Poor Pitching Helps Fredericksburg Clinch Playoffs
The Fredericksburg Nationals (72-54, 39-21) used a big start to run away from the Salem Red Sox (63-63, 28-32) and clinch the Carolina League North Division second half title in a 15-5 victory. Coming into the contest with needing a win and a Carolina loss, both events occurred in the
The Fredericksburg Nationals (72-54, 39-21) used a big start to run away from the Salem Red Sox (63-63, 28-32) and clinch the Carolina League North Division second half title in a 15-5 victory.
Coming into the contest with needing a win and a Carolina loss, both events occurred in the Nationals favor as they clinched their first playoff spot since the relocation to Fredericksburg in 2021.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to get comfortable against Salem starter Reidis Sena (L, 0-1) as Fredericksburg piled eight runs on Salem in the opening inning.
A majority of the runs came with two outs in the inning as the 8-9 order came through with multi-RBI knocks. Already up 2-0, Branden Boissiere layed a single up the middle to double up the Nationals lead. In the next at-bat, Geraldi Diaz sent a towering drive to right-center field to give Fredericksburg the seven-run cushion.
Two at-bats later against the new Salem pitcher, Michael Valera, shortstop J.T. Arruda crushed a triple down the right field line to complete the statement inning.
That wasn’t the only big inning of the night for Fredericksburg as they produced a four-run third and three-run sixth.
After coming up short in his first two at-bats, Jared McKenzie broke through with a bases-clearing double in the third. Meanwhile in the sixth, the Nationals used some-ball tactics in addition to Diaz RBI double to bring their run total to 15.
On a night that will be overshadowed by Fredericksburg’s 17 hit night and division-clinching result, this game also provided an opportunity for the Salem fans to check out some new faces in the Boston organization.
Shortstop Mikey Romero, the first round selection by Boston in the 2022 draft, went 1-5 on the night while also picking up an RBI on a fielder’s choice in the third. The San Diego native now has eight RBIs in his six games at Salem.
The second round selection for Boston in outfielder Roman Anthony was much stronger in his home debut with a 2-3 performance and a pair of RBIs; a single in the first and a sacrifice fly in the third.
Even Allan Castro, who was called up to Salem on Aug. 30 alongside Romero and Anthony, knocked in a run with a single in the fourth. The outfielder had two hits in the nine spot of the order.
Some of the Salem veterans also had a great night as lead-off man Brainer Bonaci had two hits which included his 19th double of the season while Tyler Miller had a pair of hits in addition to his 59th RBI of the season with a single in the eighth.
The Salem Red Sox and Fredericksburg Nationals will play game two on Wednesday starting at 7:05 p.m. at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m.
Time of Game: 2:57
Venue: Carilion Clinic Field