Trevor Craport pinch-hit ground-out in the eighth plates lone run
AVON, Oh–Zak Spivy and Jared Cheek delivered stand-out performances on the hill, and the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, earned a sweep of the East Division Champion, Lake Erie Crushers on Friday night with a, 1-0, victory at Sprenger Stadium.
In a series that featured some of the best arms in the Frontier League, the Freedom (3-0) saw their right-handed starter, Zak Spivy (1-0) continue a line of outstanding outings on the hill for the Crimson and White. Spivy battled through pockets of adversity on his way to 7 shutout innings that included just a pair of Crushers (0-3) hits. Lake Erie would earn their way on working four free-passes, but did not get a hit off Spivy after the second inning.
Righty, Dylan Mouzakes made the start for the Crushers, pulled after 3.1 shutout innings of his own, handing the ball to right-handed reliever, Kent Hasler in the fourth. Hasler would wiggle his way to 2.2 scoreless frames, before righty, Augie Gallardo
Facing Dalton Geekie (0-1) in a scoreless game, the Freedom plated the only run of the game to take a, 1-0, advantage. Andre Mercurio worked a walk, and Isaac Benard punctuated a 3-3 performance with a ground-rule double to left-center, putting runners on the edges with one out. Pinch-hitting for Ryan Rinsky, Trevor Craport pushed Florence in front, grounding a ball softly towards third, Mercurio crossing home as Lake Erie third baseman, Dale Burdick recorded the out at first base. Florence recorded ten knocks offensively in Game 3, but stranded the same amount on-base in the heavyweight pitcher’s duel.
Power-righty, Jared Cheek took the ball in the bottom half of the eighth for the Freedom, recording the final six outs in short order to close the door on the one-run, 1-0, victory that propelled Florence to the Frontier League Championship Series for the second time in three seasons.
Florence will face their West Division rival, River City Rascals in the FLCS beginning on Tuesday at UC Health Stadium in Florence, Ky. Like the Freedom, River City earned a sweep of the Evansville Otters to punch their ticket to the last series of the season. Game 1 will feature a pair of TBD starting pitchers, with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. EST.
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.