The Otters came of the gate in a big way, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning.
David Cronin sparked the offense by leading off with a double. After a groundout moved him over to third, Ryan Long drove him on a single and give the Otters a 1-0 lead.
Following back-to-back walks to Elijah MacNamee and Dakota Phillips to load the bases, Keith Grieshaber and Mike Rizzitello hit consecutive RBI singles to extend the Otters’ lead to three with the bases remaining loaded.
Hunter Cullen worked a bases loaded, RBI walk that brought Phillips home and push the Otters’ fourth run across.
In the top of the first, the Otters sent 10 men to the plate, scoring four runs on Lake Erie starter David Lemasters, who was making his professional debut.
Lemasters would settle in, throwing four shutout innings after the first. He would end the day with five innings pitched, allowing four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. He earned the loss, dropping his record to 0-1.
Nicely was able to cruise throughout the game, keeping the Crushers’ lineup off-balance. He left nine runners on base, four of them in scoring position.The only trouble Nicely faced was in the first inning, when the Crushers had runners on the corners and one out. Dale Burdick would popup to Tanner Wetrich and Steven Kraft grounded out to end the frame.
The Otters would add two insurance runs in the top of the ninth as Wetrich hit an RBI single to score Grieshaber, and Cullen would cross home plate on a throwing error by Crushers catcher Bryan DeLaRosa, giving the Otters a 6-0 lead.
After hitting the leadoff batter, Brody Wofford, with a pitch, Nicely used his defense to retire the next three batters to end the game.
With the win, Nicely improved his record to 4-7, his second win at Sprenger Stadium.
Game three will be Thursday at 6:05 p.m. CT with Tyler Vail on the mound for the Otters. All-Star pitcher Patrick Ledet will be on the bump for the Crushers in the rubber match.
Broadcast coverage can be heard on 91.5 WUEV-FM or at evansvilleotters.com with Dave Nguyen on the call.
The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
Evansville will return home to Bosse Field next weekend Aug. 2-4 for a three-game series against the Southern Illinois Miners.
Friday’s game is E is for Everyone Night, partnering with Evansville’s city-wide campaign. There will also be a postgame firework show. Saturday’s game will be Educators Appreciation Night presented by the Public Education Foundation. Before the new school year begins, all educators are invited for a night of baseball and enter to win door prizes and giveaways. Sunday’s series finale will be Bark in the Park sponsored by Meijer and It Takes A Village. Fans can bring their dog to the ballpark.
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.