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Playoff bound FredNats beat Salem

 The FredNats withstood a late Salem surge to notch a 10-8 win Wednesday at Carilion Clinic Field. Jarlin Susana struck out six while pitching into the fifth, and Branden Boissiere went deep to power the win. 

Susana turned in his best start yet for the FredNats, allowing no hits through four innings. He allowed a double in the fifth before exiting with 66 pitches and a season-high six strikeouts.

The contest was the first in the Carolina League this season for Armando Cruz. The No. 11 overall prospect in the Nationals organization debuted for the FredNats, drawing a walk in the fifth.

The FredNats built a huge early lead for Susana. Jared McKenzie powered a four-run third with a two-RBI double and a daring steal of home. Boissiere’s three-run blast, his fifth of the season, punctuated a six-run fifth inning that appeared to put the game away.

The Red Sox had other ideas though, scoring three times in the bottom half of the fifth and adding three more in the bottom half of the eighth to trim the lead to 10-8. Brendan Collins entered with two outs in the eighth and put out the fire though, carding his first save of the season by inducing a game-ending double play started by Cruz in the ninth. Tyler Schoff earned the win in relief of Susana. The W is his sixth of the year. 

The nine-inning contest was the only of the evening. The other game in a previously-scheduled doubleheader was canceled and will not be made up.

The FredNats begin the 2022 Carolina League playoffs this Tuesday. The team’s trip to the postseason will be the first for the franchise since the relocation to Fredericksburg. The playoffs will open with a best-of-three divisional round vs. Lynchburg September 13-16. The winner will meet either Myrtle Beach or Charleston/Columbia September 18-21.

The FredNats now stand at 40-21 in the second half. The team will host Lynchburg in the divisional round playoff game to open the postseason September 13 at 7:05 pm. Tickets are available at frednats.com/playoffs.

 

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