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Fredericksburg Nationals wrap 2023 with win in finale, close above .500 for 2023

Chris Graham

fredericksburg nationals The Fredericksburg Nationals closed out the 2023 regular season with a 3-1 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Sunday.

The FredNats, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, finished the second half of the season 35-30, and were 65-63 overall for 2023.

In Sunday’s finale, neither side could get much offense rolling through the first few innings. For the Nats, Bryan Polanco opened the ballgame with three scoreless frames, and the 19 year-old Gabriel Agostini followed with two more spotless innings in his Single-A debut.

Delmarva, the Low-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, matched that with two shutout innings from Teddy Sharkey, then two more from Juan Rojas.

But in the top of the fifth, Marcus Brown worked a leadoff walk, then stole second base. Phillip Glasser moved him to third with a fielder’s choice, and Johnathon Thomas drove Brown home with a line drive single to left field.

Fredericksburg doubled its lead in the top of the sixth inning. This time it was Cristhian Vaquero who drew a leadoff walk and stole second. After a strikeout, Vaquero took third on a wild pitch. That put him in position to score easily on a sac fly off the bat of Roismar Quintana, to make it 2-0 Freddies.

The Shorebirds did respond in the home half of the frame, against Johan Otanez. After a strikeout, Stiven Acevedo singled and Anderson De Los Santos doubled to put runners on second and third for the ‘Birds. Jake Cunningham then ripped a single up the middle to plate Acevedo, and cut the FredNats’ lead to 2-1.

Thomas Schultz and Merrick Baldo worked through the seventh and eighth innings scoreless for Fredericksburg, before the Nats added an insurance run in the top of the ninth.

Elijah Green walked to open the frame, stole second base, then moved to third on a disengagement violation.

Brown then delivered with a RBI single into right field to drive Green home, putting the Nationals up 3-1.

Marquis Grissom Jr. entered in the bottom of the ninth, and allowed a leadoff walk. But he rebounded to retire the next three batters he faced, wrapping up the ballgame by striking out Luis Valdez.

It was the 11th save of the year for Grissom.

Gabriel Agostini got his first Single-A win, and Juan Rojas took the loss.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," 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].