Three in a row! FredNats beats Carolina again
For the second time this season, the Fredericksburg Nationals secured a three-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Mudcats on Friday night.
In front of a packed house of 4,794 fans, Matt Merrill (F, 2-1) drew in eight career-high hitters in 5.0 scoreless innings to claim his first victory as a starting pitcher. Two sacrificial flies of Onix Vega were emblematic of a successful one-ball approach to the Fredericksburg offense.
Merrill gave Sal Frelick a single to start the ball game, and after a pitch error and a passed ball, the Mudcats’ quick lead was third without an out. Merrill hung on, taking the next three batters out on strikes to keep the game scoreless and set the tone for the rest of the night.
The FredNats obtained their first leader at the end of the first against Antoine Kelly (L, 0-1), as Jacob Young walked and slid the first of four bases stolen by FredNats into the night. After a single from José Sánchez, Young scored on Vega’s first sacrificial ball to give Fredericksburg the lead 1-0.
In the fourth, Braian Fernandez Mark Leandro Emiliani from first base with a double RBI to two outs. The FredNats added two more points in the fifth on a single from Sánchez and Vega sacrifice fly to take a 4-0 lead.
Merrill threw 99 shots on his five frames, a season high for any FredNats starter. Bryan peña contributed 2.0 innings of scoreless relief before the Mudcats scored their lone run in the eighth on a brace from Mike Wilson and Edward Ureña wild terrain.
As the rain began to fall, a relief recently added Cole Quintanilla (S, 2) worked around a walk and a single to hit the side to win his second save in three nights.
The FredNats will aim for their fourth straight win, a season high, and a series win as they face the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday. The first throw of the FredNats Ballpark is scheduled for 6:05 a.m.