SAUGET, Ill. — The Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, rode early momentum to a 10-6 victory over the Gateway Grizzlies on Sunday night at GCS Ballpark, sweeping a three-game series from Gateway for the second time this season.
Two walks and a throwing error by Grizzlies (10-30) starter Ja’Vaun West (1-4) in the top of the first inning gifted the Freedom (27-12) the game’s first run, and Collins Cuthrell added a sacrifice fly to grant Marty Anderson (6-1) a 2-0 lead before the left-hander took the mound.
After Gateway retaliated with a Chase Simmons RBI-single in the second, the Freedom re-extended their lead in the third on a RBI-double off the left field wall by Jose Brizuela and a two-run homer by Andre Mercurio. The Grizzlies would not come closer than within three runs of Florence for the remainder of the evening.
Brizuela and Taylor Oldham led the Freedom with three hits each, while the latter also drove in two runs and scored three times. Austin Wobrock went 1-for-4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, while Daniel Fraga went 0-for-2 with three walks, halting his team-best hitting streak at 12 games. Garrett Vail homered in the ninth inning off reliever Kyle Uhrich, giving Vail his third home run in four games, and his fifth of the season.
The Freedom’s offensive attack handed West a season-high nine runs (eight earned) in just his second start of the season. The right-hander struck out six, but allowed eight hits and four walks over a laborious six innings.
Anderson moved into a tie for the Frontier League lead with his sixth win, pitching five and two-thirds innings and striking out a season-high eight batters.
The Freedom will next open a three-game series at home against the River City Rascals on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at UC Health Stadium. Jordan Kraus (5-3) will start for Florence against River City’s Ryan Smith (0-0).
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.