WASHINGTON, Pa. — The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, rode a four-RBI performance by Andrew Godbold and a stingy pitching effort to a 5-3, 11-inning win over the Washington Wild Things in the opening game of the divisional round on Tuesday at Wild Things Park.
With the score tied at 3-3 in the top of the eleventh inning, Collins Cuthrell pulled a one-out single into left field. Andre Mercurio followed with a walk, and Godbold gave the Freedom (1-0) the lead by driving a Zach Strecker (0-1) pitch to the wall in center field, scoring both runners.
Florence had trailed in the ninth inning, 3-2, before Godbold stepped to the plate and crushed a game-tying solo home run over the left-field wall off Trevor Foss. Foss finished with a final line of nine innings, three runs on six hits, three walks and a career-high 14 strikeouts.
The Freedom had taken a 2-0 first-inning lead, as Daniel Fraga led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a Taylor Oldham infield single. Cuthrell lined a double to right field to score Fraga, and Oldham scored two batters later on a Godbold groundout to shortstop.
Florence starter Jordan Kraus worked swiftly through the first six innings, holding the two-run lead until the seventh, when he issued a leadoff walk to Kane Sweeney, followed by a two-run homer to right field by Hector Roa that tied the score for the Wild Things (0-1). Kraus then walked Kyle Pollock, and Mike Hill gave Washington its first lead of the game by doubling to the warning track in left-center.
Tony Vocca (1-0) earned the win in relief by pitching three scoreless innings for the Freedom, taking over for Kraus after the seventh. Vocca fanned six batters and gave up just two hits, and following Godbold’s go-ahead double in the eleventh, Vocca turned the game over to Pete Perez in the bottom half, where the right-hander pitched around a one-out single to seal the Game 1 victory for Florence.
The series continues Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Wild Things Park. Braulio Torres-Perez will take the mound for the Freedom against Chase Cunningham for the Wild Things.
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.