BALANCED TEAM EFFORT IMPRESSES IN HOME OPENER

FLORENCE, Ky. — The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, were clicking on all cylinders for Wednesday’s home opener in an 8-2 victory over the Southern Illinois Miners at UC Health Stadium.

With the Freedom trailing 1-0, Andrew Godbold hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning off Miners (2-2) starter Zach Cooper (1-1), and the Freedom (4-0) rode a total of 10 hits and another strong start from Jordan Kraus (2-0) to a fourth straight win.

Godbold’s team-leading total of three hits also included a sixth-inning RBI-double, and Andre Mercurio drove in a pair of runs to help lead Florence past the Miners. Kraus held Southern Illinois to just two runs on three hits and earned the win after one scoreless inning each from Patrick McGrath and Jalen Miller shut the door.

Cooper exited after just four and one-third innings for the Miners after surrendering four runs on four hits and three walks. Southern Illinois’ bullpen did not prove efficient either, yielding a combined four runs (two earned) on six hits over the final three and two-thirds innings.

The Miners return to UC Health Stadium Thursday for a doubleheader, with the first game beginning at 5:35 p.m. Tony Vocca (1-0) will face Corey Sessions (0-0) in the first game, and right-hander Logan Longwith will pitch for the Freedom in the second game against a yet-to-be-announced Miners starter.

Group tickets and season ticket plans are currently on sale for the 2017 campaign. Fans can guarantee seating for premium promotional dates by calling the Freedom at 859-594-4487.