The Fredericksburg Nationals won an extra-inning thriller for the second time in as many games Tuesday at Carillion Clinic Field. Viandel Pena scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the tenth inning to help the FredNats to an 8-7 victory.
The win comes at a critical time for the FredNats, who gained a game on Salem, Lynchburg, and division-leading Carolina. The FredNats, Red Sox, and Hillcats are now all tied for second in the Carolina League North. All three teams are one game behind the Mudcats with two games to go in the first half. The FredNats own the head-to-head tiebreaker vs. Carolina and Lynchburg and will own the tiebreaker vs. Salem with a win tomorrow or Thursday. The FredNats also won in extras Sunday at Myrtle Beach.
Andry Lara got the start for Fredericksburg and allowed three runs in the first inning. He settled down though and allowed just one run in the next five innings. He threw a career-high 100 pitches and received a no-decision. Andrew Alvarez (3-4) earned the win for Fredericksburg. Riggs Threadgill picked up his first save by leaving the designated runner on second to end the game in the tenth.
Brandon Boissiere tied the game at 3-3 with a double in the fifth. Leandro Emiliani gave Fredericksburg its first lead with a homer to make it 5-3 in the sixth. Jacob Young broke a 5-5 tie in the eighth with a two-RBI single before his former college teammate at the University of Florida Nathan Hickey hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to force extras.
In the tenth, Jeremy De La Rosa advanced Pena with a groundout to the right side. Pena then scored on a two-strike wild pitch by Joey Stock (2-2) to give the FredNats a lead they would not relinquish.
The FredNats and Red Sox meet again tonight at 7:05 ET. RHP Jackson Rutledge is expected to get the start vs. RHP Juan Encarnacion for Salem.