FredNats win back-and-forth affair in Salem, 8-7

FredNats win back-and-forth affair in Salem, 8-7

Chris Graham

Fredericksburg NationalsThe FredNats stormed back from a late deficit to beat the Salem Red Sox, 8-7, on Wednesday night.

The Red Sox, the Low-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, got an early lead over the Freddies, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, thanks to a first inning two run-homer from Luis Ravelo.

But in the top of the third, Fredericksburg found a response. Gavin Dugas opened the inning with a single, and Armando Cruz worked a walk. Jorgelys Mota then grounded a ball to shortstop, but a defensive mishap by Salem allowed Dugas to score from second base. After a strikeout, John McHenry put the Nationals ahead with his own two-run blast, which made it 3-2.

Salem did not trail for very long. In their half of the third inning, Lyonell James ripped a two-out triple, then came around to score on a triple by Natanael Yuten to tie the game at three. Marvin Alcantara then put the Sox back in front with an RBI single.

The Red Sox added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Jhostynxon Garcia led off with a double to right field, which chased Travis Sthele from the game. Kevin Rodriguez entered, allowed a fly out to center that moved Garcia to third base, then Luis Ravelo brought Garcia in with a ground ball to second base.

Fredericksburg didn’t back down, as Mota picked up his first career triple to begin the top of the fifth. Tuda Thomas came up next and promptly singled right back up the middle to bring Mota in, cutting the deficit to 5-4.

K-Rod kept the margin at just one run, until the bottom of the sixth. He allowed a leadoff single to Yorberto Mejicano, before Garcia crushed a two-run home run to put Salem up by three.

With just six outs to work with, Cristhian Vaquero worked a walk for the FredNats in the eighth, and moved up to third base on successive wild pitches from Salem’s Jhonny Felix. Elijah Green then hammered a double off the left field wall to plate Vaquero, making it 7-5 Sox. Green swiped second base, and came in to score on a single by Roismar Quintana.

Elijah Nunez entered as a pinch-runner for Quintana, and he moved to third base on a Max Romero Jr. single. A walk to Gavin Dugas loaded the bases, when another Salem wild pitch allowed Nunez to score the tying run.

Later in the frame, with two outs, Mota continued his impressive Single-A debut with a go-ahead infield single to plate Romero Jr..

Marquis Grissom Jr. had entered to snuff out a fire in the eighth, and continued to work in the top of the ninth. He retired the first two Salem hitters, but allowed a single and two walks to load the bases, to bring up Garcia who had yet to be retired in five plate appearances. But Grissom Jr. punched him out, and preserved an 8-7 win for the FredNats.

Juan Abreu earned the win, with Grissom Jr. locking down his ninth save, and Jhonny Felix took the loss.

In Game 3, Riley Cornelio goes toe-to-toe with Yordanny Monegro.

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,