MARION, Ill. – Trailing 4-2 heading into the eighth inning Tuesday, the Evansville Otters rallied with four unanswered runs in the last two innings to earn a 6-4 win against the Southern Illinois Miners, leading to the Otters’ 50th win of the season.
With the win, the Otters moved a half game ahead of the Florence Freedom, who were idle Tuesday, in the Frontier League West Division standings.
In the series opener, the Miners struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning when Taylor Sparks hit an RBI double to score Jamey Smart, who had reached on an error.
Otters starter Tyler Beardsley pitched two scoreless innings following that, seeing his offensive support tie the game at one in the fourth inning.
After Ryan Long walked and then advanced to third base on a single by Elijah MacNamee, first baseman Dakota Phillips delivered with the first of his three hits and his two RBIs on the night.
The Otters jumped ahead 2-1 in the top of the sixth on Long’s 14th home run of the season and added a league-leading 74th RBI.
Beardsley had done his part on the mound to keep the Otters in the game, retiring 11 straight batters until Yeltsin Gudino broke up the streak with a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth.
Then the Miners responded with two runs to retake the lead. With runners on first and second, Kyle Davis doubled to score Gudino, but then the Otters’ second error of the night allowed Smart to score from first base.
Southern Illinois starter Chase Cunningham would exit the game after the top of the seventh, allowing only two runs on seven hits while tossing five strikeouts. He would end up with a no-decision.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Miners received a sac fly by Jarrod Watkins to double the Otters’ run total with a 4-2 advantage.
Beardsley also finished his night on the bump after seven innings, surrendering four runs – three earned – with no walks and seven strikeouts. He also took a no-decision.
The Otters then made their late statement in the last two innings.
Evansville brought the game back within one in the top of the eighth when Taylor Lane came through with a ground rule double to score Long.
Otters reliever Drew Beyer conquered his task of keeping the Otters within one run by pitching a scoreless eighth inning.
Down 4-3 to begin the ninth, the top three batters in the Otters’ lineup in David Cronin, Keith Grieshaber, and Long all walked to load the bases with no outs.
After a pitching change by the Miners, MacNamee also walked to score Cronin, tie the game at four, and advance the other runners to keep the bases loaded.
The next batter was Phillips, who tallied his second RBI on a sac fly to score Grieshaber as the go-ahead run and giving the Otters a 5-4 lead.
Then Lane recorded his second RBI on a single that scored Long and provided the Otters a little breathing room with a 6-4 lead going to the bottom of the ninth.
Taylor Wright closed out the game in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win for the Otters, picking up his 14th save of the season.
Evansville’s Beyer was credited with the win, and Southern Illinois’ Heath Renz was dealt the loss after blowing the save opportunity in the ninth.
In five plate appearances, Long was 1-2 with a home run, three walks, and four runs scored.
MacNamee, Phillips, and Lane all had multi-hit games, each earning at least one RBI.
MacNamee went 3-4 with three singles and an RBI walk, Phillips was 3-4 with two singles, a double, and two RBIs, and Lane followed with a single, double, and two RBIs.
Tuesday was the Otters’ first win of the season when trailing after eight innings.
Game two of the road series for the Otters will be Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. from Rent One Park in Marion, Ill.
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.
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