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FredNats beat Salem 5-1

The Fredericksburg Nationals got key contributions from the 2023 draft class in a resounding 5-1 win over the Salem Red Sox.

Riley Cornelio breezed through the top of the first inning, then fourth-rounder Andrew Pinckney smoked a single back up the middle. He was balked to second, Blake Klassen worked a walk, then Roismar Quintana hammered a triple to plate both runners and give the Freddies a 2-0 lead. Max Romero Jr. followed up with an RBI single to make it 3-0.

Fredericksburg added another run, on back-to-back doubles by Pinckney and second round draftee Yohandy Morales to pull ahead 4-0.

In the top of the fourth, Cornelio did run into some trouble. Salem worked a pair of walks with a single mixed in to load the bases with nobody out. Cornelio got Luis Ravelo to strike out with the bases juiced, then Lyonell James bounced out to third base, but a run did score to make it 4-1. Cornelio issued another walk to re-load the bases, but the righty retired Yorberto Mejicano to limit the damage to just one run.

The Nats got that run back right away. Elijah Nunez worked a walk, then Johnathon Thomas singled to put runners on the corners. Morales then plated Nunez with a high chopper to third base to give Fredericksburg a 5-1 edge.

From there, Cornelio locked up the Salem lineup. He turned in a career-long six innings of work, with just the one run against him on three Red Sox base hits, and four punchouts.

Pedro Gonzalez followed Cornelio with two scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Bubba Hall then shut the door in the ninth, as Fredericksburg won the series opener 5-1. Cornelio got the win on his line, and Gabriel Jackson took the loss. Erik Tolman gets the start for the FredNats Wednesday, against Jose Ramirez.

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