The River City Rascals gave up a season-high 14 runs on 16 hits and suffered their largest loss of the season, 14-1, in game two of the series against the Schaumburg Boomers Saturday night at CarShield Field.
Of the the opponent’s 14 runs, nine of them came in the first two innings and the Frontier League’s leader in wins and runs scored struck first with a two-run home run off the bat of Zach Weigal to put his team up 2-0.
The Rascals pitcher who was on the wrong side of the opening frame was starter Garrett Harrison and after the home run, Sean Godfrey reached on an infield single and then a one out double from the Boomers DH David Harris gave the Boomers an opportunity to double their lead.
They accomplished that one batter later on a two RBI single that sneaked its way into left field courtesy of shortstop Josh Gardiner. Harrison then walked Jack Parenty and Nate Hoffmann came out of the bullpen and stopped the first inning damage with a double play ball.
The Boomers offense stayed hot in the second inning and they batted around and scored five runs against Hoffmann to take a 9-0 lead.
Of their five runs, two of them were from a second two-run home run from Weigal. The remaining three came via a two RBI single from James Keller and a RBI single from Gardiner.
The second inning RBI from Gardiner was his third of six he would end up with Saturday night.
Boomers third baseman Tanner Rahier drove in his first Frontier League runs with a two RBI single in the fifth and then the Boomers offensive outburst was capped off by the final three RBI from Gardiner. With two outs and two on in the fifth, Gardiner clubbed a ball over the right center field wall for a three-run home run, meaning half of the runs from the Boomers were via the long ball.
With 14 runs of insurance, Boomers starter Kagen Hopkins was able to cruise through six innings and pick up his sixth win of the year.
In the victory, the third year Boomer allowed just one run, earned, on four hits and struck out four.
The lone run came in the bottom of the second inning when Western Division All-Star Mike Jurgella stroked his seventh home run of the year.
In total, the Rascals tallied eight hits and Clint Freeman led the way with two. Besides Jurgella’s home run, Johnny Morales was the only other Rascal with a base hit and it was a double in the final frame. Other offensive notables include newcomer Josh Bunselmeyer reaching three times, including his first hit in a Rascals uniform.
After Hoffmann’s 4.2 innings, Matt Chavarria tossed three scoreless frames and Clint Freeman finished the staff off on a high note with a scoreless ninth.
The Rascals continue their season Sunday evening as they look to win the series in the final game before the 2017 Frontier League All-Star break.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. with southpaw Hector Hernandez on the mound.