FLORENCE, Ky. -- The River City Rascals were walked-off by the Florence Freedom in a back-and-forth middle game of their series on Saturday night, losing 7-6. Isaac Benard delivered the game-winning hit for the Freedom to tie the series at a game apiece. The Rascals committed a season-high six errors in the loss.
The Freedom jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the second inning. Benard scored on the Rascals' second error of the inning, and Connor Crane scored on a passed ball on a dropped third strike that would have been the third out of the inning. Benard added a sacrifice fly in the third to put the Freedom up 3-0. The Rascals then struck for five runs in the sixth, all with two outs. Andrew Penner drove in two on a single and Braxton Martinez put the Rascals up 5-3 with a three-run double later in the frame.
However, the Freedom re-gained the lead on a wild, three-run play in the bottom of the frame. With runners at second and third, Austin Wobrock hit a come-backer to Rascals pitcher Taylor Ahearn, who tossed to third after getting the lead runner in a rundown. The throw went down the left field line, and as left fielder Nick Anderson tried to throw out the second runner out at the plate, the ball got away from catcher James Morisano, allowing Wobrock to score.
The Rascals got an RBI single from Nolan Meadows in the eighth to tie the game 6-6, and had the bases-loaded with nobody out but failed to score again in the inning. The Freedom got two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, on a hit and an error, setting up Bernard's heroics.
Ahearn allowed six runs, four earned, over 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts in a no-decision.Taylor Sugg (2-1) took the loss, striking out the side in order in the eighth but allowing the winning run in the ninth.
Freedom starter Scott Sebald also had a no-decision, allowing two runs over five innings with seven strikeouts. Karl Craigie (5-2) earned the win, pitching two scoreless innings out of the Freedom bullpen.
The Rascals (48-36) and Freedom (50-35) play the rubbermatch of their series tomorrow afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:35 p.m. CDT from UC Health Stadium.