FLORENCE, KY–Despite a valient effort from the offense, the River City Rascals lost the middle game of their series 12-7 to the Florence Freedom on Wednesday night at UC Health Stadium. The Rascals actually out-hit the Freedom 12-10, but a five-run third inning put them in a hole they weren’t able to recover from.
The Freedom got out to the early lead with a run scoring on a double play ball in the first inning. The Rascals tied it with a leadoff home run from Trevor Achenbach in the top of the third, but the Freedom scored five runs in the ensuing bottom of the frame, aided by two Rascals defensive errors, to go up for good. A three-run blast from Keivan Berges made it 9-2 Freedom in the bottom of the fourth, after Achenbach gave the Rascals an RBI single in the top of the frame.
JD Hearn gave the Rascals a two-run double in the top of the fifth, making it 9-4. The Freedom then got three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, on a two-run single from Jordan Brower and a passed ball. Mike Jurgella gave the Rascals a leadoff home run in the top of the seventh, and they scored two more runs in the eighth, on a wild pitch and a Freedom defensive error.
Rascals starter Jonny Ortiz (5-2) took the loss, allowing five runs, two of which were earned, in 2 2/3 innings. Freedom starter Mike Castellani took a no-decision, allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings. Reliever Eric Gleese (1-0) earned the win, going 1 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
The Rascals (38-37) look to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Freedom (38-36) tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm ET, 5:35 pm CT. Justin Garcia will make the start on the mound for the Rascals.