The Evansville Otters are excited to announce that they have picked up the option on right handed pitchers Justin Smith and Nick Utley for the 2009 season.
Smith was 1-2 with a 3.03 earned run average in 32.2 innings pitched last year for the Otters. Smith is a native of Clinton, South Carolina and played four years collegiate baseball for the Citadel Bulldogs. He led the Bulldogs with wins picking up seven in 2007 and eight in 2006. Smith’s overall career record with the Bulldogs was 21-7 over four seasons.
Utley was 2-4 with a 3.70 earned run average in 56 innings pitched for the Otters in 2008. Utley is originally from nearby Madisonville, KY and played here locally as a freshman for the University of Evansville Purple Aces hitting.185 in 27 games playing shortstop. He made nine appearances on the mound in 2003 with the Aces going 2-0 with a 5.63 earned run average. He transferred to NAIA Lee University hitting .331 with 12 jacks and knocking in 40 RBIs. Utley again made some trips to the mound for the Flames with a 4-1 record and an ERA of 3.72. In 2007 he played for the now defunct independent South Coast League Macon, Georgia team. While pitching in Macon he went 6-2 with a 4.12 earned run average in 83 innings pitched.
The Evansville Otters are members of the Frontier League 12-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 17th season this summer. The Otters will begin their fifteenth season at 7:05 p.m. May 22 vs. Southern Illinois. Advertising and season-ticket information is available by calling (812) 435-8686. Fans can also visit the Otters website by visiting www.evansvilleotters.com.