FLORENCE ANNOUNCES RENAME THE TEAM CONTEST

Freedom Baseball Club, LLC is giving you the opportunity few fans ever get – the opportunity to help us name your professional baseball team! Submit your team name using the form here, and you just might secure your place in baseball history. If your name is chosen, we’ll set you up with Two (2) Lifetime Season Tickets.

See Official Rules for details.

The team name must have FLORENCE in it.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. The Contest runs from October 2nd, 2019 at 11:00 am Eastern Time (ET) and ends October 16th, 2019 at 11:00 am ET. Open to residents of Kentucky, Ohio & Indiana who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry. Odds of winning depends on the number of eligible entries received for the applicable drawing. See Official Rules for details.

BOSSE FIELD TO HOST #CUREFA BASEBALL GAME BETWEEN USI AND NOTRE DAME

Historic Bosse Field will serve as the host venue for the second annual #CureFA exhibition baseball game between the University of Southern Indiana and the University of Notre Dame on Saturday, Oct. 19.

First pitch between the two programs is at 2 p.m. as the exhibition game will benefit the fight against Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA).

Friedreich’s Ataxia is a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder that affects one in 50,000 people in the United States.

Most individuals have onset of symptoms of FA between the ages of 5 and 18 years but can occur anytime during adulthood. The Friedreich’s’s Ataxia Research Alliance is supporting research that will improve the quality and length of life for those diagnosed with FA and will lead to treatments that eliminate its symptoms. More information about FA can be found at CureFA.org.

Tickets for the exhibition game from Bosse Field are available now and are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the following locations: the USI Athletics Office, Notre Dame Baseball Office, Southern Indiana Athletic Conference (SIAC) Baseball Programs, and all Banterra Bank Evansville/Newburgh locations. Fans also can purchase tickets online at curefa.org/USIBaseball.

Bosse Field concessions will be open for the exhibition game October 19.

Historic Bosse Field is located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. For more information, visit gousieagles.com or call (812) 465-7165.

Rascals Go Out On Top

The River City Rascals defeated the Florence Freedom 7-5 in Game 5 of the Frontier League Championship Series on Monday night, earning their second league title, and first since 2010. The championship marks the end of the team’s 21-year run in O’Fallon, as they announced in August that they would cease operations at the end of the season. Outfielder LJ Kalawaia was named the FLCS MVP, and hit a key two-run double in a pivotal six-run seventh inning.

The Freedom jumped out to an early start, getting an RBI single from Isaac Benard in the first inning. The Rascals responded with an RBI single from Tanner Murphy in the fourth, before the Freedom regained the lead with a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.

After Ricky Ramirez Jr.’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Freedom a 3-1 lead, the Rascals rattled off six in the seventh, getting an RBI single from James Morisano, Kalawaia’s two-run double, a two-run triple from Kameron Esthay, and a sacrifice fly from Zach Lavy to take a 7-3 lead.

The Freedom were able to rally for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, before Andrew Vernon got Brandon Pugh to pop-up to Lavy at first to seal the victory and earn the save.

Rascals starter Jason Zgardowski allowed two runs over 4 1/3 innings in a no-decision, while Anthony Herrera (1-0) earned the win. The Rascals also got two key innings of relief from Taylor Ahearn. Freedom starter Scott Sebald (2-1) took the loss, allowing three earned runs over 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

FIGHTING FREEDOM FORCE GAME 5 BACK IN FLORENCE

Connor Crane belts eventual game winning homer in fifth

O’FALLON, Mo– Connor Crane crushed a fifth inning solo-homer and the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, held on to win, 3-2, over the River City Rascals in Game 4 of the Frontier League Championship Series on Saturday night at CarShield Field. In victory, the Freedom force a winner take all Game 5 at UC Health Stadium in Florence, Ky on Monday night.

River City (2-2) started the scoring in the bottom of the second, touching Freedom (2-2) left-hander, Mike Castellani (2-1) for one-run to take a, 1-0, edge into the third. Zach Lavy earned the RBI, dropping a single to center that plated Trevor Achenbach who reached via a walk to start the frame.

Florence stormed in front in the top of the fourth, coming up with three straight, two-out singles off Brendan Feldmann (2-1) that saw the visitors take a, 2-1, advantage. Andre Mercuiro came up with the first, and scored on an ensuing single to left-center from Isaac Benard, L.J. Kalwaia fumbling the ball in center as the score stalemated at one. With Benard at second after the error, Trevor Craport laced a one-bagger of his own to center field, Kalawaia throwing up the third base line as Benard scored the go ahead run.

Trailing, 2-1, in the home side of the fourth, Kalawaia launched a solo-homer to right-center to even the score again at two apiece. Kalawaia would record three hits in the Rascals loss.

Crane delivered a quick answer in the top of the fifth, unloading on his third homer of the postseason, and second in as many nights, way back to left-center off Feldmann as Florence took the, 3-2, lead they would not relinquish.

Feldmann would step asidie after six innings, allowing three runs, two earned on seven hits with one walk and ten whiffs in defeat.

Castellani would span seven two-run innings on three days rest, stepping up to deliver a quality-start with the Freedom season on the line. The crafty lefty struck out two and walked one, scattering six hits and two runs over his seven frames on the way to victory. Florence closer, Karl Craigie earned the save, going the final two innings and tallying three strikeouts. The save is number four of the postseason for Craigie, Florence totaling five saves in five wins this postseason.

The Freedom win sets up a winner take-all Game 5 of the Frontier League Championship Series on Monday night at UC Health Stadium in Florence. The Freedom will trot-out left-hander, Scott Sebald (2-0, 1.39) opposite a TBD starter for the Rascals, with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. ET.

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.

Anderson Walks-Off Freedom in Game 3

O’FALLON, Mo. — The River City Rascals pulled off an incredible comeback on Friday night, defeating the Florence Freedom 4-3 in Game 3 of the Frontier League Championship Series. Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Tanner Murphy and Nick Anderson hit back-to-back homers to stun the Freedom and take a 2-1 series advantage in walk-off fashion.

The Freedom jumped out to an early lead, getting a solo shot from Ricky Ramirez Jr. in the top of the first, before Braxton Martinez put the Rascals in front with a two-run blast of his own in the bottom of the frame. Neither team scored again until the seventh, when the Freedom tied the game on an RBI double from Brandon Pugh, and took the lead on Connor Crane’s go-ahead homer in the eighth.

Rascals starter Austin Dubsky allowed two runs over seven innings with seven strikeouts in a no-decision, while Jason Zgardowski (1-0) earned the win after pitching a scoreless top of the ninth. Freedom starter Zak Spivy also went seven innings, allowing two runs while striking out nine. Jared Cheek (0-1) took the loss, allowing the tying and winning homers.

The Rascals will try to finish off the best-of-five series in Game 4 tomorrow night, as they look to win their second Frontier League championship. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. CDT from CarShield Field.

FREEDOM DO IT ALL IN GAME TWO WIN

FLCS evens at one game apiece as the series moves to O’Fallon, Mo on Friday

FLORENCE, Ky– Relentless early offense and a dominant Scott Sebald on the bump, helped the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, to a Frontier League Championship Series evening, 6-4, win over the River City Rascals on Wednesday night at UC Health Stadium.

Experienced lefty, Scott Sebald (2-0) set an early tone on the hill for the Freedom (1-1), stranding Andrew Penner at second en route to a clean top of the first that included a pair of strikeouts. The southpaw would go on to fan nine batters over seven strong innings in which River City (1-1) scored one run.

On the heels of the quick top half of the first, Florence quickly got to work on offense, plating three runs off Rascals right-hander, TaylorAhearn (1-1) in their side of the frame. Caleb Lopes, who would go on to record his first four hit game of the season, handed the home team an early, 1-0, advantage, following a walk to Ricky Ramirez Jr. with an RBI-double that plugged the gap in left-center field. Not done there, Andre Mercurio netted a single that moved Lopes to third, and Isaac Benard plated Mercurio with a fielder’s choice. Jumping ahead, 3-0, next, it was Brandon Pugh who laced a double down the line in right, Benard touching home as the Freedom seized control out of the gates.

The Rascals would get one run back in their side of the second, Nick Anderson maximizing an L.J. Kalawaia single by shooting an RBI-double off the base of the wall in left-center. Zach Lavy, who reached on a walk in the frame, would try to make it a two-run knock, but was gunned at the plate for the third out of the inning.

Leading, 3-1, three more Freedom runs would score off Ahearn in the third, the pitcher stepping aside after recording one out in the inning. Lopes and Mercurio started the inning with a pair of singles, the latter moving runners to first and third. Benard followed with a sacrifice-fly to plate Lopes, and Ryan Rinsky tapped an infield single that saw River City shortstop, Trevor Achenbach throw wildly to first, allowingMercurio to scamper across home as the score moved to, 5-1. Austin Wobrock added a sacrifice-fly two batters later, the Crimson and White earning a five-run advantage at, 6-1.

Ahearn suffered the loss, his first of the postseason, totaling 2.1 innings of work and allowing six runs, five earned, on six hits with one walk and a pair of punch-outs.

With Florence still in front by five after six innings, right-hander, Jared Cheek took over on the bump for Sebald. The starter, Sebald, scattered six hits over six one-run innings in victory, walking two and whiffing nine. Going back to his final start against River City in the regular-season, Sebald has now struck-out 19 Rascals in his last two starts against the club.

Cheek would run into some trouble in the seventh, as River City mounted a late charge that saw the visitors score the final three runs of the game unanswered. After a walk and a pair of singles from Tanner Murphy and Penner loaded the bases with nobody out, Nolan Meadows plated one grounding into a 3-6-1 double-play as the score shifted to, 6-2. Martinez added one more in the inning, rolling an RBI-single to center, the run batted in the first of the postseason for the Rascals three-hole hitter.

Karl Craigie emerged in search of a two inning save in the eighth, corralling the River City offense in his first inning of work. Anderson jumped on a first pitch fastball to start the ninth, however, the solo-homer becoming the first pro dinger for Anderson. Craigie would calm down, retiring the side to earn his third save of the postseason and stalemate the FLCS at one game apiece.

A travel day awaits on Thursday, before Game 3 goes underway in O’Fallon, Mo on Friday night at CarShield Field. Florence will trot-out right-handerZak Spivy (1-0, 0.00) while the Rascals counter with righty, Austin Dubsky (1-0, 0.00) with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m.

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.

Rascals Take FLCS Opener

FLORENCE, Ky. — The River City Rascals took Game 1 of the Frontier League Championship Series 5-2 over the Florence Freedom on Tuesday night, getting seven solid innings from starting pitcher Brendan Feldmann and taking advantage of three costly Freedom errors.

The Rascals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single from Nolan Meadows in the third inning. They scored three more in the fourth, getting an RBI single from Tanner Murphy where an additional run scored on a Freedom throwing error from left fielder Isaac Benard, which was followed by an RBI single from Nick Anderson. Florence got on the board in the sixth on a double play ball, and made it 4-2 on Austin Wobrock’s sacrifice fly in the seventh. The Rascals added an insurance run in the eighth, when Braxton Martinez scored on a throwing error by Freedom second baseman Caleb Lopes.

Feldmann (2-0) earned his second win of the postseason, allowing just a single earned run over seven innings with a walk and seven strikeouts. Rascals relievers Andrew Vernon and Jason Zgardowski combined to retire the final six hitters in order, with Zgardowski earning his third save of the playoffs.

Freedom starter Mike Castellani (1-1) took the loss, allowing four runs, two earned, over five innings with five strikeouts.

The Rascals look to take the commanding 2-0 lead against the Freedom in Game 2 of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 p.m. CDT from UC Health Stadium. Taylor Ahearn will take the mound for the Rascals, and will be opposed by Scott Sebald of the Freedom. Tickets for Game 3 of the series at CarShield Field on Friday night are available here: bit.ly/2kD8nWH.

FREEDOM SHUTOUT CRUSHERS TO SWEEP DIVISIONAL SERIES

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 rightyAugie Gallardo struck out every batter he faced over 1.1 innings to setup the decisive eighth.

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.

Rascals Complete FLDS Sweep

The River City Rascals defeated the Evansville Otters 4-2 in Game 3 of their Frontier League Division Series matchup at Bosse Field on Friday night to complete the series sweep and advance to the Frontier League Championship series. LJ Kalawaia’s fourth inning homer proved to be the difference.

The Otters scored first, on an error by Rascals’ shortstop Trevor Achenbach in the bottom of the third, before Kalawaia’s three-run shot in the top of the fourth put the Rascals ahead for good. The Otters were able to make it a one-run game in the seventh, on an RBI single from Tanner Wetrich, before Zach Lavy gave the Rascals an insurance run with a lead-off homer in the top of the ninth.

Rascals starter Austin Dubsky (1-0) allowed just a single unearned run over 5 1/3 innings in a winning effort. Otters starter Jake Welch (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs over 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts. Jason Zgardowski earned the save, leaving two runners stranded in the ninth to seal the victory.

The Rascals are now off until Tuesday, when they will begin the Frontier League Championship Series on the road against the Florence Freedom at UC Health Stadium.

FLORENCE RALLIES TO TWO GAME LEAD

Luis Pintor and Mike Castellani lead Freedom to brink of sweep

FLORENCE, Ky– A masterful effort on the mound merged with timely hitting as the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, earned a two game lead on the Lake Erie Crushers in the Divisional Round of the Frontier League Playoffs Wednesday night at UC Health Stadium.

In contrast to game one, Lake Erie (0-2) enjoyed the first advantage, plating a run off Mike Castellani (1-0) in the top of the fourth inning, helped by a Freedom (2-0) error. Steven Kraft led-off the inning by reaching base when a soft line-drive popped out of the mitt of Florence shortstop, Austin Wobrock. Jake Vieth made the miscue hurt, knocking a run-scoring double down the line in right three batters later, landing the Crushers a, 1-0, lead.

Facing southpaw, Patrick Ledet, the Freedom responded immediately, stalemating the score at one after four. Following a single and stolen base by Isaac Benard, Taylor Bryant evened the affair, serving a line-drive single to center field. Ledet would exit having crossed the century mark in pitches after four innings, handing the ball to Logan Lombana (0-1) to start the bottom of the fifth. The lefty, Ledet, earned a no-decision, surrendering one earned run on four hits with one walk and five whiffs in the abbreviated start.

Lake Erie would take their second lead of the night in the top side of the fifth, thanks to a solo-shot from Aaron Hill that sailed over the wall in right field.

Trailing, 2-1, in the bottom half, Florence saw Luis Pintor unload on a solo-blast of his own, the line-drive clearing the second row of signage in right-center to knot the score at 2. The Freedom mounted one last charge in the seventh, forcing Lake Erie to use three pitchers in a four-run barrage that featured all nine hitters coming to the plate.

Lombana started the frame, but was pulled after Trevor Craport wore a pitch and was bunted to second by Wobrock. Right-handerAugie Gallardo emerged in search of the final two outs, but recorded only one as Luis Pintor laced an RBI-double to the right-center power-alley, before scoring himself on a two-run single by Andre Mercurio.

With the Freedom ahead, 5-2, Seth Lucio entered the game with Florence down to their final out in the bottom of the seventh. Bryan DeLaRosa helped the Freedom tack on one more run of insurance, throwing wildly to second base ahead of Mercurio, who was on the move when Lucio threw a pay-off pitch to Benard. The pitch was ruled ball four, but the error allowed Caleb Lopes to score from third as the Freedom took a, 6-2, advantage.

In search of a complete-game, Castellani toed the rubber to start the ninth, pulled in favor of Karl Craigie after back-to-back singles to start the inning from Dale Burdick and Zach RacusinCastellani was masterful, earning his first win of the postseason with a final line that featured two runs, one earned, on eight hits with no walks and eight punch-outs over 8 innings.

Craigie worked fast, stranding both runners on base en route to slamming the door on the two-run, Game 2 victory. The closer did not allow a hit and fanned one batter.

The series will now shift to Avon, Oh and Sprenger Stadium for Game 3 and the if necessary Game 4 and 5. First pitch of Game 3 Friday night is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET and will feature Freedom rightyZak Spivy opposite a TBD starter for the Crushers.

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.

Rascals Win Game 2 Thriller

O’FALLON, Mo. — The River City Rascals withstood a late rally to defeat the Evansville Otters 4-3 on Wednesday night in Game 2 of their Frontier League Divison Series matchup, taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Neither team scored through the first three innings, and after Otters starter Tyler Beardsley retired ten hitters in-a-row following a lead-off single, the Rascals got three straight hits with one out in the bottom of the fourth to load the bases. Zach Lavy then delivered a two-run double to put the Rascals in front. Nolan Meadows added a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth to bring the Rascals lead to 4-0.

The Otters then struck for three runs in the seventh however, all with two outs. Dakota Phillips put them on the board with a bases-loaded walk, and Rob Calabrese made it a one-run game with a two-run double. Evansville then had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth inning, and attempted to tie the game on a long fly ball to right field, but Kameron Esthay made the grab and delivered a dart to the plate to retire the runner tagging from third, ending the inning. Jason Zgardowski left two runners stranded in the top of the ninth to finish off a six-out save, striking out the side to seal the victory.

Rascals starter Taylor Ahearn (1-0) went five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with five strikeouts in a winning effort. Beardsley (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs over 5 1/3 innings while striking out nine without issuing a walk.

After an off-day on Thursday, the series shifts to Bosse Field in Evansville for Game 3 on Friday night, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. CDT. Austin Dubsky will take the mound for the Rascals as they look to finish off the sweep and advance to the Frontier League Championship Series.

Rascals Blast Otters in Playoff Opener

O’FALLON, Mo. — The River City Rascals kicked off their 2019 postseason run in style on Tuesday night at CarShield Field, defeating the Evansville Otters 10-2 in Game 1 of their Frontier League Divisional Series matchup. Nolan Meadows hit a pair of two-run homers while Brendan Feldmann pitched a complete game in the victory.

The Otters actually struck first, scoring two runs on an error by Rascals shortstop Trevor Achenbach in the top of the first. Achenbach, the normal second baseman for the team, made his first start of the season at the position due to an injury to the throwing arm of Andrew Penner. Achenbach atoned for the defensive miscue in the bottom of the frame, however, driving in a run on a fielder’s choice and scoring himself on an RBI single from LJ Kalawaia.

It was all Rascals from there, as they made it 5-2 in the third, scoring two runs on a fielder’s choice from Kameron Esthay thanks to a throwing error from Otters’ shortstop JJ Gould. Zach Lavy added an RBI single. Meadows’ first blast came in the fourth, and he hit another two-run shot in the eighth, after Tanner Murphy homered to lead-off the inning.

Rascals starter Brendan Feldmann (1-0) was nothing short of dominant in a complete game effort, allowing just two unearned runs on two hits, the last of which came in the third inning. He struck out 11 and only issued a single walk, retiring the final 16 Otters hitters in order to close out the game.

Otters starter Brandyn Sittinger (0-1) took the loss, allowing seven runs, four earned, over 3 1/3 innings.

The Rascals will look to take the commanding 2-0 series lead tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT. Taylor Ahearn is expected to start for the Rascals, and will be opposed by Evansville’s Tyler Beardsley.

FREEDOM TAKE GAME ONE FROM CRUSHERS

Scott Sebald allows one run over seven strong innings in victory

FLORENCE, Ky– Scott Sebald delivered a quality-start and the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, outlasted the Lake Erie Crushers, 4-2, in game one of the Frontier League Divisional Round on Tuesday night at UC Health Stadium.

The Freedom (1-0) scored the first run of the game off lefty, Jared Koenig (0-1) in the bottom of the second, Ryan Rinsky rolling a fielder’s choice to third that saw a play at the plate go the way of the home team. Breaking on contact, Andre Mercurio slide in safely as the ball popped out of the tagging mitt of Bryan DeLaRosa behind the plate, Florence moving in front, 1-0, over Lake Erie (0-1). Adding to their advantage in the third, regular-season club leader in homers, Connor Crane, drove a big-fly off the scoreboard in left-center, his solo-shot off Koenig pushing the Freedom ahead by a pair. Later in the frame, Caleb Lopes and Mercurio came up with back-to-back doubles to score one more, the game becoming a three-run affair at, 3-0.

On the heels of six shut-out innings, the Crushers got to Sebald in the seventh, scoring one to close within two. With two outs, Dre Hubbard delivered an RBI-double to right-center, Zach Racusin crossing home before Hubbard was gunned down at third to end the inning.

Koenig would be relieved in the seventh, finishing his night having logged a quality-start. The lefty spanned six frames and allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and a pair of whiffs in defeat.

Sebald stepped aside after seven, allowing one run on five hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in his first victory of the postseason. Jared Cheek would toss the eighth, fanning the side in order.

Leading, 3-1, in the bottom of the eighth and facing right-handed reliever, Kent Hasler, Isaac Benard delivered one more run of insurance with a clutch two-out single up the middle. Mercurio, who reached base in all four at-bats and added two stolen bases, scored from second on the Benard knock, helping the Freedom to a, 4-1, advantage.

Closer, Karl Craige emerged for Florence in the ninth, and saw the bases get loaded with one out. DeLaRosa proceeded to lift a sacrifice-fly to right, scoring Logan Farrar who walked to lead-off the inning as the score moved to, 4-2, the eventual final. Swinging at the first pitch, Hubbard flew out to center to end the game, Lake Erie leaving the tying runs on base in the two-run Freedom victory.

The Divisional Round of the Frontier League playoffs will continue on Wednesday, Florence trotting out left-hander, Mike Castellani (9-2, 2.66) opposite southpaw, Patrick Ledet (6-4, 2.34) of the Crushers. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. EST at UC Health Stadium in Florence, Ky.

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.

FLORENCE’S CONOR CRANE AND JOLIET’S DAREN OSBY EARN WEEKLY HONORS

Florence Freedoms first baseman Connor Crane and Joliet Slammers right-hander Daren Osby have won this week’s Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. These awards are chosen by Pointstreak, who is the official statistical provider of the Frontier League and the Independent Professional Baseball Federation.

Crane has won his first Player of the Week award in the final week of 2019. He ended the week hitting .471 with a 1.245 OPS. In five games, Crane had eight hits, including three triples, drove in eight and stole four bases. The Freedom slugger recorded a hit and RBI in all five games during the week and in 8 straight games.

The 25-year old is in his second season, but first full season with the Freedom. Crane hit .260 on the season with 11 home runs and drove in 61. Since the beginning of August Crane has raised his batting average 47 points with 28 hits and 17 RBI. The Parker, Colorado native is in his 4th professional season after finishing his college career at McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Osby earned his first Pitcher of the Week of 2019. In his one start he pitched a 10 inning complete game. He only gave up one run on 118 pitches. The righty struck out 12 while only giving up 5 hits, giving him a .5 WHIP and a .147 batting average against. Osby is 3-1 in his last five starts with a 2.75 ERA. During that 36 innings stretch, he has sturck out 43 and only walked 10.

The 23-year old righty finished the year with a 4-6 record and a 2.95 ERA. In 116 innings, struck out 122 batters. His ERA, inning pitched, and strikeouts all rank in the top 10 in the League. Osby joined the Slammers in 2018 from Troy University where he went 12-6 with a 4.59 ERA in two seasons.

Pointstreak provides the league with its statistical software and in game scoring applications. They aim to deliver “fast scores and cool stats to players, parents, fans, scouts and media.” For more information on Pointstreak products visit them at www.poinstreaksolutions.com or www.pointstreak.com.

The Frontier League is in its 27th season in 2019 and features ten teams stretching from Pennsylvania to Missouri and from Kentucky to the Great Lakes. The Frontier League annually advances the most players to MLB organizations of any of the independent leagues, and 37 former Frontier League players have played in the Major Leagues.

Otters tie franchise record with 57th win

MARION, Ill. – The Evansville Otters picked up their fourth straight win Friday as the Otters beat the Southern Illinois Miners 4-1 to tie a franchise record with their 57th win this season.

With two games remaining, the Otters will have an opportunity to surpass the franchise’s single season wins mark that was previously set in 2014.

With the win, the Otters also eliminated the Miners from postseason contention, clinching a postseason berth for the River City Rascals.

Otters starting pitcher Tyler Beardsley set the tone from the mound on Friday, outdueling the Frontier League’s Pitcher of the Year in the Miners’ Chase Cunningham.

Evansville earned an early tally against Cunningham in the first inning. Keith Grieshaber singled and scored on Ryan Long’s RBI double to give the Otters a 1-0 lead.

Beardsley would cruise through the first five innings with one run of support behind him, allowing only two hits and retiring seven batters in a row from the third to the fifth innings.

The Otters tacked on their second run on a two-out RBI double from Elijah MacNamee to score David Cronin, extending the Otters’ lead to two.

Southern Illinois’ Kirvin Moesquit led off the bottom of the sixth inning reaching third base an Otters’ error. Mosequit would come around to score on a sac fly from Yeltsin Gudino to cut the Otters’ lead in half.

In the top of the seventh, Rob Calabrese led off with a huge solo home run, recording his 10th homer of the season, putting the Otters’ advantage back to two at 3-1.

With two outs in the seventh, Cunningham was pulled, going 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with a walk and four strikeouts. He earned the loss, dropping his record to 10-5. He finishes with the most innings pitched, wins, and strikeouts in the Frontier League.

Beardsley pitched into the eighth, and after a 13-pitch walk to Kirvin Moesquit, Beardsley was pulled with two outs. He finished with 7.2 innings pitched, allowing only three hits and an unearned run with five strikeouts. He earned his ninth win of the season, improving to 9-5.

Drew Beyer came on in relief and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to earn his first save of the season.

The Otters’ magic number to clinch a West Division title is at one. A win by the Otters or a Florence Freedom loss on Saturday would clinch the division and the top spot for the Otters as Evansville owns the tiebreaker over Florence, and the Freedom do not play on Sunday.

The Otters are seeking to win their first Frontier League division title since 1999.

First pitch Saturday is at 6:05 p.m. CT from Rent One Park in Marion, Ill.

Broadcast coverage can be found on the radio at 91.5 WUEV-FM or WUEV.org with Dave Nguyen (play-by-play) on the call.

The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.

The Evansville Otters want to thank all fans and corporate partners for their support and help in making the Otters’ 25th anniversary season a success.

To purchase a playoff pass or a group outing, call (812) 435-8686 or visit the Bosse Field front office at 23 Don Mattingly Way, Evansville, Ind. The front office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.

The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

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Wednesday, October 2

 

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