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FredNats lose opener in Lynchburg

From the FredNats:

The Fredericksburg Nationals got a few “firsts” out of the way in their debut game, but couldn’t secure their first win as they fell 16-3 to the Lynchburg Hillcats on Tuesday night.

The Hillcats slugged four home runs and took advantage of five Fredericksburg errors to claim the Opening Day victory. A pair of six-run frames, in the second and the eighth, gave Lynchburg starter Xzavion Curry and two relievers all the support they would need.

In the top of the first, Geraldi Diaz laced a two-out single to left field for the first hit in FredNats history. He was left stranded, however, and the Hillcats scored two runs off Leif Strom (L, 0-1) in the top of the first to jump out to an early lead. Strom struggled to find his command, issuing 4 walks and allowing 5 hits in 2.0 innings.

Lynchburg’s six-run second inning was highlighted by a pair of home runs, a two-run shot from Micah Pries and a three-run blast from Johnathan Rodriguez. Strom was charged with 8 runs, 7 of them earned.

Trailing 10-0 heading to the seventh, the FredNats pieced a rally together against reliever Jaime Arias-Bautista (W, 1-0). A leadoff walk to Jake Randa was followed by an Onix Vega single, and J.T. Arruda delivered an RBI single to left field to score the first FredNats run. A run-scoring groundout and a wild pitch followed to give Fredericksburg three runs in the frame, the only inning in which they scored.

The Hillcats opened the game up further in the eighth, beginning the inning with a home run from Alexfri Planez and following up with a three-run shot from Jhonkensy Noel. Six runs scored in total, though FredNats pitchers Troy Stainbrook and Davis Moore combined for a rare four-strikeout inning.

The FredNats return to action on Wednesday night as they continue their series against the Hillcats in Lynchburg. RHP Karlo Seijas gets the nod for Fredericksburg opposite Hillcats RHP Daniel Espino. First pitch from Bank of the James Ballpark is scheduled for 6:30, with FredNats On Deck beginning at 6:15 on the FredNats Baseball Network.

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