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Solo homers sink FredNats in 5-3 loss

Fredericksburg NationalsFor the second straight night, the Fredericksburg Nationals managed only three hits and three runs in a loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats, with a pair of Lynchburg solo homers the difference in a 5-3 loss.

Alexfri Planez homered for the second night in a row, and Cody Farhat finished a double shy of the cycle as the Hillcats won their second in a row over the FredNats.

Fredericksburg got a short start from Lucas Knowles, who pitched a scoreless first but was replaced by Matt Merrill (L, 0-1) in the second. Cole Daily walked and scored on an error in the first to put the FredNats up 1-0.

Merrill struck out four batters in his Nationals debut, but allowed the Planez homer to tie the score 1-1 in the second and a go-ahead RBI groundout to Angel Martinez in the third. Farhat’s homer off Tomás Alastre in the fourth extended the Lynchburg lead to 3-1.

Juan Zapata allowed only a bunt single over 4.0 innings in his start for the Hillcats, and Zach Hart (W, 3-1) picked up right where he left off. The righty preserved the 3-1 Lynchburg lead through the seventh, allowing his offense to add some insurance in the eighth on a Farhat triple and Gilberto Chu run-scoring balk.

The FredNats rallied in the eighth against Hart, loading the bases with two walks and a hit batsman before Jake Randa delivered a two-out, two-run single to bring the score to 5-3. That would be all for the offense, however, as Cade Smith got the final out of the eighth and Jerson Ramirez (S, 5) pitched a scoreless ninth.

The FredNats continue their series against the Lynchburg Hillcats on Friday. First pitch from FredNats Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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