Florence belts two grand slams to take series against Schaumburg

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The Florence Y’alls nailed two grand slams on Thursday night to win the series over Schaumburg, a team they are chasing for the third and final spot in the playoffs from the Frontier League West Division.

With the win, and with just 27 games left in the season, Florence stands at 30-38 overall while the Schaumburg Boomers drops to 35-32.

Florence won 16-6 at Thomas More Stadium following a rain delay and rough start to the first inning where Y’alls starting pitcher Edgar Martinez walked two Boomers and hit two others with pitches leading to a four-run frame for Schaumburg.

“We were fortunate to minimize the damage there, get off the field and give our offense a chance,” said Brian White, Florence manager. “We kept playing like we’ve been talking about and preaching. They put up a good game.”

Florence cut the lead in half, 4-2, by the end of the first and Martinez would pitch through five innings.

The Y’alls then loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second. After a force play at home, designated hitter Brennan Price took a bases-loaded walk on a tight 3-2 pitch scoring center fielder Rodney Tennie to trim the lead to 4-3.

That’s when right fielder Anthony Brocato stepped to the plate and belted a grand slam to left field putting Florence up for good at 7-4. Brocato extended his hitting streak to 20 games with the home run.

Schaumburg cut the lead to 8-6 in the top of the third and had a runner on second with one out in the top of the fifth when Sean Hughes (2-0) came on in relief to ultimately earn the win for the Y’alls. Schaumburg first baseman Braxton Davidson tried to steal third, but Florence catcher Cooper Edwards fired a dart to Luis Pinter at third to nail him. Huges then struck out Schaumburg right fielder Clint Hardy to finish the inning.

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Kent Klyman and Bryant Flete kept the Boomers off the scoreboard the final four innings. The four Florence pitchers combined to strike out 10.

“Kent’s been a workhorse for us in the bullpen the whole season,” White said. “We typically keep him to two innings or less. But we wanted to save some arms for this upcoming series.”

The Y’alls then built some distance in the bottom of the fifth chasing Schaumburg starter Kobey Schlotman (1-1) from the game. After Chavez hit a sacrifice fly scoring Pintor, Price belted a slam to right center off Schaumburg reliever Thomas Nicoll to give Florence a 13-6 lead.

“It’s massive, especially this stretch here in this last month,” Price said. “These games are just becoming more and more important. We just have to go in there and play it pitch by pitch just give it our all.”

Edwards hit a solo home run to left in the bottom of the seventh for his first home run of the year putting Florence up 14-6. The last two Florence runs came in the eighth inning when Tennie singled in Pintor with the bases loaded and Zuberer drew another hit by pitch with the bases loaded to score second baseman Ethan Stern.

Pintor rejoined the team days ago after playing in Puerto Rico. He led Florence with three hits. Zuberer, Tennie and Stern had two hits each.

“It’s great to be back in town,” Pintor said. “I just want to thank every fan for supporting us all year. Hopefully we can make the playoffs. I’m here to help the team.”

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Florence begins a three-game series at the Joliet Slammers (33-35) on Friday. Game time is 7:35 p.m.

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