FLORENCE, Ky– Despite being out-hit three base knocks to one, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, found a way to scratch across a run in a thrilling, 1-0, victory over the Windy City Thunderbolts on Wednesday at Standard Bank Stadium.
Florence (4-1) southpaw, Marty Anderson (1-0), was masterful in his debut start of the season, throwing seven innings of shutout baseball while only allowing two hits and striking out six en route to his first win.
Thunderbolts (3-1) starter, Zac Westcott (0-1) carried a perfect game into the top of the sixth inning when Mike Morris ended his bid with history by working a base on balls. Westcott would lose the no-hitter and the shutout in the following frame.
With the score knotted in a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh, Connor Crane squashed the no-hitter with a seed that split the gap in left-center for a triple. Jose Brizuela then drove a sac fly to center that put Florence in front by the eventual final score, 1-0.
Freedom reliever, Eric Gleese entered the game in the eighth and after Blair Beck walked to start the frame, Gleese struck out Izzy Edwards, setting up the play of the game defensively. Trying to get a runner in scoring position, Beck attempted to steal second after Edwards failed to execute bunting him over, but was gunned down at second by Florence catcher Ryan Rinsky. Gleese was then able to coax Tim Zier into a flyout to centerfield, preserving the one run lead and seizing the games momentum.
Lefty, Pat McGrath would toe the slab in the ninth for Florence, converting his first save of the season while picking up a couple of strikeouts in the process.
These two teams will meet in the rubber game of this best of three series, on Thursday at Standard Bank Stadium. Freedom right-hander Cody Gray will duel lefty Patrick Ledet with first pitch coming at 10:35 a.m. CT.