RECAP: Otters even series behind Portela's strong start
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The Evansville Otters rode early offense and a fantastic start from Polo Portela to a 5-3 victory over the Joliet Slammers Wednesday, evening the weekday series at one game apiece.
The Otters took an early lead in the bottom of the first, when they set the table for J.R. Davis by putting runners on the corners with nobody out. Davis drove in the first run of the ballgame with an RBI double into the left-center field gap that scored Miles Gordon easily from third.
The Otters would add two more runs the following batter, as Riley Krane drove in Elijah MacNamee and J.R. Davis with a base hit to right center, giving the Otters a 3-0 lead.
Evansville added a couple more runs in the bottom of the fourth, as Davis netted his second RBI-hit of the day with a one-out single scoring Gordon and Dakota Phillips drove in the Otters last run of the ballgame with two outs. The Otters then led 5-0.
Joliet scored their first and only run off Polo Portela in the top of the fifth, when Zack Costello scored Alonzo Jones Jr. from third on an RBI groundout to short.
Portela would end up throwing seven innings of one-run ball, striking out eight while scattering four hits.
Tyler Spring came on to work in his first appearance since being activated off the injured list earlier Wednesday afternoon, giving up two runs in the eighth on a Braxton Davidson home run to right. The Slammers cut the Otters lead to two, but the score would hold at 5-3 for the final.
Logan Sawyer came on in the top of the ninth to nail down the save. After back-to-back leadoff hits, Sawyer struck out Zack Costello for the first out before getting Tyler Depreta-Johnson to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.
Sawyer picked up his ninth save of the season, while Polo Portela (5-0) earned his league-leading fifth win. Tyler Jandron (1-4) took the loss.
Evansville will continue their six-game homestand with a Thursday rubber match against the Slammers on a Jacob’s Village Fireworks Night. First pitch in that game will be at 6:35 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.