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Dr. Phillips Survives 9-6 Shootout With Freedom

With all of the good pitching that the state of Florida features, offensive slugfests don’t happen as much as they used to. Wednesday’s Freedom-Dr. Phillips game reminded us that, yes, high-scoring games between both teams are still entirely possible. A total of 12 runs were scored in the first three innings by the Patriots and Panthers on Wednesday night, but it was the Patriots that came away with a 9-6 victory.

Leading the charge on offense for the Panthers was sophomore Ricky Hidalgo, who had two hits — including a fifth inning home run, and three RBIs in the win. Two of Hidalgo’s RBIs came on a first-inning RBI double that pushed Dr. Phillips’ lead to 3-1, a lead that had been made possible thanks to Tanner May’s game-tying RBI double that scored courtesy runner Joseph Neira.

Freedom had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when J.P. Pesi singled to drive in leadoff hitter Brandon Madero.

Down 4-1 to start the second, Freedom then scored five, two of which came on consecutive RBI singles from Austin Davis and Pesi with just one out. After Davis scored on an error, Koen Miller gave the Patriots their final lead of the night with an RBI single, while the next hitter, Kevin Milanes, drove in the last run of the inning with a sac fly.

Dr. Phillips, after losing the lead in the top half, tied the game at six in the bottom half with an RBI single from Chase Cheek — one of his three hits on the night — and Ruben Saldana reaching on a fielder’s choice. August Haymaker’s RBI single in the bottom of the third gave the Panthers a 7-6 lead, one that would not be given up again.

In a game featuring much offense, Panthers reliever Ryan Goonen stole the show with five scoreless innings of three-hit ball. Striking out seven and throwing 72 percent of his 53 pitches for strikes (just about ten pitches an inning).

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