EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Thanks to a quality start from starter Brandyn Sittinger and a key two-RBI double by Rob Calabrese, the Evansville Otters beat the Gateway Grizzlies 3-1 on Wednesday.
Wednesday was a low-scoring game as both starting pitchers stranded base runners.
The Grizzlies struck first in the top of the second inning on an RBI single by Gunnar Buhner, giving Gateway the early 1-0 lead.
The Otters matched that with a run of their own in bottom half of the inning, as Tanner Wetrich worked a bases-loaded walk to score Elijah MacNamee.
Tied at one, the Otters jumped ahead in the bottom of the third.
With one out, Ryan Long was hit by a pitch and MacNamee worked a walk to put runners on first and second. Both would advance a base after a balk by Grizzlies starter Jordan Barrett.
With two runners in scoring position, Calabrese ripped a two-RBI double down the left field line, scoring Long and MacNamee to give the Otters a 3-1 lead.
Sittinger would find a groove from there. The Otters’ right-hander threw six innings, allowing a run on three hits. He also struck out eight, earning his first win at Bosse Field, and improved his record to 2-2.
Barrett, after tossing seven shutout innings against the Otters two weeks ago, pitched well enough for the Grizzlies to win. He allowed three runs on three hits while striking out eight. He was handed the loss, dropping his record to 4-6.
Both bullpens held the opposing offenses scoreless.
The Otters and Grizzlies each left 10 men on base.
Otters relievers Drew Beyer and Cam Opp each recorded a pair of strikeouts in setting up the ninth for closer Taylor Wright.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Cletis Avery singled, forcing the tying run to the plate.
Wright locked in, getting Connor Owings to strikeouts and Andrew Daniel to fly out to record his 17th save of the season.
The Otters’ magic number to clinch a postseason berth is one after the Southern Illinois Miners also won Wednesday against the Lake Erie Crushers.
With a win on Thursday or a Southern Illinois loss, the Otters would clinch their fourth straight playoff berth.
The Otters’ magic number to clinch a division title is four after Wednesday’s action.
First pitch Thursday for game three of the series and Evansville’s last regular season home game will be at 6:35 p.m. from Bosse Field.
Broadcast coverage can be found on the radio at 91.5 WUEV-FM or WUEV.org 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.
For Evansville’s final regular season homestand, the Otters are presenting Bites, Brews and Baseball.
Thursday’s regular season home finale will be Customer Appreciation Night, College Night, and Bud Light Thirsty Thursday. For College Night, those with a valid college I.D. can get $2 G.A. tickets and free popcorn. There will special price drafts for Bud Light Thirsty Thursday presented by Working Distributors. Thursday will also feature special music guest DJ McNaughty. Thursday is sponsored by Army ROTC.
The Evansville Otters want to thank all fans and corporate partners for their support and help in making the Otters’ 25th anniversary season a success.
To purchase a playoff pass or a group outing, 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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