A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Slammers rout Freedom to take first two games of series, team tries to avoid sweep today

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A four-run second inning in which the visiting Joliet Slammers batted through the order set the tone early Saturday night, as the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, suffered their worst defeat of the season by a final score of 12-2 at UC Health Stadium.

Following a perfect first inning, Freedom (21-11) starter Zach Wendorf (0-2) faced five batters in the second before recording his first out. Despite not collecting a single hit in the inning, the Slammers (14-18) took advantage of three walks and two Florence errors to build a 4-0 lead. Wendorf would recover to toss scoreless third and fourth innings, but gave up a home run to Juan Silva in the fifth before a walk and a hit-by-pitch ended his evening after just four-plus innings of work.

Edwin Gomez, Melvin Rodriguez and Alex Rodriguez would also homer for Joliet in the game, as the onslaught continued against relievers Evan Bickett, Sam Brunner and Laetten Galbraith, each of whom allowed at least one run before Matt Pobereyko struck out the side in a perfect ninth.

Slammers starting pitcher Shane Bryant (0-2) stymied the Freedom through seven innings, limiting the home team to just two runs on sacrifice flies by Ryan Rinsky and Daniel Fraga in the second and fifth innings, respectively. Reliever Gibson Russ held Florence scoreless through the final two innings.

The loss set a new season-high in runs allowed by the Freedom, and the ten-run deficit was the largest for the team all year. Jose Brizuela, Collins Cuthrell and Austin Wobrock each registered two hits, but Andre Mercurio went 0-for-4 in the game, ending his hitting streak at 10 games.

The Freedom will look to avoid the series sweep on Sunday at UC Health Stadium, with first pitch of the series finale scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Right-hander Tony Vocca (4-2) will take the mound for the Freedom against left-hander Tasker Strobel (1-1) for Joliet.

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 Freedom

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