06/06/2015 8:25 PM
Joliet, IL—The Otters scored eight runs combined in the fifth and six innings to turn an 1-0 deficit into an 8-1 lead and buried the Slammers 8-2 at Silver Cross Field to take their second series in a row.
Tyler Vail stayed perfect on the season in a gutty performance, improving his record to 2-0 while dropping his ERA to 5.24. Walks were an issue for Vail (he walked seven), but when he needed it most he got out of trouble with double plays, including one with the bases loaded in the second and nobody out, which resulted in the first run of the game for the Slammers.
Vail though settled down in the middle innings and it gave the Otters a chance to blow the doors off of Silver Cross Field, which is exactly what they did in the fifth inning off of Slammers’ starter Kevin Walter.
JD Dorgan led off the inning with a single and then scored on a double by Ronnie Richardson. One of Kurt Wertz Jr.’s three singles put runners on the corners with one out and after a popout by Shayne Houck, Nik Balog sent one his four singles up the middle to give the Otters a 2-1 lead. After a single by Chris Sweeney, John Schultz took the first pitch of his at bat and roped it into left center, propelling the Otters ahead 4-1.
Following a 1-2-3 inning from Vail, the Otters big third baseman and reigning Frontier League MVP in Houck came to plate and he muscled his fifth home run of the season over the left field wall for an Otters 8-1 lead.
The Otters never looked back after that thanks to good pitching from Vail and a great bailout by Connor Little in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Max Peterson, the pitching coach of the Otters, called for Little to ge the Otters out of trouble and he did just that, striking out the two batters he faced to secure the Otters 8-1 lead. He went back out in the eighth inning and struck out the side, recording all five outs in his outing via the strikeout.
Wertz Jr. went 3-for-5 on the evening while Balog one-upped him by going 4-for-5, making him 7-for-10 in the series. Houck finished 2-for-5 on the night with the home run and three RBI and Josh Allen went 2-for-4 with a double.
The Otters return to Silver Cross Field tomorrow to finish off the series against the Slammers with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 P.M. CDT. The pregame show with Jake Donnelly will start at 4:45 P.M. CDT.
The Otters will not be back home until next Wednesday when the Otters play a double header against the Normal Cornbelters with the first game scheduled to start at 5:35 CDT P.M.
Fans can purchase tickets by calling the team’s front office at 812.435.8686 or online at EvansvilleOtters.com. For all of the latest information on the Otters, log on to EvansvilleOtters.com or follow the team’s twitter account @EvilleOtters.