Freedom 6 Bolts 2
FLORENCE, KY – The Florence Freedom clinched their second straight playoff appearance as they defeated the ThunderBolts 6-2 at UCMC Stadium Wednesday night.
The ThunderBolts put the first three batters of the game on base but failed to score in the first and Michael Oros settled in after that. He retired ten of the next 11 batters and held the ThunderBolts down until the fifth inning.
Before the ThunderBolts picked up their first run, though, the Freedom scored two in the third. Daniel Cropper retired the first six men he faced but the streak ended when Pablo Bermudez singled to begin the third. Aljay Davis followed with a base hit and they both scored on a Cole miles sacrifice fly and Byron Wiley double, respectively.
The Freedom added a run in the fourth when Jacob Tanis walked and Bermudez singled him in.
The ThunderBolts got one back in the fifth. Kyle Robinson led off with a single, moved to third on a walk and a fielder’s choice, and scored on Evan Button’s groundout.
Florence made the lead 4-1 in the next half inning on a Junior Arrojo double and Wiley RBI single.
Windy City’s best chance to come back came in the eighth. With two outs, the Bolts got three straight singles from Ryan Soares, Chad Cregar and Zach Aakhus, with Cregar’s scoring Soares. With the tying run at second base, Jorge Marban came out of the ‘pen and struck out Andrew Brauer.
Bermudez’s two-run homer in the eighth put the game away for Florence.
Oros (7-5) allowed just one run in a season-high 6.2 innings for the win and Cropper (8-5) took the loss, giving up four runs in six innings. Marban earned his 27th save.
The season concludes with the finale of the series at UCMC Stadium on Thursday night. Brian Oliver (4-9, 4.68) will pitch for the ThunderBolts against Florence’s Andy Clark (3-0, 2.66). First pitch is scheduled for 5:35 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.