FLORENCE, Ky. -- The River City Rascals and Florence Freedom split a doubleheader on Wednesday night, with the Freedom taking the opener 6-4 before the Rascals roared back 11-1 in the night-cap. Kameron Esthay's grand slam capped the team's offensive explosion in Game 2.
In the opener, the Freedom jumped out to a 6-0 lead, thanks to a pair of home runs by Luis Pintor and a three-run shot from Connor Crane. They scored their sixth run on a passed ball. The Freedom took that lead into the top of the seventh, when the Rascals mounted a four-run rally, thanks to a solo shot from Trevor Achenbach and a three-run blast from Nolan Meadows.
The Rascals then got the potential tying runs on base before Freedom closer Johnathon Tripp retired the final two hitters in order to earn his first save of the year. Alex Winkelman (0-1) took the loss, allowing six runs in 4 2/3 innings with six walks and five strikeouts. Mike Castellani (1-0) had six shutout innings before struggling in the seventh. He finished with four earned runs allowed in 6 1/3 innings of work in the victory.
In Game 2, it was all Rascals. Esthay finished with five RBIs, including the fourth inning grand slam, and JD Hearn finished with four hits, including three doubles. Hearn drove in two runs. Trevor Achenbach and Andrew Penner each had an RBI double in the win.
Travis McQueen (1-0) was excellent, going five scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks. Eric Gleese (0-1) took the loss, allowing two earned runs in 3 2/3 innings.
The Rascals (4-2) and Freedom (3-1) play the series finale tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 p.m. CDT. Jason Zgardowski will start for the Rascals, and will be opposed by Tyler Gibson of the Freedom.