O'FALLON, MO--The River City Rascals earned the series victory over the Florence Freedom on Sunday night, winning the finale by a final score of 5-2 at CarShield Field. The Rascals are now 5-1 against Florence this season.
The Freedom struck first, with a two-out rally in the first inning that started with a Jordan Brower double down the left field line and culminating with an RBI single from Xavier Turner to make it 1-0 Freedom. The Rascals tied the game in the fourth when Kevin Suarez, who walked and made it to third on an errant throw over from pitcher Jordan Kraus (3-3), scored on an RBI groundout from Mike Jurgella.
The Rascals then struck for four big runs in the seventh, sending eight men to the plate in the frame. With one out and the bases loaded, Zach Lavy hit into a fielder's choice, narrowly beating the throw from second base to avoid a double play and drive in Braxton Martinez. JD Hearn then delivered an RBI single, and Kevin Suarez doubled in two more to make it 5-1 Rascals. The Freedom tacked on a run in the eighth inning, but that was as close as they would get, as Rascals closer Cody Mincey retired the side in order in the ninth for his tenth save of the season.
Rascals starter Lucas Laster exited the game in the third inning with a triceps injury, and rookie reliever Ryan Orr, in his professional debut, retired all seven hitters he faced. Reliever Jonny Ortiz (2-1) earned the win, giving the Rascals 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.
Kraus, the Freedom starting pitcher, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but finished allowing four earned runs in seven innings.
The Rascals (21-17) host the Gateway Grizzlies tomorrow in a standalone game before embarking on a nine-game road trip. Dan Ludwig will start for River City and Max MacNabb will get the ball for the Grizzlies.