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Parker stars again as FredNats split twin bill

Fredericksburg NationalsThe Fredericksburg Nationals played their first doubleheader of 2021 on Saturday, defeating the Salem Red Sox 7-0 in game one but falling 6-4 in the nightcap.

Mitchell Parker (W, 3-3) turned in another gem in the first game, going 6.0 innings of shutout ball and striking out five to extend his league lead. He outdueled Bradley Blalock (L, 0-2), who allowed an RBI single to Jake Randa in the second and a Jeremy De La Rosa single in the third before a five-run fourth put the game on ice.

In the fourth, Randa, Jackson Coutts and Viandel Peña hit back-to-back doubles to bring home four runs. Telmito Agustin hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 7-0, and that would be more than enough run support for Parker. The lefty had the first walk-free outing of his career, and scattered just three singles for his third quality start of the year. Tomás Alastre pitched a scoreless seventh to close out the game.

The FredNats didn’t trail game two until the bottom of the sixth, when Salem’s Stephen Scott blasted a pinch-hit, two-run homer to give the Red Sox a lead they would not relinquish.

Jake Boone drove in Fredericksburg’s first two runs, thanks to an RBI single in the second and a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Lucas Knowles pitched well in his second start of the year, tying a career high with 4.0 innings of two-run ball.

Tied 2-2 going to the fifth, the FredNats jumped ahead once again thanks to RBI singles from José Sánchez and Braian Fernández. The single from Fernández extended the outfielder’s hitting streak to seven games, the longest for any FredNats player this season.

Called upon to protect a 4-2 lead, Leif Strom (L, 1-4) allowed a run in the fifth on a Joe Davis RBI single but got out of the jam without any further damage. He wasn’t as lucky in the sixth, as a Dean Miller single was followed by Scott’s pinch-hit homer to put the Red Sox up 5-4. An insurance run later in the inning made things easier for Aaron Perry (W, 2-1), who got the final six outs of the ballgame for Salem.

The FredNats wrap up their series against the Red Sox on Sunday. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field in Salem is scheduled for 4:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 3:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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