FLORENCE, Ky. – Third baseman Taylor Oldham hit a solo home run, his second homer of the game, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Florence Freedom a 5-4 victory over the Wild Things in Game 3 of the Frontier League semifinals.
Florence has a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 series and can move on to the championship round with a victory in Game 4 tonight (6:05 p.m.).
Washington had taken a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning but couldn’t protect it, giving up single runs in both the eighth and ninth.
Oldham’s home run came off reliever Zach Strecker, the sixth Washington pitcher of the game.
Oldham is a former Wild Things player. He was with Washington for part of the 2012 season and was one of the four players the Wild Things traded that year to the London Rippers less than an hour before the Rippers’ franchise ceased operations.
Washington took a 4-3 lead by scoring two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Second baseman Kyle Reese tied the score at 3-3 with a solo home run and the Wild Things executed a double steal, with James Harris scoring the go-ahead run when Rashad Brown stole second base.
Florence made it 4-4 with a two-out run in the eighth.
Washington led 2-0 before Oldham hit his first home run of the game, a two-run shot in the third inning. The Freedom’s Keivan Berges hit a solo homer in the fourth off Washington starter Ethan Gibbons, giving Florence a 3-2 lead. Gibbons allowed three runs on three hits and two walks over six innings.
Washington’s Mike Hill opened the scoring with a solo home run in the second inning off Florence starter Steve Hagen.