06/27/2015 8:07 PM
June 27th, 2015
Avon, OH—Tyler Vail kept his fastball in the zone, producing his lowest walk total on the season and the Evansville Otters (24-14) rode the righty’s control and a pair of John Schultz RBI en route to a 4-2 victory at All Pro Freight Stadium over the Lake Erie Crushers (14-21).
After getting moved into the leadoff spot for tonight’s game, Cory Urquhart rewarded manger Andy McCauley’s move almost immediately by tripling into left center to begin the ballgame. He was pushed across the plate by Schultz on an RBI groundout, giving the Otters the early 1-0 lead.
It would take a bit for Vail to settle in though, as he allowed a run in the bottom of the first inning, giving the lead right back on three singles by the Crushers. It could have been worse, but Chris Sweeney gunned down a runner trying to go from first to third on a two out single to center, thus ending the frame.
Vail rewarded his defense’s efforts, keeping the Crushers off of the scoreboard until the bottom of the third inning as he issued his first two walks of the game, leading to the first lead of the series for the Crushers. He walked the leadoff batter and allowed him to steal second base, and after a groundout to second pushed the runner to third, Vail unleashed a wild pitch, letting a run score without the benefit of a hit.
However, Vail settled down almost immediately and continued to pump zeroes up on the All Pro Freight Stadium scoreboard, and the offense finally came alive in the top of the sixth inning. Dean Wilson came to the plate with one out and reached on an infield single to second. After Urquhart sacrificed him over, Schultz came through with yet another clutch hit, this time a single to center to tie the game at 2-2, and driving in his 26th RBI of the season, tying him for the team lead with Shayne Houck.
Houck followed and against new pitcher Kolby Moore, tapped a ball towards second and was able to beat the throw for the Otters’ second infield single of the frame. That left runners at first and second for Jeremy Nowak who hit a sinking liner into right field where Chandler Brock misplayed it, letting the ball hit off of his glove as he went into the slide, rolling past him and towards the wall, which allowed both Schultz and Houck to score on the play, giving the Otters a 4-2 lead.
After Vail retired the side in the seventh by capping his evening with his fifth strikeout, Connor Little took the ball in the eighth and picked up two strikeouts of his own before handing the game to Edgar Lopez. Lopez, who had been a perfect nine-for-nine on the season in save situations entering the game, struck out the first two batters he faced before walking the number nine batter. But, the righty from Hermasillo, Mexico came back to strike out pinch hitter Ty Nelson, striking out the side and granting the Otters the 4-2 victory.
Tyler Vail went seven innings out on the mound and allowed seven hits while allowing just two runs and striking out five to just two walks, picking up his third win of the season to improve to 3-2. The losing pitcher was Brad Zambron, who dropped to 1-3 on the season as Edgar Lopez stayed perfect and is now ten-for-ten in save chances.
Tomorrow’s game is a matinee with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm CDT and the pregame show with Jake Donnelly starting at 12:45 pm CDT. The next home game for the Otters is next Wednesday when the Otters will hoist the Windy City Thunderbolts for a doubleheader starting at 5:35 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.