RECAP: Otters outslugged by Grizzlies in series opener
SAUGET, Ill. - In an offensive slugfest, the Gateway Grizzlies capitalized on four long balls to take the series opener against the Evansville Otters by a 9-7 final.
The Otters took an early lead in the top of the second, when Evansville loaded the bases for Jose Pujols, who plated Andretty Cordero from third with a sacrifice fly to right.
Gateway responded swiftly in the second, when Jordan Rathbone belted his first pro-ball home run to right center, a three-run shot that scored Abdiel Diaz, who had reached via a base on balls, and Connor Owings, who had singled ahead of Rathbone.
In the top of the third, the Otters would respond to regain the lead. After Miles Gordon led off the inning with a single, Elijah MacNamee was hit by a pitch. J.R. Davis followed the MacNamee plate appearance by drawing a walk ahead of Riley Krane. With the bases loaded, Riley Krane smashed a lead-changing grand slam to right-center field for his eighth home run of the season. Evansville then took a 5-3 lead.
Gateway proved anxious to leave the Otters with a lead, clubbing their second three-run homer in consecutive innings to regain the advantage, as Jose Rosario cleared the left field wall at GCS Credit Union ballpark with a line drive shot. Gateway then led 6-5.
Dustin Woodcock got into the home run derby in the bottom of the fourth, belting a two-run shot to right that extended Gateway's lead to 8-5.
Evansville would load the bases in the top of the fifth before cutting the Grizzlies lead to two, as Cordero hit into a 5-3 double play that scored MacNamee from third. Evansville then trailed 8-6.
The Otters clawed within one in the top of the sixth, as Andrew Penner scored from third on an infield single hit by Gordon that led to a throwing error from the Grizzlies shortstop. Evansville drew within one, exiting the top of the sixth with an 8-7 deficit.
Jacob Bowles relieved Austin Gossmann to begin the home half of the sixth. Woodcock met him with the bases empty and one out by hitting his second homer of the day, pushing Gateway's lead to 9-7, which would serve as the final.
Bowles would toss a scoreless seventh to be followed by Samson Abernathy, who fired a 1-2-3 eighth.
Otters starter Austin Gossmann (2-4) took the loss, while Jordan Barrett (3-4), the Grizzlies starter, earned the win. Geoff Bramblett earned the save.
The Otters will look to even the series against the Grizzlies, who have won four in a row, tomorrow at 6:45 p.m. Fans can catch an audio broadcast of the game on the Otters YouTube channel, with a 6:30 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.