06/13/2015 8:16 PM
June 13th, 2015
Marion, IL—The Evansville Otters (17-9) had a 2-0 lead after two innings of play, but watched the lead slip away over the final frames, succumbing to the Southern Illinios Miners (17-9) by a final score of 4-3.
The game started on the perfect foot for the Otters, as after getting no-hit the night before, the second batter of the game, Kurt Wertz Jr. came through with the first hit of the series in a big way; blasting an opposite field shot over the left field wall to put the Otters up 1-0.
They went right back at it in the second as the second batter of the frame, John Schultz, connected for an opposite field double off of the left field wall. After a strikeout by Josh Allen, Rodney Daal came to the plate for the first time this season and hit a tapper back to Miners’ starter Adam Lopez who threw the ball away down the right field line, allowing the second run of th game for the Otters to cross the plate.
Efrain Nieves took the mound for the Otters tonight and was impressive through the first four innings, not allowing a hit of any kind before finally slipping in the fifth. The Miners used a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases for Aaron Gates who hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it a 2-1 ballgame. The Miners would tie it in the seventh inning off of Nieves when he relinquished a solo home run to Jon Minucci, tying the game 2-2.
Nieves pitched well, but the Otters bats failed him in the eighth inning, again not scoring any runs and it came back to hurt the boys from Bosse as Connor Little relieved Nieves and quickly gave up two runs, putting the Miners ahead for the first time in the game, 4-2.
The Otters showed their heart as always though, battling to the final strike. After Schultz laced his second double of the game, Cory Urquhart fouled off three consecutive 0-2 pitched with two strikes before singling him home to bring the Otters to within one in the top of the ninth. Ronnie Richardson battled as well and despite striking out, the catcher, Toby Demello, dropped the ball and that allowed Richardson to reach and the game to continue.
Kurt Wertz Jr. stepped to the plate yet again. During his at bat Richardson moved up to second on defensive indifference to put both the possible tying and go ahead runs in scoring position. However, after fouling off a 2-2 pitch and taking a ball to work the count full, Wertz Jr. was jammed on a 3-2 fastball, grounding out to first to end the game with the Otters dropping the first two games of the series.
The winning pitcher was Eric Green, picking up his first decision of the season while Connor Little drops to 2-1 on the season. Will Rankin was shaky in the ninth but completed save number nine.
The Otters will try to salvage the last game of the series when they play the Miners tomorrow night at 5:05 pm CDT with the pregame show with Jake Donnelly starting at 4:45 pm CDT.
The Otters will not be back home until next Wednesday, which is the 100th Anniversary Game at Bosse Field. The Otters will play host to the Windy City Thunderbolts for the historic event with the gates opening at a special time of 5:00 pm CDT.
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.