Florence Freedom takes division series opener

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Florence Freedom takes division series opener

The Florence Freedom rode a four-RBI performance by Andrew Godbold and a stingy pitching effort to a 5-3, 11-inning win over the Washington Wild Things in the opening game of the divisional round on Tuesday at Wild Things Park.

With the score tied at 3-3 in the top of the eleventh inning, Collins Cuthrell pulled a one-out single into left field.

Florence had trailed in the ninth inning, 3-2, before Godbold stepped to the plate and crushed a game-tying solo home run over the left-field wall off Trevor Foss.

Foss finished with a final line of nine innings, three runs on six hits, three walks and a career-high 14 strikeouts.

The Freedom had taken a 2-0 first-inning lead, as Daniel Fraga led off the game with a walk and advanced to second on a Taylor Oldham infield single.

Florence starter Jordan Kraus worked swiftly through the first six innings, holding the two-run lead until the seventh, when he issued a leadoff walk to Kane Sweeney, followed by a two-run homer to right field by Hector Roa that tied the score for the Wild Things (0-1).

Tony Vocca (1-0) earned the win in relief by pitching three scoreless innings for the Freedom, taking over for Kraus after the seventh.

Vocca fanned six batters and gave up just two hits, and following Godbold’s go-ahead double in the eleventh, Vocca turned the game over to Pete Perez in the bottom half, where the right-hander pitched around a one-out single to seal the Game 1 victory for Florence.

The series continues Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Wild Things Park. Braulio Torres-Perez will take the mound for the Freedom against Chase Cunningham for the Wild Things.