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Freedom suffer crushing defeat in walkoff fashion against River City, need win today to force Game 5

Back-to-back solo homers in the bottom of the ninth propelled the River City Rascals past the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, 4-3, in Game 3 of the Frontier League Championship Series on Friday night at CarShield Field.

The Freedom got on the board first.

Ricky Ramirez Jr. cranked his first home run of the postseason way out to right field off Rascals starter, Austin Dubsky, a solo-shot that helped Florence to an early 1-0 edge after half a frame.

Braxton Martines put the home team in front in its side of the first, following a one-out single from Nolan Meadows with a two-run jack to left-center.

Freedom starter, Zak Spivy, would not allow another run over his final six innings, exiting the contest having spanned seven two-run frames in which he scattered five hits and three walks while fanning eight.

After Dubsky worked quickly and efficiently through the sixth, Florence got to the right-hander one final time to knot the score at two in the top of the seventh. 

Brandon Pugh delivered the knock, lacing a two-out double down the right field line that allowed Isaac Benard to score from first. Pugh was gunned at third base attempting to stretch the hit into a triple, ending the inning with the game stalemated on the scoreboard.

Dubsky exited after seven, notching a no-decision and allowing a pair of earned runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Connor Crane made it back-to-back innings of one run scored for the Freedom in the eighth, touching righty reliever, Andrew Vernon for a solo-blast to straight away center, as Florence grabbed a 3-2 lead.

With right-hander Jared Cheek on the hill for a second inning of relief, the Rascals mounted a last stand.

After Zach Lavy popped out to first to start the frame, Tanner Murphy and Nick Anderson came up with back-to-back home runs, both solo-blasts that sealed a, 4-3, Rascals victory in walk-off fashion. 

Jason Zgardowski earned the win in relief and Cheek swallowing the loss.

The teams will square off one final time at CarShield Field on Saturday.

The Freedom have to win to force a Game 5 in Florence on Monday night. The visitors will send lefty, Mike Castellani to the bump opposite right-hander, Brendan Feldmann for River City, with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. CDT.

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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