07/29/2015 9:47 PM
July 29th, 2015
Sauget, IL—The Evansville Otters (42-20) offense continued to put runs up on the board, but the pitching faltered for the second straight night at GCS Ballpark, this time leading to an Otters 9-7 loss to the Gateway Grizzlies (23-38).
Josh Allen cranked a solo shot in the first inning, his second home run of the series, as the Otters jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. They bumped the lead to two in the second inning, taking advantage of a Nik Balog leadoff double thanks to a John Schultz RBI single.
But Tyler Vail, who had won his last five starts, did not have his best stuff. Vail allowed three runs in the second inning to relinquish the lead before the Otters bounced right back in the top of the third.
The Otters scored three in the frame to regain a two-run lead, getting an RBI single from Nik Balog and an RBI groundout from JD Dorgan before Schultz forced in another with a bases loaded walk to take a 5-3 lead. They lost that lead though in the fourth inning when the Grizzlies scored four off of Vail, staying patient and drawing three walks in the fame and getting tow big runs on a two-out two-run single by Ben Waldrip. They pushed two more across the plate in the fifth inning for a 9-5 lead.
There was little to no offense for the Otters from the fourth inning until the seventh, when Phillips, who hit two home runs last night, came to the plate with Schultz on first and launched his third home run of the series, cutting the lead to two. The comeback stalled there however as the Otters went down in order in the ninth, losing 9-7.
It was the first loss for Vail in his last six starts, dropping him to 7-3 on the season, giving up nine runs (six earned) in five innings. Phillips now has six home runs on the season and Allen five while Schultz went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Shane Weedman, one night after the Otters went 13 innings, saved the bullpen by going 2.2 innings pitched, giving up just one hit and no runs in a valiant relief effort, keeping the Otters close.
The Otters are back at it tomorrow night in the series finale, which is scheduled to start at 7:05 pm CDT. The pregame show with Jake Donnelly starts at 6:45 pm CDT.
The Otters will not be back in Evansville, IN until next Wednesday when they will start a three game series against the Frontier Greys with a doubleheader on Wednesday. That game will be Princess Night at Bosse Field with the first pitch of Game One scheduled for 5:35 and the gates opening at 5 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.