Otters’ offense backs up Nicely

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters scored in four consecutive innings to seize control and beat the Gateway Grizzlies 11-6 in Sunday’s series finale at Bosse Field.

BOX SCORE

Keith Grieshaber’s RBI single in the third inning gave Evansville a 1-0 advantage. Ryan Long followed with an RBI double and later in the frame, Taylor Lane’s sacrifice fly pushed the lead to 3-0.

In the fourth, David Cronin’s RBI single made it a 4-0. With the bases loaded, a pitch hit Grieshaber to score Hunter Cullen before Taylor Lane hit a bases-clearing double, giving the Otters an 8-0 lead.

Evansville scored two more runs in the fifth and added another in the sixth.

Gateway scored three runs back-to-back innings in the sixth and seventh to pull within five runs at 11-6.

Austin Nicely earned the win for Evansville, going six innings while allowing three runs–one earned–on six hits. He faced 26 batters, struck out seven and didn’t allow a walk.

Reign Letkeman took the loss, pitching three innings while surrendering six runs–three earned– on six hits.

Cam Opp earned the save, pitching 1 2/3 innings and striking out three.

Lane finished 1 for 4 with four RBIs for Evansville and Cronin went 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs.

Evansville improved to 49-35 with the win while Gateway fell to 33-51.

The Otters will make a midweek road trip to Marion, Ill. for a three-game series against the Southern Illinois Miners.

First pitch Tuesday is at 6:35 p.m. from Rent One Park.

Broadcast coverage can be found on the radio at 91.5 WUEV-FM or WUEV.org with Dave Nguyen (play-by-play) on the call.

The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.

The Otters will return home to Bosse Field for their final regular season homestand Aug. 23-29 against the Florence Freedom and the Gateway Grizzlies.

This coming weekend Aug. 23-25 features Swat Pest Night on Friday, Star Wars Night on Saturday, and Sunday’s game is presented by Parenting Time Center. For Star Wars Night, the Otters will be wearing themed-jerseys, which will be auctioned off throughout the game with proceeds benefiting the Arc of Evansville. There will also be fan-favorite characters in attendance for fans to interact with.

To purchase a season ticket or group outing package, call (812) 435-8686 or visit the Bosse Field front office at 23 Don Mattingly Way, Evansville, Ind. The front office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.

The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

FREEDOM WALK-OFF TO SAY IN FIRST

Isaac Benard goes 3-4 with 3RBI, delivers game-winning single

FLORENCE, Ky– Needing a win to stay in first place in the West Division, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, delivered a thrilling walk-off winner, 7-6, to beat the River City Rascals on Saturday night at UC Health Stadium.

Florence (50-35) got off to a fast start, Scott Sebald offering a pair of shut-out innings in the first and second, before the Freedom scored twice in their second at-bat to take an early, 2-0, lead. Isaac Benard started the rally, reaching first on an infield single, but took second on the first of six River City (48-36) errors in the contest. Connor Crane hit next, laying down a bunt single that saw Braxton Martinez throw wildly to first, allowing Benard to score on the second error in as many at-bats. Standing at third after back-to-back ground-outs to second, Crane wound up scoring on a dropped third strike to Taylor Bryant, Florence capitalizing to the tune of a two-run lead after two innings. Adding to their advantage in the third, Benard continued a tremendous night at the plate with a sacrifice-fly to center, Ricky Ramirez Jr. crossing home-plate as the score became, 3-0, home team.

The Rascals jumped in front in their side of the sixth, plating five runs off a pair of Freedom pitchers. Sebald started the inning but was pulled in favor of Jared Cheek after the first two batters reached courtesy a single and walk. Cheek walked the first man he faced, loading the bases, but struck out the next two-hitters to put the Freedom on the brink of another scoreless frame. Andrew Penner would cash in a clutch two-run single, however, both runs charged to the starter, Sebald to close his line. Following a walk to Nolan Meadows that loaded the bases again, Martinez turned on a bases clearing double that propelled River City ahead, 5-3.

The lefty, Sebald would take a no-decision, his ninth of the year, spanning five innings and allowing two runs, both earned, on seven hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.

Answering immediately in their side of the sixth, Florence took their next lead courtesy a trio of unearned runs. Benard doubled to start the inning, igniting another near sell-out crowd at UC Health Stadium. Crane reached on catcher’s interference next, the third Rascals error putting runners at first and second. With one out and runners at second and third, Austin Wobrock tapped a come-backer to River City starting pitcher, Taylor Ahearn, the hurler attempting to get Crane out at third base following a brief run-down. Ahearn would throw wildly to third, however allowing a run to score and a play at the plate to occur as Florence looked to make it a two-run mistake. The throw to the plate would squirt away from catcher, James Morisano, allowing the run to score and Wobrock to cross-home plate himself as Florence jumped in front, 6-5. Two errors occurred on the play, bringing the Rascals total up to five after six innings.

Ahearn would exit after the gaffe, taking a no-decision following 5.1 six-run innings, only two earned, on five hits with one walk and five whiffs. Yeison Medina finished the frame for River City, rolling a double-play to end the rally. Tanner Cable would toss a clean seventh for the Rascals, who would use four pitchers in the middle-game loss.

After a scoreless seventh, Cheek came back to the bump for the Freedom to start the eighth, but saw Nick Anderson and Anthony Herrera reach via a walk and a single, prompting Freedom manager, Dennis Pelfrey to go to his closer, Karl Craigie (5-2) with runners on the corners and no outs. Craigie limited the damage, surrendering an RBI-single to Meadows that tied the game at six, but wiggled out of trouble, stranding the bases loaded. The southpaw closer, Craigie would go on to earn the win in relief, his fifth of the year, following a pair of shut-out innings in the eighth and ninth frames.

With Taylor Sugg (2-1) on the hill for a second inning in the ninth, Florence built their final rally of the night. Ricky Ramirez Jr. worked a one out walk, reaching second on a botched ground-ball to short off the bat of Caleb Lopes. Penner made the miscue, the sixth and final error of the night for the visiting Rascals. The mistake loomed large, Andre Mercurio moving each runner up ninety feet with a slow-chopper back to the mound. With Benard at the plate and the Freedom down to their last out, the hitter smashed a game-winning single up the middle, Ramirez Jr. crossing home as the home team prevailed, 7-6, in walk-off fashion.

With the win, the Freedom stay in first-place in the West Division, now 1.5 games up on the Rascals who will come back to UC Health Stadium for the weekend finale on Sunday afternoon. Florence will throw left-hander, George Faue (2-2, 4.50) opposite a TBD starter for River City, first pitch slated for 2:35 p.m. in Florence, Ky.

The Florence Freedom are members of the Independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, KY. The Freedom can be found online at florencefreedom.com, or by phone at (859) 594-4487.

POWER AND PITCHING LEAD MINERS TO WIN AT JOLIET

Southern Illinois grabs early lead with homers, holds it to even weekend series

Joliet, IL (August 17, 2019) – The Southern Illinois Miners grabbed the lead early on Saturday night against the Joliet Slammers, and held it the rest of the way thanks to effective pitching in a series-evening 5-2 victory at DuPage Medical Group Field.

In the top of the first inning, with two on and two out, Taylor Sparks kicked off the game in grand style, smacking his seventh home run of the season out to left field to put the Miners ahead 3-0. In the third inning, Jamey Smart added to the lead with a solo home run, his fifth of the season, to make the score 4-0 against Joliet starter Kit Fowler (0-1).

Southern Illinois starter Frank Moscatiello made the lead stand up, working scoreless frames in the first three innings. Joliet then scored a run on a groundout in the bottom of the fourth by Jacob Crum, and got within 4-2 on a solo homer in the sixth by Riley Krane, but that was all Moscatiello (1-0) allowed, while walking three and striking out six to eventually earn his first Miners victory.

Southern Illinois was able to score an insurance run in the top of the seventh, as with two outs and runners at first and second base, Sparks reached on an infield hit to third, with third baseman Milton Ramos’ throw to first base getting away from Dash Winningham, allowing Yeltsin Gudino  to score on the play to make it 5-2.

The Southern Illinois bullpen took care of the rest- Jake Waters struck out one in two perfect innings in his Miners debut, and Will Headean threw a scoreless eighth inning, setting up Gabe Gentner, who worked a perfect ninth inning for his 11th save, striking out Chaz Meadows to end the game and even the series.

The Miners will look to win the series in the rubber game on Sunday, August 18, at 1:05 p.m., sending Ryan McAuliffe to the mound against Joliet right-hander Daren Osby.

The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League’s most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

Washington Gets Good Pitching, Good Defense and Good Hitting in Series-Evening Win

WASHINGTON, Pa. (August 17) – After falling behind 1-0, the Wild Things scored the next seven runs, and eventually took the game by a final of 7-2 Saturday at Wild Things Park. Nick Gallagher allowed two runs over 6.1 innings for his second win of the season while five players notched multi-hot performances.
Windy City started the scoring in the second inning when Tyler Straub doubled home Tyler Alamo. The lead would be short-lived, as the Wild Things scored four times in the third. Cody Erickson knocked home the first run with a base hit. Ryan Cox then tripled home a pair before Brett Marr lifted a sac fly to score the fourth tally.
In the third, Washington added two more, with the highlight being a Shaine Hughes RBI triple. The Wild Things ended up getting a run in the fifth on a single by JJ Fernandez, which capped the scoring. Zach Rheams added his first Bolts’ homer later in the game to make it 7-2.
Every hitter with the exception of one in the lineup for Washington had at least one hit, with five notching two-hit games: JR Davis, Shaine Hughes, Hector Roa, JJ Fernandez and Stephen Lohr. Jesus Balaguer’s scoreless ninth to close the game brought his scoreless streak to 15.1 innings.
The Wild Things and ThunderBolts will play a rubber game tomorrow at 5:35 p.m. ET at Wild Things Park.
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS
The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League that plays in Washington, PA. In 2018, the team won its first East Division Championship since 2007 and came within two runs of winning the first Frontier League title in franchise history. Fans and media can stay aware of all the happenings in the Wild Things’ organization by following the team’s social media and website, washingtonwildthings.com. Season ticket packages, with new-and-improved benefits are now available by calling the box office at 724-250-9555.

BARRETT, GRIZZLIES SHUT OUT EVANSVILLE

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Jordan Barrett fired seven scoreless innings and Dustin Woodcock and Connor Owingsboth homered Friday night in a 3-0 Gateway Grizzlies shutout of the Evansville Otters at Bosse Field.

Gateway (33-49) manufactured a run in the first inning on a pair of walks, a Brent Sakurai bunt single, and a Shawon Dunston Jr. RBI fielder’s choice. Woodcock followed with a solo homer over the right-field fence in the third inning and Owings left the yard to center field in the seventh.

Barrett (4-5) struck out eight, walked one, and allowed only three hits (all singles) over seven innings en route to the victory.

Grant Black added a perfect eighth inning for a hold and Geoff Bramblett saved his 12th game in as many chances when a Jack Meggs double-play ball locked up a Grizzlies triumph.

Evansville (47-35) dropped to third place in the West Division and remained a game behind first-place Florence.

Woodcock’s home run was his fifth already in August and his 10th of the season, both of which are tied with Luke Lowery for the club lead. He has launched his 10 big flies in only 45 professional games.

Owings’ solo shot in the seventh inning was his eighth of the year and third of the month. There was some controversy over whether the ball had gone over the center-field fence or bounced off of it and, after a lengthy umpires’ deliberation resulted in calling the fly ball a home run, Otters manager Andy McCauley was ejected for vehement disagreement with home plate umpire Creal Waddell that included kicking dirt onto — and subsequently spitting on — home plate.

Gateway and Evansville will continue their weekend series with a second game Saturday at 6:35 p.m. CDT. Ian Kahaloa (2-5, 3.80) is scheduled to start for the Grizzlies against Otters righthander Matt Quintana (6-3, 2.45), who will be making his Evansville debut after he was acquired from the Joliet Slammers Monday before the trade deadline.

ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find – affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.

ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 10 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.

SLAMMERS BEAT MINERS IN GAME ONE, 10-9

The Slammers got on the board first tonight in grand fashion. Clayton Harp, who went 3-4 with a homerun in Thursday’s game, launched a no doubt grand slam over the wall in right field giving the Slammers a 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning.

After scoring 4 in the 2nd inning, the Slammers added 3 more runs in the 3rd. Jacob Crum led off the inning with a single, Tommy LaCongo followed with a walk, and Chaz Meadows reached via an error that allowed Crum to score. Dash Winningham had a 2-out RBI single to bring home LaCongo, and to top it all off, Chaz Meadows had a straight steal of home.

The bats kept rolling as the Slammers would score 2 more in the 4th inning. Riley Krane led off with a single then scored on a triple hit by Jacob Crum. Crum would also score on the play as the relay throw ended up in the 3rd row. Slammers led 9-0 after 4 innings.

The Miners got on the board in the 6thand 7th innings thanks to RBI’s from Ryan Stacy and KirvinMoesquit. Slammers led 9-2 after 7 innings.

Things got so bad for the Miners that they resorted to putting a position player on the mound in the 8th inning. Riley Krane made sure to take advantage as he blasted a homerun onto Power Alley Road giving the Slammers a 10-2 lead.

The Miners would rally for 7 runs in the top of the 9th to make this game interesting, but it wouldn’t be enough as Mario Samuel came in and closed the door to preserve the win for the Slammers.

Tyler Jones had a nice outing for the Slammers tonight. Jones went 6.1 innings, gave up 2 runs on 1 hit, and struck out 5. He was able to keep the Miners hitless through the first 5 innings—it was an RBI double from Ryan Stacy that broke up the no-hitter and shutout. Nonetheless, Jones would get the win in tonight’s game.

Marty Anderson had about the worst start you could imagine. The Miners lefty only lasted 2.2 innings, gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, and walked 7. He would be the losing pitcher.

The Slammers have now won their last 5 games and improve their record to 37-45. Southern Illinois falls to 46-36 with the loss. Game 2 of this series will be Saturday, August 17th, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

Tonight’s Merchants and Manufacturer’s Bank Player of the Game is: Clayton Harp (1-6, 4 RBI).

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is entering its 27th season of play in 2019.  Visit the Slammers online atwww.jolietslammers.com or call the ticket office at 815-722-2287 for more information! Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers!

Boomers Open Key Series with Late Victory

SCHAUMBURG, IL — With the backing of a boisterous crowd, the Schaumburg Boomers, presented by Wintrust Community Banks, opened a key weekend series against the East Division leading Lake Erie Crushers with a 5-3 victory on Friday night.

Schaumburg raced to a 3-0 lead in the game, scoring twice with two outs in the bottom of the first against one of the top pitchers in the league,Jared KoenigQuincy Nieporte plated Chase Dawson with a single to open the scoring and Matt Rose followed with a double to deep center. Alex Polston added a sacrifice fly in the second.

Koenig settled down, retiring the final 14 batters faced to allow Lake Erie to rally. The Crushers scored twice in the fifth to chase starter Matt Millerand pull within 3-2. Aaron Hill tied the game in the top of the seventh with a solo homer, his 12th of the year. The Boomers grabbed the win with a pair of runs in the eighth against Augie Gallardo, who had allowed just four earned runs all season. Jack Parenty led off with a walk and reached third when Clint Hardy singled. Hardy came around on a steal of third/wild pitch combination to account for the final. Connor Eller shut the door on his first save opportunity in the month of August, notching his 19th of the year.

Darrell Thompson earned the win in relief, striking out five over two innings including the final five batters faced. Miller fanned five in 4.1 innings as the Boomers notched 12 strikeouts, the fourth game with double-digit strikeouts over the last five affairs. Hardy and Nieporte finished with two hits each in the victory as the Boomers pulled within 2.5 games of first with 14 games to play.

The Boomers (41-41) continue the series with Lake Erie on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. on Breast Cancer Awareness Night brought to you by Women’s HealthFirst. Specialty Boomers merchandise, drinks and team jerseys will benefit breast cancer research. The night will end with postgame fireworks presented by Wintrust. Schaumburg will send LHP Gunnar Kines (6-5, 2.51) to the mound against RHP Sam Curtis (0-1, 2.08).

Just five home games remain on the schedule this season including the three this weekend. Visit boomersbaseball.com for tickets and information or call 847-461-3695.

Rascals Win Thriller Over Freedom

FLORENCE, Ky. — The River City Rascals won a back-and-forth series opener 11-7 over the Florence Freedom on Friday night. Zach Lavy homered twice in the victory, including a crucial two-run shot in the top of the ninth to put the Rascals up four. With the win, the Rascals secured at least a series series tie with the Freedom.

The Rascals scored five runs in the first inning, sending all nine men to the plate and getting an RBI double from Trevor Achenbach, a two-run double from LJ Kalawaia, and a two-run homer from James Morisano. The Freedom scored four in the second, getting a three-run double from Jackson Pritchard and an RBI single Austin Wobrock. Lavy made it 6-4 Rascals with a solo shot in the fourth, and Morisano added a two-run double in the fifth.

The Freedom got an RBI single from Taylor Bryant in the seventh, and after Nolan Meadows got the run back with an RBI fielder’s choice in the top of the eighth, the Freedom answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, cutting the lead to two. Rascals reliever Andrew Vernon struck out Pritchard with two outs and a man on second following an RBI single from Isaac Benard and an RBI groundout from Trevor Craport. After Lavy’s blast gave the Rascals the 11-7 lead in the top of the ninth, closer Jason Zgardowski struck out the side in order in the bottom of the inning to seal the win.

Rascals starter Alex Winkelman was lifted in the second inning due to injury, allowing four runs on the night. Travis McQueen (4-2) earned the win, going 5 1/3 innings out of the Rascals bullpen, allowing three runs while striking out seven hitters without issuing a walk. Freedom starter Hayden Wheeler (1-2) took the loss, allowing eight runs on ten hits over five innings of work.

The Rascals (48-35) play the Freedom (49-35) in the middle game of the series tomorrow night, with first place in the Frontier League’s West Division on the line. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. CDT from UC Health Stadium. Taylor Ahearn is expected to make the start for the Rascals.

ThunderBolts capture opener in Washington

WASHINGTON, PA – The ThunderBolts scored three runs in the first inning and never trailed as they took game one from the Washington Wild Things 5-3 at Wild Things Park Friday night.

The first two batters of the game reached for the ThunderBolts (35-47) as Michael Mateja and Brynn Martinez singled. Both men scored on Chase Cockrell’s triple to make the score 2-0 just four batters in. Cockrell made it 3-0 when he scored on Micah Coffey’s sacrifice fly.

It too them four innings, but the Wild Things (33-51) responded with a three-run inning of their own. In the bottom of the fourth, Ryan Cox got the Things on the board with a sacrifice fly. JR Davis hit a two-run triple to even the score.

It didn’t take long for the Bolts to reclaim the lead. Christian Funk walked with one out in the top of the fifth and Mateja doubled him home to take a 4-3 advantage.

The Wild Things had opportunities down the stretch but ended up leaving 11 runners on base, including eight in scoring position.

In the ninth inning, Tyler Straub hit a solo home run to add insurance and set the final score at 5-3.

Chris Washington (3-8) pitched five innings, allowing three runs for the win and the bullpen followed with four shutout innings. Colby Blueberg struck out the side in the ninth inning for his sixth save.

Josh Lapiana (0-3) gave up four runs in five innings and took the loss.

The win was the ThunderBolts’ third in a row, matching their longest streak of the season.

The series continues with game two on Saturday evening. Hayden Shenefield (1-1, 6.75) gets the start for the ThunderBolts against Washington’s Nick Gallagher (1-2, 6.55). First pitch from Wild Things Park is scheduled for 6:05 CDT and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.

SKID SNAPS AS FREEDOM SALVAGE FINALE

Mike Castellani earns team-leading seventh victory in quality-start

MARION, Ill– In the regular-season finale between two West Division rivals, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, combined consistent offense with a quality-start in a skid-snapping, 4-2, victory over the Southern Illinois Miners on Thursday night at Rent One Park.

For the first time in the five-game losing streak, the Freedom (49-34) plated the first run of the game in their side of the first inning. With left-hander, Cole Cook (1-1) on the hill for the Miners (46-35), Isaac Benard drove in his first of two runs on the night, lining a sacrifice-fly to center that allowed Caleb Lopes to cross home-plate and push Florence in front, 1-0.

Cook would come out of the game with two outs in the first, suffering an apparent injury to his throwing arm. The lefty wound up suffering the loss, allowing one earned run on two hits with one walk and no whiffs in two thirds of an inning. Right-hander, Andrew Bernstein took over in emergency relief, spanning 3.2 frames before handing the ball to righty, Heath Renz.

Adding to their advantage in the third, Trevor Craport knocked in Lopes after the latter’s second single, with a one-bagger of his own that made the score, 2-0.

Southpaw, Mike Castellani (7-2) was brilliant in his first win since July 3 at UC Health Stadium, also against the Miners. The pitcher retired the first seven batters he faced, before Joe Duncan laid down a bunt single to give the home team their first base-runner of the contest in the bottom of the third.

Florence doubled their lead in the fifth to move in front, 4-0, Benard and Craport registering the runs batted in with a single and sacrifice-fly, respectively. The two hitters accounted for all four runs the Freedom would score in victory, plating two runs apiece.

Southern Illinois made it a three-run game getting to Castellani for the first time in the bottom of the seventh. Taylor Sparks delivered the knock, sending a double off the wall in left that brought Gianfranco Wawoe around from second as the score became, 4-1.

Castellani would go on to record a pair of outs in the eighth, before Jared Cheek came on in relief following a Yeltsin Gudino double. Cheek retired the first batter he faced, inducing Wawoe into a ground-out to third. Castellani spanned 7.2 one-run innings, scattering seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts en route to the victory. The left-hander rolled three double-plays, minimizing the Miners offense in the hurler’s eighth quality-start.

Karl Craigie took the ball in search of his eighth save in the ninth, and converted after Southern Illinois touched him for one run. Kyle Davis started the abbreviated rally, shooting a single to left before a walk to Sparks. A balk helped both runners move into scoring position, allowing Andy Cosgrove to bring the Miners within two at, 4-2, with a sacrifice-fly to right. Craigie would coax Joe Duncan into a ground-out to short, shutting the door on the Freedom losing streak, and the save in a two-run win.

In victory, Florence finished their road-trip 4-5, and are now 33-9 when they score first in 2019.

The Freedom will get back on the field on Friday, hosting the River City Rascals for a weekend series at UC Health. First pitch on Friday is slated for 7:05 p.m. and will feature a pair of TBD starters on both sides.

The Florence Freedom are members of the Independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, KY. The Freedom can be found online at florencefreedom.com, or by phone at (859) 594-4487.

Otters win series on walk-off wild pitch

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Tied at one in the bottom of the 11th inning, Elijah MacNamee scored the game-winning run for the Evansville Otters on a wild pitch by River City Rascals pitcher Andrew Vernon to give the Otters a 2-1 win Thursday night, earning a series win at Bosse Field.

In a game that lasted three hours and 34 minutes, runs were hard to come by on Thursday night at Bosse Field.

The Otters sent Jake Welch to the mound, who looked good early as he retired the first six batters he faced in order.

Welch ran into trouble in the top of the third, surrendering a few singles to River City, but was able to get out of the jam with a double play.

The Rascals countered with Brandon Feldmann, who allowed only a run on six hits while tossing 10 strikeouts earlier in the season against the Otters.

Evansville was able to get to Feldmann in the bottom of the third.

With one out, Jack Meggs singled, and moved to third on a double from Ryan Long.

With runners on second and third, MacNamee grounded out to Trevor Achenbach at second, scoring Meggs to give the Otters a 1-0 lead.

Welch ran into trouble in the sixth with the bases loaded and one out, but the right-hander struck out Achenbach and forced Kameron Esthay to fly out to centerfield to end the threat.

Welch would go into the eighth inning, holding a 1-0 lead.

Kalawaia led off the top of the eighth with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt from Andrew Penner.

Welch would be pulled for reliever Cam Opp. Welch went 7.1 innings, allowing eight hits, and struck out eight. He would end up with a no-decision.

After Mike Rizzitello threw out Kalawaia from his knees trying to advance to third, Opp had a two-strike count to Nolan Meadows.

With the bases empty, Meadows hit a solo home run to tie the game. Meadows also had a big grand slam on Wednesday.

The game would be tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth and giving the Otters a chance to win the game.

The Otters would force the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth on a leadoff single by Taylor Lane, a one-out walk to Hunter Cullen, and a two-out walk to Rizzitello.

Rascals reliever Anthony Herrera, who took over for Feldmann to begin the ninth, got David Cronin to fly out to send the game into extra innings.

Feldmann allowed one run on four hits with eight strikeouts in eight innings pitched. He also ended up with a no-decision.

The game would be scoreless after 10, and the Rascals could not score in the top of the 11th, starting with a runner at second base due to the international tie breaker rule.

Otters closer Taylor Wright threw 2.1 scoreless frames, lefty reliever Anthony Arias struck out lefty Kameron Esthay, and righty Drew Beyer forced pinch-hitter James Morisano to fly out.

MacNamee started the bottom of the 11th on second as the international tie-breaker runner with Keith Grieshaber at the plate.

MacNamee advanced to third base on a wild pitch from Vernon with one out, and then touched home on the second wild pitch from Vernon. The ball bounced in front of the catcher Morisano, rolled towards the first base side, which was enough room for MacNamee to come home.

Vernon earned the loss, dropping his record to 4-2. Beyer earned the win, improving his record to 2-3.

After winning an important series against postseason contender River City, Evansville will now look ahead to the weekend as they welcome the Gateway Grizzlies to Bosse Field for a three-game series.

First pitch Friday is at 6:35 p.m. from Bosse Field.

Broadcast coverage can be found on the radio at 91.5 WUEV-FM or streamed on the Otters Digital Network via YouTube with Dave Nguyen (play-by-play) and Bill McKeon (analyst) on the call.

The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.

This weekend’s promotions include St. Vincent Night, Breast Cancer Awareness Night and postgame fireworks by Marathon, and Mascot Day.

On Friday, the Otters will contribute $1 from every popcorn sold at Friday’s game to the EVSC to help with student lunches.

To purchase a season ticket or group outing package, call (812) 435-8686 or visit the Bosse Field front office at 23 Don Mattingly Way, Evansville, Ind. The front office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.

The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.

OH HOW SWEEP IT IS! SLAMMERS BEAT WILD THINGS 4-1

Washington scored in the top of the 1st inning after the first two men reached base via a walk and a single, then a sac fly brought home the game’s first run.

The Slammers would jump out to a 3-1 lead after scoring 3 runs in the 3rd inning—all before an out was recorded. It started with a Chaz Meadows single, a single from Clayton Harp, and RBI singles from Oliver Nunez and Dash Winningham.

Clayton Harp, who was already 2-3 on the night, launched his first homerun of the season down the right field line giving the Slammers a 4-1 lead in the 7th inning. That would be the finishing touch for the Slammers tonight as they had the bats working all night, they finished with 10 hits all together.

All things considered, Keegan Long had a nice outing for the Slammers. The right-hander went 7 innings, gave up 1 run on 2 hits, walked and struck out 4 batters. Long loaded the bases with 1 out in two separate innings but was able to get doubles plays to end the inning both times.

For Washington, John Havird didn’t fare as well. Like Long, Havird went 7 innings but gave up 4 runs on his way. He struck out 5 while only walking 2.

Winning Pitcher: Keegan Long

Losing Pitcher: John Havird

Save: Ryan Koziol

With the win tonight, the Slammers have now swept back-to-back series here at DuPage Medical Group Field. They improve their record to 36-45, while the Wild Things fall to 33-50 on the season. The Slammers will look to continue their winning ways Friday, August 16th when they open a series against the Southern Illinois Miners. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Tonight’s Merchants and Manufacturer’s Bank Player of the Game is:Clayton Harp (3-4 1 RBI)

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is entering its 27th season of play in 2019.  Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the ticket office at 815-722-2287 for more information! Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers!

— Joliet Slammers

ThunderBolts take second straight shutout win

CRESTWOOD, IL – Cole Bellair tossed seven innings as the ThunderBolts threw back-to-back shutouts for the first time in more than seven years with a 3-0 win over the Schaumburg Boomers at Ozinga Field Thursday night.

The ThunderBolts (34-47) and the Boomers (40-41) both had early scoring chances but couldn’t cash in as Windy City picked up a pair of hits in both the first and second innings, leaving men in scoring position in both frames.

Schaumburg had five hits over the first four innings but never got anybody past second base as Bellair worked around trouble.

In the fifth, Zach Taylor and Christian Funk singled in front of Michael Mateja, who hit his fourth home run in just nine games played, a three-run shot that gave the ThunderBolts a 3-0 lead.

Bellair got stronger as the game went on, retiring 13 of the last 16 batters he faced with two double plays. He gave way to the bullpen in the eighth and Sean Leland and Blake Hickman each tossed a scoreless inning to wrap up the shutout.

Following Tyler Thornton’s complete game two-hitter yesterday, it is the first time the Bolts have blanked an opponent in consecutive games since June 21 and 22, 2012 against Traverse City.

Bellair (3-5) allowed six hits, struck out three and didn’t issue a walk in the win while Aaron Rozek (5-5) allowed three runs over seven innings for the loss. Hickman converted his second save of the year.

The ThunderBolts hit the road on Friday night to begin a six-game trip, their last road trip of the year. It starts in Washington against the Wild Things as Chris Washington (2-8, 3.97) gets the game one call. He’ll be opposed by Wild Things left-hander Josh Lapiana (0-2, 5.23). First pitch from Wild Things Park is scheduled for 6:05 CDT and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.

Rascals Split Doubleheader With Otters

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The River City Rascals had to settle for a doubleheader split against the Evansville Otters on Wednesday night. They won a back-and-forth, extra-inning thriller in the opener before falling in the nightcap 2-0, just their second shutout loss of the season. The win guaranteed the Rascals the season series victory over the Otters, which would give them the playoff tie-breaker should the teams finish with the same record at the end of the season.

In Game 1, the Otters jumped out to a 3-0 first inning lead, getting a two-run double from Ryan Long and a sacrifice fly from Taylor Lane. The Rascals would not record their first hit until the fifth, but took the 4-3 lead that frame on a grand slam from Nolan Meadows. Long tied the game with another RBI double in the bottom of the fifth. Zach Lavy homered in the sixth to put the Rascals in front 5-4, but the Otters again answered with a game-tying sacrifice fly from Mike Rizzitello.

After neither team scored in the seventh, the game went to extra-innings. Both teams were again held off the scoreboard in the eighth, but Trevor Achenbach hit a two-out, three-run blast to put the Rascals on top for good in the top of the ninth. Long added an RBI single in the bottom of the frame, but the Rascals held on for the 8-6 victory.

Rascals starter Keenan Bartlett took a no-decision, allowing four runs in four innings. Taylor Sugg (2-0) earned the win, pitching the final three innings of the game and allowing just an unearned run. Otters starter Austin Nicely allowed five runs, four earned, over six innings in a no-decision. Evansville reliever Drew Beyer (1-3) took the loss.

Game 2 was dominated by pitching, as the Otters scored the only two runs of the game in the third inning, on back-to-back RBI singles from Long and Jack Meggs. The Rascals advanced only one runner past first base in the game.

Tyler Beardsley (8-3) earned the complete game shutout for the Otters, allowing only three hits over seven scoreless innings, while striking out nine without issuing a walk. Rascals starter Austin Dubsky (4-4) took the hard-luck loss, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings with six strikeouts, also working a complete game.

The Rascals (47-34) and the Otters (46-34) will play the rubbermatch of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT from historic Bosse Field. Brendan Feldmann is expected to take the mound for the Rascals in the finale.

SLAMMERS TAKE SERIES LEAD, BEAT WILDTHINGS 3-2

JOLIET, IL —Strong starting pitching carried the Joliet Slammers over the Washington Wildthings on Wednesday night.

Slammers starter Wes Albert led the charge, surrendering just three hits through the first five innings and not allowing a run. The Slammers’ hitting was unable to take advantage of the early scoreless streak however, and the score remained 0-0 heading into the bottom of 5th. Finally breaking through, the Slammers added the first run of the game when Clayton Harp hit a single to center that brought in Jacob Crum from second. That was the only score of the inning, moving into the 6th 1-0 in favor of the Slammers.

Relieving Albert in the top of the 6th, Mitch McIntyre inherited a runner on first with one out. McIntyre worked quickly, sitting down Stephen Lohr on a fly ball to center. The half ended on a failed steal attempt. Threatening in their half, the Slammers put runners on second and third with no outs. Harrison Bragg responded with a double to right-center, driving in Oliver Nunez and Dash Winningham. The next three batters were retired in order, ending the 6th 3-0, Slammers.

Finding the run column in the top of the 7th, the Wildthings scored on an infield single from A.R. Davis that brought in Blake Adams from third. The inning ended without another run from either side, with the Slammers holding onto a 3-1 lead.Tacking on another in the top of the 8th, the Wildthings Cody Erickson scored on a solo home run to left off reliever Nathan Schneiderman. Schneiderman was relieved by Isaac Sanchez, and Sanchez was able to hold the score heading into the bottom of the 8th. The Slammers failed to respond in their half, and the score remained 3-2 heading into the 9th.Inheriting runners on first and third in the top of the 9th with one out, Mario Samuel relieved Sanchez and retired the next two hitters, picking up the two-out save.

Tonight’s Merchants and Manufacturers Bank Player of the Game is Wes Albert (5.1 IP, 4 SO, 4 H, and 0 R).

The Slammers will face off against the Wildthings again tomorrow in the final matchup of this three-game series.

About the Joliet Slammers: The Joliet Slammers play at DuPage Medical Group Field in downtown Joliet, Illinois, and are members of the professional, independent Frontier League.  The Frontier League is entering its 27th season of play in 2019.  Visit the Slammers online at www.jolietslammers.com or call the ticket office at 815-722-2287 for more information! Don’t forget to “Like” the Slammers on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jolietslammers or follow them on Twitter at @jolietslammers!

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Sunday, September 22

 

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