Joliet, Ill. – The Florence Freedom knocked around six extra-base hits in taking game three against The Joliet Slammers 11-6.
With the score tied at five in the seventh, Pete Levitt inherited a bases-loaded, nobody out situation, but only surrendered one run to keep the Slammers’ momentum at bay.
Trailing for the first time in the ballgame 6-5, the Freedom (22-32) bounced right back to take the lead with a five-run eighth. Josh Henderson began the rally with a single to center and Garrett Vail followed with an RBI double to right-center, tying the score at six. With the bases loaded and two away later in the inning, Oldham delivered a double to deep right field, clearing the bases and putting Florence ahead 9-6. Newell followed with another two-bagger and the Freedom led 10-6 heading to the bottom of the eighth.
The Freedom added one more in the ninth and cruised to the victory behind scoreless innings from Tony Vocca and Ethan Gibbons.
In the first inning, Newell delivered a solo line shot to right field for his second home run of the year, putting the Freedom out on front.
A two-out rally in the third pushed the Freedom ahead 2-0. Daniel Fraga reached on a bloop single and then Oldham ripped an RBI triple to left. Oldham finished the series 6-for-13 with two doubles, a triple, three runs scored, and five RBIs.
After just one hit in their first three innings, the Slammers (30-24) used three singles in the first five pitches of the fourth to tie the score at two.
The Freedom took the lead in the sixth. Newell led off the inning with a walk and stole second before coming home on the RBI double by Andrew Godbold. Henderson followed with a one-out double to plate Godbold. After a sacrifice bunt from Vail, Henderson scored on a two-out base hit from Travis Weaver.
The Slammers battled back to another tie in the bottom of the inning with four hits, including a solo shot from Carter Bell.
In the seventh, the Slammers loaded the bases with nobody out against Jeremy Hutchison, so the Freedom called upon Levitt to escape the jam. Levitt needed only two pitches to record three outs, forcing a double play and a lineout, but one run did come in to score on the double play.
Trailing 6-5, Florence outscored the Slammers 6-0 in the final two innings to take the victory.
Adkins finished his outing with six innings of five-run ball in a no decision. Pete Levitt earned the win and held Joliet’s momentum in check by only allowing one run after inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out jam.
Oldham drove in a team-high four runs, including the bases-clearing double that gave Florence the lead for good in the eighth. Andre Mercurio had three hits, while Newell, Henderson, and Weaver also posted multi-hit games.
Brent Choban took the loss for Joliet, while Bell and Jake Gronsky both totaled a pair of hits.
The Freedom stay in the Chicagoland area to face the Windy City Thunderbolts in a three-game set. In a 10:35 a.m. start tomorrow, Cody Gray (2-1, 5.66 ERA) will be on the hill against RHP Tyler Murphy (2-2, 3.40 ERA).
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The Florence Freedom are members of the 12-team professional Independent Frontier League and play a 96 game schedule, with 48 home games at UC Health Stadium, located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, Kentucky. In 2015, the Frontier League recognized the Freedom as the league’s organization of the year and awarded the team with the league’s All-Star event. The 2016 season will mark the 13th year the Freedom have played in Florence.