RECAP: Otters sweep Saturday doubleheader against Miners
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - With walk-off Home Run Derby heroics, the Evansville Otters swept the Southern Illinois Miners in a Saturday doubleheader on “A League of their Own Night” at historic Bosse Field.
Winning their fifth and sixth games in a row, the Otters extended their lead in the Frontier League’s West Division to two games over the Florence Y’alls.
The Otters opened the scoring in game one in the bottom of the second, when Andrew Penner singled home Andy DeJesus, who had doubled with two out, to give Evansville a 1-0 lead.
The Otters extended their lead in the top of the third when Riley Krane collected an RBI knock that scored J.R. Davis, who had doubled ahead of the Otters’ cleanup man. Evansville then led 2-0.
The Miners shortened the Otters’ lead to one when Yeltsin Gudino hit a leadoff homer in the top of the fourth off of Otters starter Polo Portela. It was the first hit Portela had allowed to that point.
From there, all eyes turned to the Otters’ right hander, who carried his club the rest of the way allowing only one other hit in the abbreviated seven inning affair. Polo Portela earned the win with the doubleheader-shortened complete game, improving his record to 7-1.
Evansville took game one by a 2-1 final.
The scoring in game two opened in the top of the second, when Ariel Sandoval scored from second on a stolen base and throwing error charged to Otters catcher Dakota Phillips, whose throw down to third clipped the bat of Anthony Brocato. Southern Illinois then led 1-0.
The Otters would have to wait until the bottom of the fourth to tie the game when Andretty Cordero doubled to the ivy wall to the right of straightaway center. The double put Dakota Phillips at third with one out, from which he would score when Jose Pujols hit a sac fly to center, giving the Otters a 2-1 lead.
Marty Anderson, who had allowed only the one unearned run in the second, would be relieved with one out in the top of the fifth, bringing his first start since June 16 and his stint on the injured list to an end. Samson Abernathy came on to get the final two outs of the Miners’ half of the fifth.
Abernathy would also get the first two outs of the sixth before issuing a two-out walk, when he was relieved for Tyler Spring.
Spring first faced Ian Walters, who would tie the game on an RBI triple, before Spring struck out Ariel Sandoval to end the inning and strand the go-ahead run at third. At that point the clubs were tied at two runs apiece.
Spring would pitch a scoreless seventh, and after the Otters could not bring home a winning run in the seventh, Logan Sawyer came on to pitch an extra eighth.
The inning began with a bequeathed runner at second in the form of Carson Bartels. After a botched attempt to field a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher by Yeltsin Gudino, Bartels advanced to third. He would score on Nolan Earley’s sac fly to center, giving the Miners a 3-2 lead in extras.
The Otters succeeded in tying the game in the bottom of the eighth when J.R. Davis --- a night after driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh --- doubled home the international tie breaker runner Andy DeJesus leading off the inning. Miners reliever Ryan Miller managed to strand the winning run in scoring position, however, sending the ballgame to a home run derby finale.
The derby opened with three home runs for Luke Mangieri. Riley Krane would follow the Mangieri bout with two home runs of his own, bringing the Otters to within one. After one round, the Otters trailed in the derby 3-2.
Nolan Earley kicked off the second round with two home runs of his own; however, it was revealed that Southern Illinois had batted out of the home run derby order set by Miners manager Mike Pinto. Therefore, Earley’s two home runs were erased, ending the Miners' second round.
Following the erased home runs, Dakota Phillips gave the Otters the derby lead with three homers of his own. After two rounds, Evansville led the Miners 5-3 in the derby.
Batting for the second time in his actual spot, Earley hit for the Miners’ in their final round. Earley clubbed two home runs to tie the derby and set up a walk off opportunity for Andretty Cordero and the Otters.
Cordero needed only one pitch from Otters’ hitting coach Bobby Segal to walk off in the derby with a towering drive to left. Evansville won the derby 6-5, sweeping the doubleheader and winning their sixth game in a row.
The Otters will draw their four-game series with the Miners to a close with a chance to sweep Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on Frontier League LiveTV, with a 4:50 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.