Parker impresses in pro debut, but FredNats drop fourth straight
You can’t have a much better start to your professional career than Mitchell Parker did on Friday night, but the lefty’s debut outing wasn’t enough to earn the Fredericksburg Nationals their first win of the season.
Parker achieved a rare four-strikeout inning, fanning the first four batters he faced as a member of the Nationals organization, but the FredNats (0-4) let the game slip away late in a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Lynchburg Hillcats (4-0).
The FredNats jumped out to a quick lead in the top of the first against Lynchburg starter Josh Wolf, turning a pair of infield singles into the game’s first run. Jake Randa collected his first FredNats hit with a grounder to deep short, scoring Jeremy Ydens to take a 1-0 advantage.
Parker’s four-strikeout frame, already the second for the FredNats staff this season, was followed by a second inning in which he allowed a pair of walks and a two-out, two-run single to Gabriel Rodriguez to give the Hillcats a 2-1 lead. The Nationals’ 5th round selection in last year’s draft went 4.0 innings, the longest start for a Fredericksburg pitcher this year, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out seven.
Jake Boone led off the fifth inning with a triple into the right-center gap, the first three-bagger in team history. He came home on an Ydens sacrifice fly to tie the game 2-2. But that would be the last life from the Fredericksburg offense, as Miguel Vinicio (W, 1-0) struck out five over 3.0 innings of relief to give the Hillcats bats a chance to answer.
The Hillcats struck for two runs in the bottom of the fifth off Lucas Knowles (L, 0-1), and got two more in the sixth on a home run from Jhonkensy Noel. The FredNats didn’t manage a hit in the final three innings as they dropped to 0-4 on the season.
The FredNats look to right the ship on Saturday night as they play game five of their series against the Hillcats. RHP Rodney Theophile will start for Fredericksburg opposite Hillcats RHP Sergio Morillo. First pitch from Bank of the James Ballpark is scheduled for 6:30, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:15 on the FredNats Baseball Network.