Aviators split doubleheader and win series in Florence

From the Rockford Aviators

The Aviators split a day-night doubleheader with the Florence Freedom Thursday, falling 2-0 in the morning contest before rebounding for a 6-2 win in the evening.

The win ensured a series victory for the Aviators who closed out strong behind solid defense and a great outing from Nick Grim.

Aviator bats were held down by Florence pitching in game one.

Cody Gray, the starter, fanned eight over five-plus innings pitched and the Aviators had little luck against his relief corps, managing just four hits total in the game.

The Freedom got two runs off Payton Baskette in the fourth and would ride that to a 2-0 win.

Baskette was otherwise strong going seven innings with only six hits managed against him but still took the loss.

The Rockford bats came to life for the Aviators in game two when the team cashed in with four hits and three runs in the second inning against Freedom starter Chuck Weaver to get out to an early advantage.

Nick Grim was phenomenal on the mound for the Aviators in his fifth start of the year.

He carried a no-hitter into the sixth and ended up with six scoreless frames to his credit.

The Aviators played great defense behind him, turning in three double plays and getting web gems from Dusty Robinson and Collin Shaw.

Robinson made a terrific sliding catch in right on a liner in the ninth and Shaw gunned down a runner at the plate after a base hit in the sixth to keep Grim’s shutout intact.

They got an RBI groundout from Devon Rodriguez in the fifth and an RBI single from Anthony Renteria in the ninth to build the advantage that a mini-rally by the Freedom in the ninth could not overcome.

The win was the 32nd of the year for the Aviators and it assured their tenth series victory of the season.

They begin a three-game road set with Schaumburg starting today at 6:30 p.m. with Tony Rizzotti expected to start game one.

A live broadcast will be available through rockfordaviators.com.

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