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Freedom shut out Wild Things in series opener, Valentino delivers another quality start

On the heels of losing two straight games for the first time all season, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, combined great pitching and consistent offense in a, 4-0, blanking of the Washington Wild Things on Friday night at Wild Things Park.

The Freedom (14-10) got right to work on Washington (9-17) starter, Troy Terzi (0-1), who was making his Frontier League debut on the bump. After striking out the first man he faced as a pro, Luis Pintor greeted the right-hander with a well-placed infield single before stealing second base. Caleb Lopes would move Pintor to third with a ground-out, allowing Ausitn Wobrock to hurt his former team with a two-out RBI-single that pushed the visitor’s in front, 1-0.

After pitching around a pair of walks in the bottom of the first, Frank Valentino (2-2) would face just three more than the minimum over his final five innings of work, exiting the game after six shutout innings that featured just four hits and six strikeouts. The quality start was the fourth of the year for Valentino, who has started five games total in his first season with Florence.

The visitors would double their lead in the fourth, courtesy an RBI-double from Pintor that nearly left the yard to left-center. Brandon Pugh would score on the play, reaching base on his first of two singles for the game.

Terzi would exit stage left after four complete frames, suffering his first professional loss with a final line that included two earned runs on six hits with two walks and a pair of whiffs.

With Zack Harvey on the mound in the fifth, the Freedom would again double their lead, thanks to a two-out, two-run single from Pugh that stretched the Freedom lead to, 4-0, the eventual final. Southpaw, Josh Lapiana would take over on the hill for the Things, spanning 4.1 clean innings to finish the night, but the Washington offense would never find a rhythm on the Freedom pitching staff.

Karl Craigie and Johnathon Tripp each tallied a score-less inning of relief after Valentino would exit, preserving the first shutout victory for Florence in 2019.

These two teams will battle in the middle-game of this weekend set on Saturday, Florence trotting out right-hander, Ryan Hill opposite, righty Michael Austin of the Wild Things. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Wild Things Park.

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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