Down 4-1 after 2 innings tonight, the Freedom scored 6 runs in the final 3 innings to win 7-4 against their hated rivals, the Southern Illinois Miners.
The Miners have been the bullies of the Frontier League this season, posting a 39-9 record before the All Star break and earning their share of enemies along the way. But after consecutive losses to the Freedom, their post break record stands at 2-4.
After losing game one of the series, Andy Clark returned to the starting rotation and delivered 7+ innings of shutout ball. The Freedom led 1-0 going into the 9th but allowed the Miners to push a run across and send the game to extras.
It was reminiscent of their June 28th game when the Freedom led 6-5 going into the 9th but surrendered a game tying home run and eventually lost in extras. This time however, the Freedom withstood the Miners efforts and won 2-1 in extra innings on an RBI hit from resurgent catcher Justin Pickett.
Tonight, they again refused to go quietly into the night. They scratched and clawed their way to 2 runs in the 7th on a 2 run, two out single by Michael Campbell to make it 4-3. In the 8th, Jimmy Baker delivered a huge two out 3 run home run to put the Freedom up for good.
The Freedom will need to build on this series victory if they still hold out hope for making the playoffs. They currently sit 9.5 games behind second place River City for the last playoff spot in the Western Division, but they still have 9 games remaining with the Rascals, so anything is possible. Their upcoming 4 games series with last place Evansville could set the table for a huge second half, or stick the final nail in the coffin of their season.
But after stuffing a seasons worth of heartbreaking losses into one half of baseball, the Freedom earned the right to celebrate this win.
And doing it against the New York Ya....er....Miners, makes it all the sweeter.