Freedom Streak Snapped in Regular Season Finale
CRESTWOOD, Ill. - In the final game of the 2019 Frontier League regular-season, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, snapped a five-game winning streak with a, 17-1, loss to the Windy City Thunderbolts at Ozinga Field in Crestwood, Ill.
Right-handed knuckle-baller, Chris Amend (0-1), who made his debut start on the hill for the Freedom (57-39), surrendered four first inning runs after a trio of free passes paved the way to a Tyler Alamo grand slam. The long-ball was the sixteenth of the year for Alamo, who would retire in the second inning to a choir of applause, the grand slam coming in his final at-bat as a pro.
Joel Toribio (4-2) made his debut start as well for Windy City (42-54), and would go on to span five shut-out innings en route to his fourth victory of the season. Toribio surrendered four hits and three walks while striking out four.
The Thunderbolts scored the first seventeen runs of the game, adding two more to their total off Amend in the second as their advantage grew to, 6-0. Tanner Gardner and Nate Montgomery, who subbed in the game for Alamo in the top half of the frame, earned the RBI, knocking a triple and single, respectively.
Eleven more runs crossed the plate for the Bolts in their side of the fourth, the home team nearly batting around twice sending 17 men to the dish in the barrage. With the bases loaded, Montgomery opened the scoring with a single before a Micah Coffey hit-by-pitch plated another. Tyler Straub followed with a sacrifice-fly, but an ensuing walk to Zach Rheams loaded the bases again. Taisei Fukuhara responed with an RBI-single next, and Christian Funk cleared the bases with a three-run double to right-center.
Righty reliever, Sean Hughes replaced Amend with two outs left to find in the bottom of the fourth and Florence trailing, 13-0. Funk proceeded to score on a Hughes wild pitch, closing the Amend line at 3.1 innings, 14 earned runs allowed on seven hits, with seven walks and four hit-batters. Hughes struck out the second batter he faced, but labored in search of the final out, six batters coming to the plate. With the bases loaded for a third time in the frame, Coffey worked a walk as the Freedom deficit swelled to, 15-0. Straub would single to plate one more, leaving the bases loaded for Rheams who walked to make it a, 17-0, affair. Hughes struck out Fukuhara, stopping the bleeding in the marathon inning.
With Sean LeLand toeing the rubber in the sixth, Florence scored their lone run in the contest, Connor Crane driving in his sixtieth run of the season with a sacrifice-fly that brought the score to, 17-1, the eventual final.
Florence closed the regular-season finale with three pitchers hurling four-shut out frames after the fourth inning onslaught. Jamal Wilson, Ryan Mordecai and Jared Cheek all took their turn on the bump, only Wilson logging two innings of work.
The Freedom will now set their sights on the Frontier League post-season, Florence the three seed and first wild card, hosting the two-seeded, East Division Champion, Lake Erie Crushers on Tuesday night at UC Health Stadium. For Windy City, they turn the page to the 2020 season, having finished in third place in the East Division.
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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Frontier League Stories from August 31, 2019
- Grizzlies Split Doubleheader with Washington - Gateway Grizzlies
- Freedom Streak Snapped in Regular Season Finale - Florence Y'alls
- Otters Leave Saturday as Division Champions - Evansville Otters
- Crushers Limited to One Run in Loss to Joliet - Lake Erie Crushers
- Wild Things and Grizzlies Split Doubleheader Saturday - Washington Wild Things
- ThunderBolts Close Season with Blowout Win - Windy City ThunderBolts
- Miners Bash Otters to Even Series - Southern Illinois Miners
- Boomers Edged on Final Saturday - Schaumburg Boomers
- Rascals Hold off Boomers in Middle Game - River City Rascals
- Osby Pitches 10 Innings, Slammers Walk off to Beat Crushers 2-1 - Joliet Slammers
- Otters Tie Franchise Record with 57th Win - Evansville Otters
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