The River City Rascals (0-2) continue their season-opening eastern road trip with a three-game series against the Florence Freedom (1-2) beginning Wednesday. To get in a complete series before the Rascals host their home opener on Friday, the pair will be playing a doubleheader on Wednesday and finishing things up with one more game on Thursday.
River City is coming off back-to-back Frontier League runner-up finishes, but are working with a largely retooled lineup. They were swept in what turned into a two-game, season-opening series in Lake Erie. The Crushers lived up to their name winning by a combined score of 10-5, including a 3-0 shutout in game 2. The third game was called off due to rain in the fifth inning with the score tied 2-2. It will be made up when Lake Erie comes to CarShield Field the last week of July.
Florence started their season with a 7-1 win over the Windy City Thunder, but then dropped the next two games 7-2 and 4-3. The series finale was a 12-inning heartbreaker. Florence rallied to tie the game in the seventh with three runs, but the Thunder advanced their runner, who opened the inning on second (by the International Rule), on a sacrifice bunt and scored him from third with a single. The Freedom ended the game with the tying run just 90 feet away.
Last season, the Freedom and Rascals were in different divisions, but with the contraction of the Rockford Aviators and Frontier Greys, Florence and River City find themselves both in the West. The Rascals finished second in their division at 56-40, and the Freedom finished third in the East at 49-47. Head-to-head, they split the season series 3-3. The Rascals won their home series 2-1, and the Freedom did the same in Florence.
Game 1: Joe Scanio (0-1, 16.20 ERA) vs. Jeremy Gooding (1-0, 1.42) Wednesday, 5:35 p.m.
Game 2: Lucas Laster (0-0, 0.00) vs. Brandon Bargas (0-0, 0.00) Wednesday, 8:05 p.m.
Game 3: Tim Koons (0-1, 3.37) vs. Clayton Crum (0-1, 14.72) Thursday, 7:05 p.m.
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