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Limited Offense Lands Florence Series Split

July 29, 2018 - Frontier League (FL) - Florence Freedom News Release

MARION, Il - In the season finale between two West Division rivals, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, scored one run for the second straight game, dropping the weekend capper, 5-1, to the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park.

The Miners (31-32) jumped in front of Florence (33-33) in the bottom of the second inning, scoring a pair of unearned runs off Freedom starter, Cody Gray (4-3). Luke Bonfield led off the frame by reaching second base on an Austin Wobrock error at short, and later came around to score on a Max Dutto single. Joe Duncan then made a double from Kurt Wertz Jr. earlier in the frame count, shooting a sacrifice-fly to center as Southern Illinois took the, 2-0, edge.

Florence responded in their next at-bat, as Keivan Berges drilled a solo-homer off Steven Ridings (3-2) to cut the deficit in half. The big-fly was Berges' eighth of the season, and increased his team-leading RBI total to 36. The Freedom would not score again, but would threaten throughout Ridings' 5.2 innings.

Southern Illinois would pull away in the bottom of the third, totaling three runs with two-outs on the way to a, 5-1, lead. Joe Duncan made it a two-RBI game in the inning, ripping a single to score Joe Dudek who led off the frame with a one-bagger of his own. Continuing the two-out hitting, Kyle Davis upped his weekend RBI total to four, scorching a single that Wobrock nearly came up with at short, but went rolling into center-field allowing two more runs to score and the Miners advantage to balloon to four.

Gray would battle the Miners over 4.2 innings, surrendering eight hits and five runs, but only three earned en route to his third loss of the season.

The visitors mounted a few threats offensively, with the biggest opportunity coming in the top of the fifth. After two quick outs, Jacob Wark and Wobrock both tallied singles and Jimmy Heck, pinch-hitting for Harrison White, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ridings would get Caleb Lopes to fly-out to center, however as the Miners escaped with their, 5-1, lead still intact. The winning right-hander scattered six hits and walked a pair while striking out two before giving way to the bullpen with one-out remaining in the sixth.

Two Southern Illinois relievers, Kody Rock and James Carter, would keep Florence off the base-paths entirely from the seventh inning forward, helping the Miners salvage a series-split with the four-run victory.

The week-long road-trip will continue for the Freedom, who will take the field next on Tuesday in Schaumburg when they take on the Boomers in another re-match of last year's Frontier League Championship Series. Florence took two of three from the defending Champs when the two clubs collided at UC Health Stadium in June. Southern Illinois will host the Traverse City Beach Bums next, with that series starting on Wednesday in a scheduled doubleheader at Rent One Park.

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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