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Florence Flatlines with Middle-Game Loss

September 1, 2018 - Frontier League (FL) - Florence Freedom News Release

O'FALLON, Mo-- Playing in an elimination game on Saturday night at CarShield Field, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, fell short, 4-1, to the River City Rascals. With the loss, the Freedom are ousted from post-season contention, while the Rascals, with the series victory, punched their ticket to the four-team playoff.

The Freedom (49-46) took the game's first lead in the top of the first inning, as Caleb Lopes connected on his fifth round-tripper of the season on the first pitch he saw from righty Dalton Roach. The first inning run was the Freedom's eighty first of the season, far and away their best frame offensively. That would be the case on Saturday, as Florence failed to score in their next eight at-bats. Roach would exit the game with the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, giving way to Jason Zgardowski (1-0) who was able to escape the jam, getting a line-drive double-play from Taylor Bryant, the first man he faced.

River City (51-44) evened the score at one in their half of the fifth, finally getting to Freedom starter, Tyler Gibson (4-5). Gibson would minimize the damage, allowing just one run despite loading the bases with nobody out. The Rascals were able to knot the score courtesy a fielder's choice off the bat of Trevor Achenbach. In the bottom of the seventh, the home-team took their first lead of the night, scoring a pair of runs off the Florence starter. Zach Lavy led-off the inning with his third double of the night, later scoring on a Kevin Suarez fielder's choice. Achenbach would make it a two-run game, bouncing a ground-rule double to left after Suarez successfully stole second, making the score, 3-1, Rascals.

Gibson offered a final line of 6.2 innings of three-run baseball, scattering six hits with one walk and three strikeouts in the quality start loss.

Zgardowski would end his night after the seventh, totaling 3.2 shut-out innings. The power-righty allowed just a pair of hits and fanned four with one walk en route to his first victory.

Paul Kronenfeld delivered a final insurance run with one swing of the bat in the eighth, taking right-handed reliever, Ryan Colegate deep to right-center as the score moved to, 4-1.

River City reliever Joe Iorio and closer, Cody Mincey were able to keep the Freedom off the board in the eighth and ninth frames. Mincey walked Keivan Berges and surrendered a single to Jordan Brower, bringing the tying run to the plate twice before slamming the door on his team-leading twenty third save of the season.

For the second time in as many nights, only Brower connected for multiple-hits in the heart-stopping Freedom loss.

This series will wrap-up tomorrow at CarShield Field, with the Freedom looking to salvage one-win in their final series of the 2018 campaign. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. CT with each team having yet to determine their starting pitchers.

The Florence Freedom are members of the Independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, KY. The Freedom can be found online at, or by phone at (859) 594-4487.

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