FLORENCE, Ky. — The trip south across the Ohio River was a good one for the River City Rascals. After getting swept on the banks of Lake Erie to open the season, the Rascals (2-2) rebounded against the Florence Freedom (1-4) with a sweep of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
In the first of the two games scheduled for seven innings, the Rascal bats jumped on the Freedom early, and starter Joe Scanio and the bullpen nailed down the win. In the second, the Rascals came from behind to tie the game in the top of the seventh and pushed across what would be the winning differential in the top of the extra inning.
Game 1: Rascals 7, Freedom 2 W- Scanio, L- Gooding, S- Schierholz
Third baseman Josh Silver continued his hot start with a 3-for-3, 5 RBI performance in the afternoon contest. Silver scored the first run of the game off a single from the eight-hitter Mike Jurgella. In the third inning, the Rascals loaded the bases with two outs, including Clint Freeman reaching base after a dropped third strike. Silver, living out the fantasy scenario of anyone who has ever played baseball, took out a full-count pitch from Freedom starter Jeremy Gooding for a grand slam and a 5-0 Rascals lead. Silver singled in the top of the fifth for his fifth RBI.
Scanio bounced back from a rough performance in the season opener to throw six innings of two-run ball. Will Schierholz got out of an inherited bases-loaded, no-out jam in the final inning with a popout sandwiched by two strikeouts to get the save.
Game 2: Rascals 4, Freedom 2 (8) W- Treece, L- Pobereyko
In the second game, the Rascals once again struck first. This time in the fourth inning Freeman came around to score on Willi Martin’s single after his own single to lead off the inning. An inning later, the Freedom took their first lead of the day with the help of an error by Silver. In the final River City at bat, they manufactured a run in Royal-fashion. Nine-hitter Cliff Gordon reached on an error. Dominique Taylor singled. They were both moved up by a sac bunt from Johnny Morales. Finally, Kyle Gaedele tied the game with a sac fly to center. In the extra eighth inning, Martin doubled home Jurgella, pinch running for catcher Josh Ludy, and Robby Enslen.
Lucas Laster threw 4.1 scorless innings in his season debut and left with a lead. Zach Treece entered the game in the seventh and pitched around two hits to get the win.
The series concludes on Friday night with the Rascals’ Tim Koons taking on the Freedom’s Clayton Crum at 7:05 p.m.
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