O'FALLON, Mo. -- Despite leading 4-0 after the game's first inning, the River City Rascals dropped their season opener 7-5 in 11 innings to the Washington Wild Things on Thursday night at CarShield Field. Lucas Herbert had four hits and two RBIs on the night for Washington, and Hector Roa drove in three runs, including the go-ahead run in the eleventh. Wild Things pitchers retired the final 17 Rascals hitters in order.
JD Hearn and Trevor Achenbach had back-to-back solo homers to lead-off the bottom of the first inning for the Rascals, and Nolan Meadows added a two-run blast later in the frame. The Wild Things started to chip away at the lead in the fourth, courtesy of a run-scoring single from Herbert, and followed with a two-run home run from Preston Scott in the sixth.
After the Rascals made it 5-3 with an infield RBI single from Cody Livesay in the bottom of the sixth, the game would remain tied until the eighth inning, when Roa tied it with a two-run single to left-center field, getting thrown out at second base in the process.
In the top of the eleventh, with a runner started the inning at second base (per the International Tiebreaker rule observed by the Frontier League), Roa hit an RBI double to give Washington the 6-5 lead, and Herbert added an insurance run on his fourth hit of the game. Zach Strecker retired the side in order in the bottom of the eleventh to earn his franchise- record 42nd career save.
Alex Winkelman took a no-decision in his Rascals debut, allowing just three hits and an unearned run in five innings, walking one and striking out five. Colton Freeman (0-1) took the loss, allowing the two eleventh innings run, though only the second was earned.
Wild Things starter Michael Austin recovered after a rocky first inning to go 5 1/3, allowing five runs but striking out eight to only one walk in a no-decision. James Meeker (1-0) earned the win, pitching three perfect innings out of the bullpen with five strikeouts.
The Rascals (0-1) look to bounce back against the Wild Things (0-1) in Game 2 of the series tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 11:05 a.m. CDT. Jason Zgardowski is expected to start for River City and John Havird will get the ball for Washington.