Florence jumped out early in the game against Otters starter Austin Nicely.
The Freedom scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Austin Wobrock smacked a two-RBI double to give Florence a 2-0 advantage.
Connor Crane then followed with an RBI single to score Wobrock to extend the Freedom lead to three.
In the bottom of the third, Ricky Ramirez Jr. unleashed a three-run home run to give Florence a 6-0 cushion.
Crane picked up his second RBI of the game with a double to score Wobrock, increasing the Freedom advantage to seven through the third.
The Otters’ offense broke through in the fourth to start chipping away at Florence’s lead.
David Cronin led off the top of the fourth with a double and scored on a Keith Grieshaber RBI single to put the first run on the board for the Otters.
Grieshaber would extend his hit streak to 14 games.
Later in the inning, Ryan Long’s RBI groundout to Caleb Lopes at second base scored Grieshaber to make the score 7-2 after four.
In the top of the fifth with one out, Rob Calabrese unloaded a towering shot for his seventh home run of the season to give the Otters their third run of the game.
Grieshaber crushed a ball for a ground rule double to score Jack Meggs, making the score 7-4 Florence.
Long then hit a two-RBI single to score Grieshaber and J.J. Gould to cut Florence’s lead to one at 7-6.
Seeing their seven-run lead cut to one, the Freedom responded in the bottom of the fifth when Crane recorded his third RBI of the game, going 2 for 4 at the plate, scoring Brandon Pugh to give the Freedom a two-run cushion at 8-6.
Nicely would be given the loss, tossing 4.2 innings while allowing eight runs – seven earned – on 11 hits. His record fell to 3-6.
Florence’s Andre Mercurio hit an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 9-6.
Scott Sebald earned the win tonight for the Freedom, going 6.1 innings, surrendering six runs – five earned – on six hits and four strikeouts, and improving his record to 4-1.
Jonathan Tripp retired the Otters in order in the ninth to earn his 13th save.
Game two will be set for Saturday at 5:05 p.m. and can be heard on 91.5 WUEV-FM and on evansvilleotters.com with Dave Nguyen on the call from UC Health Stadium.
Tyler Vail will take the mound for the Otters and will be opposed by Tyler Gibson.