A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Freedom sweep Miners on the road, head back to UC Health Stadium for a weekend of fan friendly events

The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, jumped out to an early advantage Thursday and played add-on in the middle innings to hold the lead and sweep the Southern Illinois Miners with a 6-4 victory at Rent One Park.

The sweep was the Freedom’s (14-4) second straight against the Miners (5-13), and the first sweep at Rent One Park in franchise history.

Logan Longwith (3-0) earned his third straight win, pitching a career-high eight innings. Andre Mercurio went 3-for-4 with four runs batted in and finished a double shy of the cycle, while Jose Brizuela and Jordan Brower recorded two hits each.

In the top of the first, following a hit-by-pitch and a Brizuela double, Mercurio drove a 3-2 pitch from Zach Cooper (1-3) over the right field wall for a three-run homer. Brower would add a two-run double in the fourth for a 5-0 Florence lead, extending his hitting streak to seven games, and Mercurio contributed a RBI-single in the fifth.

Cooper lasted five innings but surrendered six runs on seven hits and took his third straight loss. Austin Dubsky and Elvin Liriano combined for four scoreless innings in relief to keep the Miners within reach.

Southern Illinois touched Longwith for three runs in the sixth, loading the bases on a single and two walks. Ryan Lashley singled to right-center, driving in two, and Justin Chigbogu grounded into a double play, scoring a run from third.

Closer Matt Pobereyko entered for the ninth inning and walked Chigbogu in between two strikeouts. Billy Germaine singled Chigbogu to third, and Joel McKeithan grounded a single up the middle to plate a run and bring the winning run to the plate. But Pobereyko recovered to strike out Chris Fornaci and end the game, completing the three-game series sweep.

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The Freedom open a nine-game homestand Friday against the Evansville Otters. The weekend series  includes fun-filled promotions for the whole family, including Superhero Night: Girl Power, a Harry Potter inspired Fantastic Feasts Night, and Bark in the Park: Paw Patrol Edition.

The first pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Left-hander Marty Anderson (2-0) will start for the Freedom against Evansville right-hander Max Duval.

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.

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