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Freedom Swept in Series at Evansville

It wasn’t a good series for the Florence Freedom (5-4) and for pitchers named Stephens.

Two days after Jake Stephens gave up 10 runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings, Coleman Stephens (2-1) suffered a similar fate, giving up seven runs on 11 hits in six innings as the Freedom fell to the Evansville Otters (7-2) by a score of 8-4 Sunday night at historic Bosse Field.

The Otters swept the series from the Freedom and Florence moves to 1-8 over the past two years at Bosse Field.

For the second straight night, the Freedom took the lead in the first inning and for the second straight night, Evansville rallied to take the lead in the second. Austin Newell led off the game with a double. He moved to third on a Jake Luce grounder and scored on a Cody Bishop sacrifice fly. But in the second inning, the Otters scored two runs as Cory Urquhart hit a sacrifice fly and a wild throw home from the outfield allowed a second run to score.

Florence tied it in the third as Bishop drew a bases loaded walk. But a double play limited them to the one run. Evansville starter Tyler Vail (1-0) got away with walking seven batters as he went six inning to pick up the win.

The Otters took the lead for good in the fourth as Jaime Del Valle and Jeff Birkofer hit back-to-back RBI doubles to put the Otters up 4-2.

They tacked on three more runs in the fifth on a Josh Allen RBI grounder and another Del Valle double that drove in two runs.

Florence did tally two runs in the sixth on RBI singles from Michael Pair and Travis Weaver, but that would be the end of their scoring on the night. The Otters tallied their final run in the seventh on an Urquhart RBI single.

The Freedom have an off day on Monday before taking on the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, IL on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m.

Staff report/Photo: Bosse Field (RCN file)