Despite leaving 12 men on base, the East Division champion Schaumburg Boomers pulled to within a victory of a third Frontier League Championship on Wednesday by scoring a 3-2 win over the Florence Freedom to open a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Florence again jumped ahead early in the game at Boomers Stadium. Collins Cuthrell connected on a line drive homer with 2 outs in the top of the first inning. Schaumburg loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning and evened the game on a sacrifice fly from Josh Gardiner, but stranded two on base. Florence tacked on another run in the top of the second on a double from Keivan Berges.
Schaumburg was able to take the lead by scoring twice in the bottom of the second. Rock Shoulders led off with an opposite field double and scored on a sacrifice fly from James Keller. David Harris drove home his fifth run of the series with a 2-out single to score Opie Brodbeck. Neither team would score again despite numerous chances.
Five Schaumburg pitchers combined to limit Florence to just 6 hits. The Freedom stranded 10 on base. Kagen Hopkins started and worked 3 innings. Derek DeYoung tossed 1.1 innings, Rob McDonnell 1.2 and Kyle Westwood a pair. Jake Joyce closed out the victory.
Joyce struck out the side in the ninth, working around a 2-out double. Schaumburg struck out 12 batters in the game.
The offense finished with 12 hits, led by 3 from Harris. Brodbeck and John Holland added 2 apiece.
The Boomers (66-30, 4-1), who finished the season with the best record in the league, can close out a third Frontier League title on Friday night when the series shifts to Kentucky. RHP Joe Hauser (4-1, 1.80) takes the hill in the 6:05 p.m. affair against RHP Steve Hagen (8-5, 3.95).