Completing the game that got suspended Thursday night, the FredNats blasted the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9-1 for their first win in the series. Myrtle Beach notched their third shutout of the series 3-0 in a 7-inning game two.
After the game was suspended yesterday in the top of the 5th inning with the FredNats already leading 4-0, J.T. Arruda was the first man to come up to the plate after we resumed play. With two men on base and two outs, Arruda blasted a three-run home run to right center field to essentially put the game out of reach. The FredNats ended up scoring two more in the 8th inning to win 9-1 and win their first game in the series.
Along with Arruda, Steven Williams was the catalyst on offense for Fredericksburg. Williams had three hits and two runs scored, and Arruda had three hits and four RBIs in just his second game of the season after starting the season on the injured list.
Jackson Rutledge started on Thursday night and retired 12 out of the 13 men he faced with four strikeouts and no walks, but it was Bryan Pena that got the win, starting the resumption of the game today and going 3 2/3 innings with three hits and just one run allowed. He struck out four and walked one. Tyler Schoff finished off the win for the FredNats, pitching the final 1.1 innings perfect with two strikeouts.
Game two was a different story. Dustin Saenz made his first start in a month since going on the injured list on May 17, and he retired the first eight men he faced in order until Josue Huma of Myrtle Beach hit a solo home run in the 3rd inning to make it 1-0 Pelicans. That would be all the offense Myrtle Beach needed. The Pelicans added two unearned runs in the 6th inning off Brendan Collins after an error and a mental mistake by the FredNats on defense.
Fredericksburg out-hit the Pelicans 5-4 in the second game but left five men on and could not get the big hit.
The FredNats are now tied for first place in the Carolina League North Division with Lynchburg and possibly Salem, depending on the Red Sox’ game tonight. The first half ends on June 23, and the first half winner automatically makes the playoffs.
The two teams are back at it tomorrow at 6:05 p.m. with Bryan Caceres on the mound for the FredNats.