RECAP: Welch goes eight strong as Otters earn series win
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters received eight strong innings out of starter Jake Welch, and five Otters finish with multiple hits in 6-1 win against the Windy City Thunderbolts Thursday night.
Welch took the baseball for the Otters in Thursday’s series finale against the Thunderbolts, making his first start at Bosse Field in 2019.
Welch did his job on the mound, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out three in eight innings.
The right-hander also received run support from the Otters offense on Thursday.
Second baseman David Cronin was a tone-setter at the top of the Otters’ lineup, picking up two hits and two RBIs.
In the bottom of the first, Cronin led off with a single, stole second, swiped third, and scored on a sac-fly from Ryan Long to give the Otters a 1-0 lead.
In the second, after Mike Rizzitello and Justin Erby singled, Cronin lined a single to centerfield, scoring his teammates to extend the Otters lead to three.
Welch can also credit the defense behind him for making big plays.
In the top of the second, with a runner on first and one out, a ground ball by Randy Perez toward third allowed Long to turn a 5-4-3 double play.
With runners on second and third with one out in the fourth, a key catch in left field and quick throw from Keith Grieshaber held Dash Winningham at third with two outs, and a flyout to Erby in right field ended the threat.
In the top of the fifth, after Jordan Swiss singled to lead off the inning, a groundball to Long recorded the second 5-4-3 double play of the game.
In the Otters’ half of the fifth inning, with Carlos Castro at second, Rob Calabrese launched a two-run home run to left field to give the Otters a commanding 5-0 lead.
Grieshaber flashed his leather in the sixth with a runner on first. He caught a flyout from Dash Winningham in left and threw a ball straight to Castro at first to double up Manuel Mesa to record the third double play of the evening.
Kenny Mathews, who two-hit the Otters the last time these two teams played in Windy City, threw 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He would be pulled in the sixth, earning the loss.
An RBI single by Winningham in the eighth would be the only blip on Welch’s radar, as he ended his outing with a strikeout. He tossed eight innings of one run baseball, earning his first win of the season.
Long would earn an RBI walk from Blake Hickman, the same pitcher he tripled off of on Tuesday night to make it 6-1.
Otters reliever Taylor Wright continued his solid season, retiring the side in the ninth on three strikeouts, increasing his total to 26 strikeouts.
The Otters will stay home for a three-game homestand during the weekend to face the Schaumburg Boomers, who they just played a week ago in the suburbs of Chicago.
Randy Wynne will take the mound for the Otters, while the Boomers will have Aaron Rozek.
First pitch on Friday will be at 6:35 p.m. and can be heard on the Otters Digital Network via YouTube or on the radio at 91.5 FM WUEV with Dave Nguyen on the play-by-play and Bill McKeon as the analyst.
The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
The Otters will have a sticker giveaway presented by Signarama on Friday. Friday’s game is also presented by Southside Stars Youth Zone.
Saturday will be the 25th Anniversary Season Celebration, commemorative hat giveaway by Heritage Federal Credit Union, with postgame fireworks with Slay’s Restoration, and Girl Scout Night.
Sunday’s series finale will be presented by WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone.
To purchase a season ticket or group outing package, call (812) 435-8686 or visit the Bosse Field front office at 23 Don Mattingly Way, Evansville, Ind. The front office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.
The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For more information, visit evansvilleotters.com or call 812-435-8686.