and forth continued in the sixth, as Paul Witt singled and advanced to third on an errant throw back in to the infield. Then with two outs, Brenner Cox delivered an RBI single to right to make it 5-4 Delmarva.
Sean Doolittle, on a rehab assignment from Rochester, fired a 1-2-3 seventh to keep the score at 5-4. Later, Brady House dunked in a two-out single in the seventh, before Elijah Green tripled to tie the game at 5-5.
Mason Denaburg worked around a walk for a scoreless top of the eighth inning, then Armando Cruz doubled to open the home half of the frame. Paul Witt followed Cruz with a go-ahead home run to left field, giving the Nationals a 7-5 lead.
Kevin Rodriguez entered in the ninth, and shut the door on a 7-5 FredNat win. Rodriguez got the save, with Mason Denaburg earning his first win of the season. Darlin Alcantara was saddled with the loss.
Then in Game 2, the Shorebirds struck first against Jake Bennett. Isaac Bellony doubled in the top of the second inning, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Anderson De Los Santos then drove him in with a sharp single to take the early lead.
Bennett did tighten up from there, finishing his outing with just the one earned run while retiring the final 10 batters he faced.
The Freddies were held in check until the fifth inning, managing just one base hit from Branden Boissiere. But then in the top of the fifth, Boss demolished a 1-0 pitch for a game-tying, no-doubt home run over the manual scoreboard.
Neither side could score after that, sending the game into extra innings. Franklin Marquez did not allow a run in the top of the eighth, giving the Nats a chance to walk it off with just one run. Armando Cruz was placed on second base, for Zion Pettigrew. He took strike one, before flipping a ball into shallow right field. It dropped for a base hit, and kicked away from the Delmarva right fielder just far enough to allow Cruz to dash home with the game winning run,for a 2-1 FredNat victory. Marquez got the win, while Yaqui Rivera was the losing pitcher.
In Wednesday’s contest, Riley Cornelio faces off against Juan Nuñez.