FLORENCE, KY–The River City Rascals got off to a great start on Tuesday night at UC Health Stadium, but ultimately lost their series opener to the Florence Freedom by a score of 5-3 after allowing five unanswered runs. The Rascals still lead the season series 3-2.
The Rascals got four straight hits to start off the game, including a two-run single from Clint Freeman. They scored their third run of the first inning on a double play ball, but would not record a hit after the third inning in the loss.
The Freedom got on the board with a two-out, two-run homer from Ricky Ramirez Jr. in the bottom of the first, and took the lead on a leadoff home run from Skylar Ewing in the fourth. Jacob Wark legged out a two-out infield single in the seventh inning, setting up John Price Jr.’s go-ahead two-run blast to give the Freedom their first lead of the game, in what would be the final score.
Rascals starter Hector Hernandez (8-5) took the loss, allowing five runs in 6 2/3 innings, also striking out six. Freedom starter Jordan Kraus (7-4) got the win, rebounding from a tough first inning to go seven innings, allowing three runs and striking out seven without a walk. Closer Johnathon Tripp picked up his 10th save, retiring the side in order in the ninth.
The Rascals (38-36) look to bounce back against the Freedom (36-37) in Game 2 of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm ET. Jonny Ortiz will make the start on the mound for the Rascals.