Freedom Drop Series Opener with Lake Erie
FLORENCE, Ky. - In the midst of a season-high six-game roll, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, saw the streak end in a nail-biting loss to the Lake Erie Crushers, 5-4, Friday night at UC Health Stadium.
The Crushers (16-14) drew first blood in the top of the first inning, when Jake Vieth doubled to plate Dale Burdick, who reached on a throwing error by Freedom (19-11) third baseman, Luis Pintor, as the visitors took an early, 1-0, edge.
Pintor bounced back in the bottom frame, smashing a one-out double before stealing third base for Andre Mercurio. Mercurio followed by lacing a line-drive into the right field corner, the knock turning in to a ground-rule double, scoring Pintor and moving Caleb Lopes, who walked, to third. Tyler Reichenborn then tallied his fourth RBI of the season, driving in Lopes on a ground-out to short, tying the game at, 2-2. It was Florence who took the next lead, Isaac Benard launching a fast ball over the second row of signage in right field, his third round-tripper of the year was a two-run shot, that gave the Freedom a, 4-2, advantage..
Lake Erie would answer in the fourth, Aaron Hill leading off the frame with a controversial homer off Florence reliever, Zak Spivy (0-1) to right-center. The ball appeared to bounce off the top of the wall and fall back on the field, but base umpire, DrewAshcraft, signaled home run as the score became, 4-3. Bodie Bryan added another insurance run to the ledger in the top of the sixth, driving in Hill on a single to center that stalemated the affair at, 4-4. With runners on the corners and southpaw, Karl Craigie on the hill for Florence in search of the final two outs in the sixth inning, Lake Erie would take their final lead of the night. After inducing James Davison into a pop-out to short for the second out, Craigie saw Austin Wobrock throw wildly behind the runner at first, allowing Emmanuel Marrero to score from third as the Crushers took the lead, 5-4, the eventual final.
Spivy would take his first professional loss, hurling 2.2 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits, with one walk and a trio of whiffs. Freedom starter, Scott Sebald exited after 2.2 innings, appearing to aggravate a groin injury that cost him a week on the injured list prior to the start.
Jake Repavich (2-2) earned the win, hurling five shut-out innings in relief of Jack Granath who made his Crushers debut on the bump to start. Repavich would face just one over the minimum over his five frames, allowing one hit and striking out one.
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 florencefreedom.com, or by phone at (859) 594-4487.
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