RECAP: Otters claw back to capture win against Crushers
AVON, Ohio - The Evansville Otters completed a stunning, four-run comeback against the Lake Erie Crushers Friday night, becoming the first team in the Frontier League to win 40 games in the 2021 Frontier League regular season.
The Otters tallied their first hit in the opening half inning, when Elijah MacNamee doubled off the base of the left field wall with one out. The Otters would leave him stranded, however, as Sam Curtis, making his second start of the season for the Crushers, worked around the runner in scoring position.
Austin Gossmann took the hill for the Otters in the bottom of the first, losing the leadoff man Shawon Dunston Jr. to a base on balls before a ground ball hit deep in the hole by Steven Kraft led to a throwing error on Andy DeJesus that brought home the first run of the game.
Gossmann was able to roll a double play ball and induce a lazy fly ball to get out of the inning, but with the Crushers still taking the early 1-0 lead.
After the Otters went down 1-2-3 in the top of the second, the Crushers would add on with a leadoff home run hit by Connor Oliver, before the next two Lake Erie batters would reach on a walk and an error. With two aboard and none out, Javier Betancourt would cap off the scoring in the inning with a two-run double to left center. Austin Gossman managed to leave Betancourt stranded at third with none out, exiting the inning down four runs to none.
The Otters would cut into the Crushers’ lead in the top of the fourth, when after a leadoff walk to J.R. Davis, Riley Krane unloaded on the first pitch in the at-bat from Sam Curtis for a two-run blast to right. The Otters would scratch across another run after Gary Mattis singled and stole second with two outs ahead of an RBI single from Andy DeJesus, bringing the Otters within one, 4-3.
Austin Gossmann would put up two more zeroes in the fourth and fifth, working around a walk in each inning, to keep the Otters in striking distance heading into the sixth, and strike they did.
Andrew Penner would tie the game in the top of the sixth after Dakota Phillips and Gary Mattis reached base with a hit and a hit-by-pitch, respectively. Following a strikeout for the second out, Andrew Penner hit a looping liner over the head of the second baseman Trevor Achenbach that scored Phillips from second, tying the game at four.
Samson Abernathy came on out of the bullpen to relieve Gossman in the sixth, putting up another zero.
Tyler Spring was then given the seventh and eighth innings to work with, where he would keep the game tied at four.
The ninth inning began with a walk to Miles Gordon, followed by a base hit through the left side of the infield for Elijah MacNamee. After a fielder’s choice left runners at the corners and one out, Riley Krane promptly drove in the go-ahead run with a line drive to center field for his third RBI of the night. After a 6-4-3 double play, the Otters took to the field in the bottom of the ninth with a 5-4 lead.
Logan Sawyer came out of the bullpen looking for his league-leading 17th save. Sawyer’s appearance was shut down: setting down the two, three, and four batters 1-2-3, while striking out the last two, and completing the four-run come-from-behind victory.
The four-run comeback ties a season-high going back to June 8.
With the win, the Otters remain two games ahead of the Florence Y’alls in first place in the Frontier League’s West Division.
The Otters will look to take the series Saturday, as they send lefty Marty Anderson to the mound in the second game. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT, and fans can listen to an audio broadcast of the game on the 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.