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Game Recap: RHP Jackson Rutledge dazzles in shutout of Lynchburg in the playoff opener.
RHP Jackson Rutledge dazzles in shutout of Lynchburg in the playoff opener.
RHP Jackson Rutledge pitched eight shutout innings with six strikeouts, Sammy Infante had three hits and a two-run double, and the Fredericksburg Nationals shut out the Lynchburg Hillcats 2-0 in game one of the 2022 Carolina League North Championship Playoff series in front of 4,000+ fans at Virginia Credit Union Stadium.
The Fredericksburg Nationals' defense was perfect behind Rutledge after the game's first batter reached on a bloop single. With the bases loaded for Lynchburg and one out in the 4th inning, Will Bartlett hit a rocket to third base that Trey Lipscomb snared with his glove. Lipscomb fired to second base for the first out, and then Sammy Infante turned the double play to keep the Hillcats off the board.
The Fredericksburg Nationals broke through in their half of the 4th. Will Frizzell hit a deep drive to left field that the Lynchburg mishandled left fielder, and then a walk to James Wood put two men on base. With two outs, Sammy Infante doubled down the left field line to score Frizzell, and then Wood was also able to score on a bad throw to second base. Fredericksburg Nationals had four total hits in the game, and three belonged to Infante.
The Fredericksburg Nationals turned another double play behind Rutledge in the 6th to help his night. He finished with eight innings, three hits, no runs, one walk, and six strikeouts. Marlon Perez pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning for the save.
With the win, the Fredericksburg Nationals go up 1-0 in the best-of-three series. The team will travel to Lynchburg for game two on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., and game three is Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Lynchburg if necessary. Jarlin Susana will start game two for the FredNats.
With one more win, the Fredericksburg Nationals will advance to the Carolina League Championship Series against Charleston or Myrtle Beach.
Editors Note: We will have special coverage for the Fredericksburg Nationals all post-season. Make sure to follow us and subscribe to the Morning Briefing to get the latest headlines from Fredericksburg.