The River City Rascals (20-22) allowed seven runs in the seventh inning and went on to suffer
their largest defeat of the year, 11-3, in game two of the series against the Florence Freedom
(29-12) Wednesday night at UC Health Stadium.
Prior to tonight, the Rascals had not lost by eight runs or more since August 10th of last year,
and coincidentally it was also against the Freedom.
Despite scoring eleven runs, the Freedom managed just nine hits but more than doubled that
column with the amount of total baserunners as the Rascals pitching staff issued seven walks
and hit four batters.
The first half of the game featured power from both teams. A second inning home run from
Freedom second baseman Taylor Oldham gave his team a 2-0 lead before the Rascals flexed
their muscles starting in the fifth inning when Mike Jurgella clubbed a solo home run and
back-to-back doubles from Josh Silver and Josh Ludy tied the score up at two in the sixth.
On the mound for the Rascals was Hector Hernandez and he failed to keep himself out of a loss
situation when he allowed his second home run of the game to break the tie. The long ball came
off the bat of the powerful Jose Brizuela, who now leads the Freedom with eight home runs.
The sixth was the final inning for Hernandez and he would go on to take the loss, his fifth of the
year allowing four runs, earned, on five hits, walked three, including two in the first that led to a
run. He also struck out five and had one each in his first five innings.
Everything went south from that point on and the Freedom sent eleven straight batters to the
plate and faced three different Rascals pitchers before an out was recorded. During that stretch,
the Freedom scored seven runs and it all got started with a pair of tough luck singles against
reliever Matt Chavarria. The first hit was a broken bat single into center from Garrett Vail and the
second was a ground ball hit towards first that went down as infield single.
After the hits, Chavarria walked Daniel Fraga and then with the bases loaded, lost command of
a pitch and hit Oldham to extend the Freedom lead to 5-2. A two RBI single from Brizuela would
follow and after one more walk was issued in the frame, Chavarria was replaced by the newly
acquired Storm Rynard.
It was no easy task for the 2014 draft pick of the Texas Rangers as he came in with the bases
loaded and no outs trailing 7-2 for his debut in a Rascals uniform.
Unfortunately, Rynard was not the answer either as he struggled with his command walking a
pair, allowing a single and then hit Vail to end his outing without recording an out and the score
Nate Hoffmann was the next man called upon and he stopped the bleeding as he recorded
three straight outs with the bases loaded to get the Rascals back in the dugout.
During the Rascals set of at-bats in the eighth inning, Josh Silver plated Brandon Thomas via a
sacrifice fly to finalize the scoring at three runs against the Freedom starter Cody Gray who
picked up his Frontier League leading seventh win of the year.
In his eight innings, the Arizona native allowed three runs, earned, on seven hits and struck out
seven. The seven strikeouts matched his season high which he has accomplished three
Of the seven hits allowed, Josh Silver and Clint Freeman led the way with two a piece.
The loss marked the Rascals seventh straight series loss away from CarShield Field and
Thursday night they look to avoid being swept for the first time on the year.
First pitch from UC Health Stadium is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. with right-hander Tim Koons on