RECAP: Otters rally to push win streak to five
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Evansville Otters rallied to score four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday, en route to their fifth win in a row, beating the Windy City ThunderBolts by a final score of 7-5.
Evansville local Vinny Santarsiero started for the Otters, making his first professional appearance since 2018, when he pitched in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
The ThunderBolts would score two runs (one earned) in the top of the first after some early wildness from Santarsiero, who would succeed in limiting the damage after the Bolts loaded the bases with only one out.
The Otters would tie the game at two in the bottom of the third, as J.R. Davis grounded into a 4-6-3, run-scoring double play, followed by a wild pitch that scored Miles Gordon from third.
Santarsiero settled down by pitching scoreless second and third innings, but after an infield single and throwing error put Jairus Richards in scoring position with two out in the top of the fourth, Reid Bukowski came on to relieve Santarsiero and face former Otter catcher Rob Calabrese.
Calabrese would single home an unearned run in the at-bat, before Bukowski got a 4-3 groundball to end the inning. Windy City would regain the lead with the base hit, making the score 3-2.
The ThunderBolts would extend their lead in the top of the fifth, when Peyton Isaacson singled home Brynn Martinez with one out, pushing their lead to 4-2.
The Otters came back within one in the bottom half of that inning, as Riley Krane delivered a sac fly to center with the bases loaded, which scored Miles Gordon.
Bukowski would pitch into the seventh inning, until he was relieved by Samson Abernathy with two out in the bottom of the seventh. Abernathy would strike out the last batter in the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Rob Calabrese came to the plate with a runner at third and singled home his second run of the night, as Windy City pushed their lead back to two in a 5-3 game.
In the bottom half of that inning, Bryce Denton would leadoff with a bloop double to right, followed by a walk issued to John Schultz. After a sacrifice bunt from Justin Felix put runners at second and third with one out, Miles Gordon singled home a run to make it a 5-4 game.
After Andy DeJesus hit a soft liner to second, J.R. Davis would work a 3-0 count and be intentionally walked to load the bases for Riley Krane.
Krane stepped up to the plate with two out and the tying run at third. With a 1-0 count, Krane laced a ball out to the wall in right center field for a go-ahead, three-run triple. Krane’s clutch triple put the Otters up 7-5.
That score would hold for a final as Logan Sawyer came on to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth and earn his fifth save of the season.
Samson Abernathy earned his first win of the season, while the loss went to Neil Abbatiello.
The Otters will look to extend their winning streak to six games Saturday night, as they honor the Negro Leagues alongside the Evansville African American Museum. Following the game, the Otters will also host a firework show. First pitch will be at 6:35 p.m, with a 6:20 p.m. pregame show on Frontier League LiveTV.
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.