RECAP: Otters comeback falls short; Rascals up 2-0 in FLDS
O’FALLON, Mo. - Despite a late comeback effort by the Evansville Otters Wednesday, the River City Rascals were able to hold on and win game two of the Frontier League Divisional Series 4-3, taking a 2-0 series lead.
The early part of the game Wednesday had limited offense and a battle on the mound between Evansville starter Tyler Beardsley and River City starter Taylor Ahearn.
Both offenses were kept in check, as it was a scoreless game through the first three innings.
After allowing a leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning, Beardsley cruised through the first three innings, retiring nine in a row.
The Otters had their opportunity to score the game’s first run with the bases loaded in the top of the second inning, but Ahearn got David Cronin to ground out to get out of the jam.
In the bottom of the fourth with one out, the Rascals were able to strike first.
Following three straight singles and a strikeout for the second out, first baseman Zach Lavy came through with a two-RBI double to score Braxton Martinez and Trevor Achenbach, giving the Rascals a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Rascals led off with back-to-back hits.
After a two-home run night on Tuesday, Nolan Meadows came through again for River City with runners on the corners. Meadows hit a two-RBI double, pushing his RBI total in the series to six, and extending the Rascals’ lead to four.
In the top of the sixth, the Otters had the bases loaded once again, but Rascals reliever Andrew Vernon ended the threat with a strikeout and a fielder’s choice putout.
Rascals starting pitcher Taylor Ahearn threw five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out five. He earned the win.
Beardsley started the bottom of the sixth, recording a strikeout to Kameron Esthay.
After Lavy reached on an error and Tanner Murphy singled, the Otters right hander was relieved for Drew Beyer. Displaying some frustration, Beardsley was ejected from the game on his way back to the Otters’ dugout. Otters manager Andy McCauley would also get ejected from the game.
Beardsley finished with nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched, allowing four runs on nine hits. He was given the loss.
Beyer went on to toss 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of Beardsley with four strikeouts, keeping the Otters in the game.
The Otters had the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the seventh and were able to capitalize with their third bases-loaded opportunity in the game.
Dakota Phillips was able to work an RBI walk to score Ryan Long, giving the Otters their first run of the game off Rascals reliever Anthony Herrera.
Rob Calabrese followed by lacing a two-RBI double down the left field line, giving the Otters a fighter’s chance down 4-3.
Cam Opp entered as the Otters’ third pitcher of the game, going 1.1 innings scoreless, and striking out two.
The Otters’ pitching staff recorded 15 strikeouts in the game.
The Otters loaded the bases again in the top of the eighth with one out.
Elijah MacNamee hit a bullet to Kameron Esthay in right field that was caught for the second out. Esthay then doubled up Tanner Wetrich on a throw to home plate, allowing the catcher Murphy to prevent Wetrich from scoring the tying run.
The Otters had one last opportunity in the top of the ninth, as the momentum appeared to swing in the Otters’ favor.
With one out and Rascals closer Jason Zgardowski on the mound, Dakota Phillips poked a double over the head of Braxton Martinez to left field, giving the Otters the tying run in scoring position. Phillips was replaced for Jack Meggs as a pinch runner.
Two batters later, Hunter Cullen worked a two-out walk, sending Wetrich to the plate with the tying and go-ahead runs on base, but Wetrich would strike out to end the game.
Zgardowski earned a two-inning save, his first of the postseason and the 13th of the year.
The Otters will look to turn the tide when they return to Bosse Field Friday for the third game of the FLDS, sending Jake Welch to the mound.
First pitch from Bosse Field Friday will be at 6:35 p.m.
Broadcast coverage can be found on the radio at 91.5 WUEV-FM, WUEV.org and evansvilleotters.com or streamed on the Otters Digital Network via YouTube with Dave Nguyen (play-by-play) and Bill McKeon (analyst) on the call.
Evansville will host games 3-5 Friday through Sunday. Friday and Saturday will start at 6:35 p.m., and Sunday will start at 12:35 p.m.
Tickets and passes for postseason games at Bosse Field are on sale now evansvilleotters.com, calling (812) 435-86886, or at the Bosse Field box office.
The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
The Evansville Otters want to thank all fans and corporate partners for their support and help in making the Otters' 25th anniversary season a success.
To purchase a playoff pass or a group outing, 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.