Ricky Ramirez Jr. plates winning run with sacrifice-fly in eighth
FLORENCE, Ky– Well rested on the heels of three straight days off, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, emerged in a classic pitcher’s duel, 1-0, over the Gateway Grizzlies on Wednesday night at UC Health Stadium.
The contest was dominated by each club’s starting pitcher, lefty, Scott Sebald tossing 7.2 shut-out innings for the Freedom (42-27) while right-hander, Ian Kahaloa countered with 7 scoreless innings for Gateway (28-38). Neither starter would earn the win or loss however, swallowing a tough-luck no-decision despite earning a pair of quality starts.
Florence broke through on Grizzlies relief pitcher, Jason Seever (1-1) who saw a walk to Connor Crane loom large in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Kenny Meimerstorf singled to put runners on the edges, Brandon Pugh took over at first as a pinch-runner, promptly stealing second to put two men in scoring position. Ricky Ramirez Jr. provided the one swing of the bat the Freedom needed on the night, lifting a sacrifice-fly to center that plated Crane and gave the home team a, 1-0, lead.
Newly annointed Freedom closer, Karl Craigie took the ball in the ninth, getting three quick outs while facing the minimum en route to his fifth save of the season. Earning the win in relief was right-hander, Sean Hughes (1-0), who landed his first pro win after recording the final out in relief of Sebald in the eighth.
The final line for Sebald was 7.2 shut-out innings of five-hit baseball, with two walks and five whiffs. Kahaloa spanned seven complete while surrendering four hits and no runs with one walk and four strikeouts.
These two teams will collide in the finale of their mid-week set on Thursday, Florence trotting out right-hander, Daniel Williams (3-2, 5.01) opposite righty, Reign Letkeman (2-2, 3.07) of the Grizzlies with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. at UC Health Stadium.
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.