The Hillcats, the Low-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, grabbed a lead in the bottom of the first inning, against the southpaw Liam Sullivan in his FredNats debut.
Zarate and Alex Mooney both singled to quickly put runners on the corners with nobody out, before Angel Ganao doubled to plate Zarate, and Lynchburg led 1-0.
A walk to Maick Collado loaded the bases, then Robert Lopez drew another walk to bring home the second run of the inning.
Lynchburg extended that lead in the home half of the fourth, on the third home run of the season by Pres Cavenaugh, which made it 3-0.
But in the top of the fifth, the Nats’ bats came to life. Marcus Brown opened things up with a walk, then moved to second base on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Johnathon Thomas. Elijah Nunez was able to drive Brown in with a single to left field, getting Fredericksburg on the board for the first time.
Then in the sixth, Yohandy Morales singled as the leadoff man. After a strikeout and a fly out, Max Romero Jr. put a ball in play that was mishandled at second base, and the Freddies, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, had runners on the corners.
Brown took advantage of the error, and ripped a single up the middle to plate Morales and cut the deficit to 3-2 Lynchburg.
Neither side could scratch a run across until the top of the eighth. The FredNats racked up four straight singles from Andrew Pinckney, Roismar Quintana, Romero and Brown to quickly jump in front with a 4-3 lead.
Then later in the same inning, with Romero at third, the Hillcats balked him in to make it 5-3.
But in the bottom of the eighth, with two outs and runners on second and third, Zarate reached on an infield single to make it just a 5-4 Nats lead. Then with a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth, Juan Benjamin tied the game with a single to plate Angel Genao.
In extra innings, Quintana hammered a two-strike offering into right field to bring Pinckney home as the man placed on second base, and the Freddies jumped back in front 6-5.
Lynchburg held Fredericksburg to just one run in the 10th. With Cavenaugh as the runner on second bae, Tyresse Turner singled with one out to move Cavenaugh to third base.
Turner then stole second, before Zarate served a two-strike pitch into right field to drive in both runs, giving the Hillcats a 7-6 walkoff win.
Bubba Hall took the loss for the Nats, and Reny Artiles picked up the win.
In Game 4 on Saturday night, Travis Sthele makes his FredNat debut on the bump, against the left-hander Jackson Humphries.