Down to their final at-bat, the Evansville Otters tied the Normal CornBelters with two runs in the ninth inning and jumped ahead with two more in the 10th for an 8-6 win on Thursday night.
The victory sets a season-high four game winning streak for Evansville.
The Otters trailed early as outfielder Asif Shah struck for two-runs on a ground rule double to left field.
Trailing 2-0, Evansville scored a run in the top of the third only to see Normal get the run back in the bottom of the inning.
The same sequence happened in the fourth inning as well as the Otters were back down by a pair of runs.
Ahead 4-2, CornBelters pitcher Ryan Sheldon allowed a few men to reach in the sixth inning. Evansville first baseman Steve Caseres then drilled a long fly ball to center field that scored teammates Greg Alexander and Jamar Walton on the double.
The game would remain tied at four until the bottom of the seventh inning. Reliever Patrick Crider walked Asif Shah with the bases loaded and then right-hander J.T. Odom came in, only to force another run in on a walk to Daniel Cox.
Down 8-6, the Otters failed to score against reliever Liam Ohlmann in the next inning and the pitcher stayed in for the ninth inning save. But the pitcher could not close out the game. He allowed an RBI single to Joe Spiers and then with two outs in the inning, outfielder Greg Alexander brought home the game-tying run on a base hit to center field.
Evened up again at six, reliever Josh Cephas encountered some trouble in the bottom of the ninth. He allowed a few men to reach base and manager Andy McCauley was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. But Cephas was able to strikeout Matthew Mansilla to end the inning and send the game to extras.
Lefty Donald Furrow then came in to pitch for Normal but gave up the lead on an RBI single by outfielder Troy Frazier. It was the first lead for the Otters and they would not squander it. Evansville added a run on a throwing error and closer Eric Massingham retired the CornBelters in the bottom half to preserve the 8-6 comeback win for the Otters.
Evansville has now won a season-high four games in a row to start this roadtrip, and are now 19-36 in the standings. The Normal CornBelters have now lost seven straight games at home and below .500 to 27-28 overall.
Josh Cephas (3-2) earns the win for Evansville after tossing two scoreless innings. The Otters used six relievers in the ballgame after pitcher Kyle Barry threw five innings and left with a no-decision. Donald Furrow (0-1) is the losing pitcher, giving up a run in his only inning of the night. Eric Massingham also recorded his 11th save of the season.
Outfielder Greg Alexander finished 2 for 4 in the win with a solo home run and a game-tying RBI single in the 9th. Fellow outfielder Troy Frazier was 1 for 5 in the game with his only hit being the game-winner in extra innings.
Evansville will now look for their fifth straight win on Friday night in the middle game of the series against Normal. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CDT as right-hander Kyle Eastham (0-3, 5.32 Earned Run Average) starts for the Otters and righty Matt Mossey (1-0, 3.60 ERA) is the probable pitcher for the CornBelters.
For more information on America's game and Evansville's team, please visit the Otters' official website at http://www.evansvilleotters.com . Fans can also call the team's front office at (812) 435-8686 about ticket information and any upcoming promotions.