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River City Rascals snap Freedom five-game winning streak in series opener in O’Fallon

Riding the wave of a five-game winning streak, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, battled all game long but fell short in an, 8-4, loss to the River City Rascals on Friday night at CarShield Field.

Storming out of the gates, River City (43-34) took a quick, 4-0, lead after two frames.

Braxton Martinez and Trevor Achenbach following a walk to Nolan Meadows with back-to-back blasts in the first made it a three-run game after one. In the next inning, Martinez came through again, lacing an RBI-single to stretch the Rascals advantage to four.

Freedom (48-30) starter, Mike Castellani, settled in after the rocky start, ultimately landing a no-decision. Castellani finished his night with five consecutive shut-out innings.

The lefty fanned six hitters and walk two, minimizing nine hits to the tune of four earned runs.

Florence scored the next four runs, unanswered, beginning with two in the the third.

Taylor Bryant unloaded his sixth homer to dead center after a Brandon Pugh single, helping the Freedom trim the deficit in half at, 4-2.

Rascals hurler, Brendan Feldmann was strong over six, two-run innings, taking the no-decision as Florence continued to mount a late charge. The righty allowed three hits and two runs, walking a pair and whiffing five.

Austin Wobrock made it a one-run game in the seventh, belting his first homer of the year off the roof of the clubhouses in right-center as the score became, 4-3. 

The long-ball was surrendered by lefty, Taylor Purus, who would only face two batters in the frame

 With Taylor Suggs on the hill in the eighth, Caleb Lopes touched ’em all, his eighth homer of the year was a solo-shot to even the score at four going into the last of the eighth inning.

Right-handed reliever, Ryan Mordecai (3-2) took over on the mound for the Freedom in the home side of the inning, surrendering four runs on four hits as River City sprung back in front, 8-4, the eventual final.

LJ Kalawaia and Martinez each had two-RBI knocks in the frame, lining a double and single respectively, as momentum and the advantage swung back to the Rascals. Martinez finished his night 3-5 with a homer and five runs batted in, giving him 58 in total on the season.

Andrew Vernon (3-1) threw one pitch in the eighth to get one out and claim the win in relief.

These teams will collide in the middle-game of the series at CarShield Field on Saturday, first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. CDT.

Florence will send newly signed right-hander, Jackson Owens to the hill opposite lefty, Alex Winkelman (7-2, 3.09) in O’Fallon, Mo.

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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