A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Freedom leave lots of runs on the basepaths, fall to CornBelters 2-0 at UC Health Stadium

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The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, failed to take advantage of numerous run-scoring opportunities Saturday night, stranding 12 baserunners in a 2-0 loss to the Normal CornBelters at UC Health Stadium.

The Freedom (33-20) were shut out for just the third time this season, and for the first time in a full nine-inning game, behind the pitching efforts of CornBelters (25-28) right-handers Julio Vivas (5-4) and Shawn Blackwell. Vivas fought through command problems, walking six batters, to throw seven shutout innings, while Blackwell earned the save after striking out five over the final two innings. Austin Wobrock led off the ninth inning with a walk, but the next three consecutive Florence batters struck out, allowing Normal to even the series.

The loss overshadowed a stellar performance by Cody Gray (7-2), who pitched a complete game and struck out five while walking none. Brian Hakes produced the game’s only runs, scoring Justin Fletcher from second on a fifth-inning RBI-single and homering to right field in the eighth.

The Freedom left two or more runners stranded in four different innings, including leaving the bases loaded in the sixth.

The two teams will face off in the rubber game of the series Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at UC Health Stadium. Right-hander Eric Gleese (0-1) will pitch for the Freedom against a yet-to-be-determined starter for the CornBelters.

 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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