Trio of newcomers leads FredNats to 4-3 win
Starting pitcher Dustin Saenz delivered 3.0 solid innings, Darren Baker started an impressive double play at second base, and Cole Quintanilla (S, 1) pitched a perfect ninth inning to help the FredNats snap a seven-game skid and end Carolina’s seven-game winning streak.
Saenz allowed four hits in the first inning, including an RBI single to Tyler Black, but coaxed an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to escape with only one run on the scoreboard. He pitched a perfect second and third inning before departing on a pitch limit.
The FredNats answered back quickly in the bottom of the first against Mudcats starter Nick Belzer (L, 6-4), turning a walk and a catcher’s interference call into a pair of runs on back-to-back RBI singles from Onix Vega and Jake Randa. They added another run in the second inning when Jeremy De La Rosa singled, took third on an errant pickoff throw, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jake Boone.
The two teams traded solo homers in the fourth, as Alex Binelas went deep for the Mudcats and Leandro Emiliani hit his second of the year for the FredNats. Gilberto Chu (W, 3-0) settled in after serving up the Binelas homer, completing 5.0 innings of long relief to earn the win.
The Mudcats threatened in the middle innings, but saw a rally flame out in the fifth when Sal Frelick was thrown out trying to steal home. In the sixth, Noah Campbell popped into an inning-ending double play on a sliding catch by Baker in shallow right field.
In his first FredNats appearance, Quintanilla struck out a pair of batters in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save.
The FredNats continue their series against the Carolina Mudcats on Thursday. First pitch from FredNats Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:50 on the FredNats Baseball Network.