RECAP: Otters score early and often in Friday's win
MARION, Ill. - The Evansville Otters became the first Frontier League team to reach 20 wins in the 2021 regular season, as they slugged their way to a 14-4 victory over the Southern Illinois Miners from Rent One Park in Marion, Ill. Friday night.
The Otters tagged Miners starter Michael Austin for two runs in the top of the first inning. J.R. Davis began a two-out rally with a base hit, followed by a double from Riley Krane, which set the table for Elijah MacNamee.
MacNamee smacked a two-out, two-run single to center field that gave the Otters their first runs of the night.
The Otters added four more in the top of the third when they sent nine men to the plate.
After Krane singled home Andy DeJesus, MacNamee would collect his third and fourth RBIs of the evening on a two-run triple to left-center field. Bryce Denton capped off the scoring in the frame with a two-out double that scored MacNamee from third. The score was then 6-0.
The Otters scored six runs through the first three innings in back-to-back nights.
Evansville added three more in the top of the fourth, thanks to a sac fly from Krane, and a two-out, RBI-single from Dakota Phillips. MacNamee also scored a run on a wild pitch. The Otters then led 9-0.
Still hungry at the plate, the Otters sent J.R. Davis to the plate with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth. He delivered the killing blow when he clobbered a grand slam to left field. The Otters extended their lead to 13-0.
The Miners broke into the run column with a two-out, run-scoring single from Anthony Brocato off of Otters starter Polo Portela in the bottom of the fifth.
Portela would allow another three runs to score in the bottom of the sixth, but he managed to work through the inning, turning in a strong, six-inning start and leaving his team with a nine run lead. The Otters led 13-4 after six.
Justin Lewis replaced Polo Portela on the mound in the seventh, and would go on to earn the three-inning, nine-out save, his first of the season, by pitching a scoreless back third of the ballgame.
The Otter did add another run in the top of the ninth, when Krane scored on a wild pitch. From there the final score would hold 14-4.
Polo Portela earned his third win of the season, while the Miners’ Michael Austin took his second loss.
The Otters will look to earn a series victory Saturday night and secure a winning road trip with a win in the second game of the set. First pitch will be at 6:05 p.m. Fans can catch an audio broadcast on the Evansville Otters YouTube channel with a 5:50 p.m. pregame show
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.