Austin Wobrock two-out single lifts Florence to game two win
CRESTWOOD, Ill– More clutch two-out hitting helped the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, snap a three-game skid with a, 4-3, win over the Windy City Thunderbolts on Wednesday afternoon at Ozinga Field. The victory evens the four-game set at one game apiece with a doubleheader awaiting on Thursday.
The Freedom (39-24) jumped on the scoreboard first, getting a two-run infield single from Caleb Lopes, scoring Austin Wobrock and Isaac Benard from second and third in the top of the first. The knock was a come-backer up the middle, knocked down by hurler, Sean LeLand before the pitcher fell over allowing Lopes to reach, and the two runners to scamper home as the score became, 2-0.
LeLand would look sharp over five complete innings, surrendering two earned runs on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Adding to their lead in the sixth, Ricky Ramirez Jr. plated Lopes with a sacrifice-fly to center field off Bolts (27-34) reliever, Joel Toribio (2-2). One batter earlier, Andre Mercurio laid down a sac-bunt to scoot Lopes to third after a double, allowing Ramirez Jr. to small ball Florence to the, 3-0, lead.
Windy City would rally in their side of the sixth, evening the score with four singles in the frame. Chase Cockrell made it a two-run game with the second single of the inning, scoring Omar Obregon as the Freedom advantage shriveled to, 3-1. Tyler Alamo brought the home team within one with a ground-out to third, forcing Freedom starter, Daniel Williams from the game after 5.2 innings. Southpaw, Chris Erwin (1-0) took over with a runner at second in Alamo, and just one out left to find in the frame. The lefty would find the third out, but not before Taisei Fukuhara delivered an RBI-single, the run charged to Williams as the score stalemated at 3.
Williams final line featured 5.2 innings of work, six scattered hits leading to three earned runs with one walk and six whiffs. The right-hander would take the no-decision while finishing one-out shy of a quality-start.
Toribio would come back out for the seventh, beaning Ryan Rinsky to ignite a late Freedom surge. A two-out walk to Isaac Benard put runners at first and second for two-hole hitter, Austin Wobrock, who proceeded to come up with the clutch single, scoring Rinsky after a line-drive to right.
Leading, 4-3, after 6.5 innings, Florence got tremendous relief from newly signed right-hander, Hunter Robichaux and lefty, Karl Craigie. After 1.1 scoreless frames from Robichaux, Craigie emerged in search of the final two outs in the eighth. The southpaw would spin out of a second and third situation, facing just two hitters while preserving the one-run Freedom lead. Out to start a clean ninth, Craigie slammed the door on his third save of the season, facing the minimum and fanning one as Florence evened the series with a, 4-3, victory.
The Freedom and Thunderbolts will square off in a true day-night doubleheader on Thursday at Ozinga Field, capping the four-game series. Game one will start at 10:35 a.m. CDT featuring lefty, Scott Sebald (4-1, 3.85) on the hill for Florence, opposite All-Star right-hander, Tyler Thornton (4-1, 2.48) of Windy City. Game 2 will have a 7:05 p.m. first pitch, with a pair of TBD starters on both sides in Crestwood, Ill.
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.