The entire game can be described as a roller coaster ride, with many ups and downs.
The Otters jumped out to a two-run lead after an RBI double from Ryan Long and an RBI single by Dakota Phillips in the bottom of the first inning.
Following a quiet second and third innings, Schaumburg’s Julio Gonzalez hit an RBI double to give the Boomers their first run of the game in the top of the fourth. He scored on an error from Carlos Castro, as a ground ball rolled under his glove on a ball hit by Connor Oliver, tying the score at two.
In the fifth, Schaumburg’s Dylan Jones, who hit a two-run homer on Friday night, jacked a solo blast to lead off the fifth, giving the Boomers a 3-2 lead.
After Jimmy Galusky singled, Otters rookie left-hander Jacquis Pacheu, making his first professional start, was pulled after striking out catcher Nick Oddo. He finished with a no-decision, throwing 4.1 innings, allowing four runs – three earned – on nine hits and four strikeouts.
Otters reliever Chris Cepeda entered the game and gave up a two-run home run to Clint Hardy, giving the Boomers a 5-2 lead.
The Otters were able to respond in the bottom half of the inning.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Dakota Phillips hit a ground ball down the first base line. Boomers starter Aaron Rozek threw the ball over the head of first baseman Wilkyns Jimenez, allowing all three runs to score and Phillips advancing to second. He was credited with a single, advancing to second on the error, as the Otters were able to tie the game at five.
Rozek went five innings, allowing six runs – five earned – on nine hits and three walks, taking a no-decision.
Rob Calabrese roped an RBI double to the wall in left-centerfield to give the Otters a 6-5 lead.
Schaumburg responded in the top of the sixth as Galuksy’s RBI double scored Jack Parenty to tie the game at six in the sixth.
Cepeda was pulled for Taylor Wright, who shut the Boomers down in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Justin Erby led off by reaching on an error by Schaumburg shortstop Alex Polston. Erby was hurt on the play, causing Hunter Cullen to enter the game as a pinch-runner.
A sacrifice bunt by Meggs moved Cullen to second, and a groundout by Cronin advanced him to third.
Keith Grieshaber forced a walk to put runners on the corners for the Otters.
Ryan Long then hit a ground ball to Jimenez at first, but his throw to pitcher Jake Cousins was not in time. It was ruled an error on Jimenez, allowing Cullen to touch home plate, giving the Otters a 7-6 lead.
Danny Hrbek retired the Boomers in order in the ninth, including a strikeout to Clint Hardy, earning his fourth save of the season.
Wright recorded the win for the Otters, finishing 2.2 innings scoreless in relief.
Cousins took the loss, giving up the one unearned run.
The rubber match of this series will be on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. at Bosse Field. Broadcast coverage can be heard on the Otters Digital Network via YouTube or on the radio at 91.5 FM with Dave Nguyen with the play-by-play and Bill McKeon as the analyst.
Tyler Beardsley will take the mound for the Otters, while Gunnar Kines will be on the hill for the Boomers.
The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
Sunday’s series finale will be presented by WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone.
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.