Boomers Edged in Epic Game Three

Saturday, September 16, 2017
by Tim Calderwood

FLORENCE, KY – The Schaumburg Boomers, presented by Wintrust Community Banks, dropped an epic third game of the Frontier League Championship series when the Florence Freedom scored two runs without a hit in the bottom of the 12th to tally a 4-3 win and pull within 2-1 in the best-of-five series.

Florence opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Andrew Godbold connected on an opposite field homer to right against Schaumburg starter Joe Hauser to make the score 1-0. Neither team scored until the sixth as the starting pitchers battled pitch for pitch on the mound.

Frontier League MVP David Harris drew a walk with one out in the top of the sixth and promptly swiped second, his third steal of the playoffs. Zack Weigel singled and Josh Gardiner was able to tie the game with a fielder’s choice as the throw to the plate bounced away from Florence catcher Garrett Vail. Florence took the lead again in the bottom of the inning. Godbold doubled to start and scored on a fielder’s choice from Austin Wobrock.

Schaumburg was able to tie the game once more in the top of the eighth. Weigel walked with one away, and moved to third on a single from Gardiner but was thrown out attempting to score the tying run on a single off the bat of Sean Godfrey. Rock Shoulders battled after falling behind 0-2 to tie the game, shoving an opposite field single through the left side of the infield, scoring Gardiner.

Weigel worked the count leading off the 12th inning against the eighth Florence pitcher before drilling a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right to give the Boomers the lead for the first time in the game. Weigel finished with four hits in the game, almost half of the total. Schaumburg left 11 on base. Florence responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to extend the series. The Freedom drew four straight walks and scored the winning run on a fielder’s choice as Jake Joyce suffered the loss.

Hauser did not factor in the decision, allowing two runs in five innings with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. Evan Boyd finished out the sixth while Kyle Westwood followed with a pair of scoreless innings. Westwood struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth, leaving the go-ahead run at second. Garrett Kelly kept the game even in the bottom of the ninth, working around a leadoff single to record back-to-back strikeouts, stranding the winning run at third. Rob McDonnell was in position for the win, striking out three and leaving the winning run on base in the 10th and 11th.

The Boomers (66-30, 5-2), will have another opportunity at third Frontier League Championship on Saturday night at 5:05 p.m. in Kentucky.