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FredNats fall to 0-2

From the FredNats:

For the second straight night, the Fredericksburg Nationals (0-2) fell victim to an aggressive Lynchburg Hillcats (2-0) offense as they fell 19-3 on Thursday.

The Hillcats scored seven runs in the first inning, erasing an early 2-0 FredNats lead and forcing starter Karlo Seijas (L, 0-1) out of the game after recording just two outs. After a 16-3 loss on Opening Night, the FredNats have been outscored 35-6 by the Hillcats through their first two games.

A first inning single from Fredericksburg first baseman Kevin Strohschein opened up the scoring against Lynchburg starter Daniel Espino, but the Hillcats answered back quickly in the bottom half of the frame. A pair of singles were followed by a would-be double-play grounder off the bat of Micah Pries, but catcher’s interference was instead called on Geraldi Diaz to load the bases. Back-to-back two-run doubles from Johnathan Rodriguez and Andres Melendez quickly made the FredNats pay for their mistake, and before the inning was over the Hillcats had four doubles and a triple to take a 7-2 edge.

Fredericksburg held serve until the middle innings, thanks to a strong relief effort from Michael Cuevas. The 19-year-old righty delivered 4.1 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit and striking out three. In the fourth, the FredNats turned a Strohschein double into a run thanks to a two-out RBI single from Landon Dieterich to bring the score to 7-3.

That was as close as the FredNats would get, as Eric Mock (W, 1-0) pitched 3.1 scoreless innings to allow the Hillcats offense to extend the lead further. Will Bartlett kicked off a five-run sixth with a solo home run, and Angel Martinez highlighted a four-run eighth with a two-run double. Fredericksburg third baseman Gio Díaz was called upon to get the final two outs of the eighth inning on the mound, becoming the first position player to pitch for the FredNats this season.

The FredNats hope the third time’s the charm on Thursday night as they continue their series against the Hillcats in search of their first win. RHP Pedro González will start for Fredericksburg opposite Hillcats RHP Jordan Jones. 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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