RECAP: Otters surmount six-run deficit in the ninth to beat Crushers
AVON, Ohio - The Evansville Otters overcame a six-run deficit entering the ninth inning Saturday night, rallying for nine runs in the final frame en route to a breathtaking 13-10 comeback victory over the Lake Erie Crushers.
The Otters started the game and loaded the bases on the first three batters in the top of the first, as Miles Gordon singled on the first pitch he saw from Tyson Cronin before Elijah MacNamee and J.R. Davis both drew walks against the Crushers’ righty.
Riley Krane promptly blasted a grand slam to right, his thirteenth home run of the season and second in as many days, giving the Otters a 4-0 lead. It was the second grand slam of the season for Krane.
After a flyout and a base hit from Dakota Phillips, the Otters chased Crushers starter Tyson Cronin from the game, to be relieved by left-hander Dillon Larsen.
The Crushers tallied their first two runs in the bottom of the first off of Marty Anderson, who issued a two-out walk that was followed by back-to-back RBI doubles from Karl Ellison and Isaac Benard. After one inning, the Otters still led 4-2.
Things turned from bad to worse for the Otters in the bottom of the second, when a leadoff hit-batsmen preceded four consecutive singles and two runs for the Crushers, tying the game. At that point, with the game tied and two runs home, Anderson was lifted for Jacob Bowles.
In the following at-bat, Trevor Achenbach would clear the bases with a three-run double, closing the book on Anderson. After a 5-3 groundout, Isaac Benard singled home the sixth run of the inning, as the Crushers then led 8-4.
The score held there through the third, until the Crushers pushed across another run with a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth by Steve Passatempo that made it a 9-4 game.
The Crushers would cap the scoring in the bottom of the sixth, scoring their tenth run of the game on their only home run, a solo shot by Trevor Achenbach.
The Otters went into the ninth inning down by six runs. The inning opened with back-to-back base hits for Dakota Phillips and Gary Mattis. After a groundout to first, Andrew Penner drove in the Otters’ first runs since the first inning with a two-run single.
Miles Gordon followed with the Otters’ fourth hit of the inning. Elijah MacNamee followed with a hit-by-pitch on a full count.
With the bases loaded, the Crushers moved to their left-handed reliever J.T. Perez, who entered with a 1.22 ERA through 27 appearances.
Facing the imposing lefty, J.R. Davis singled through the left side of the infield bringing home a couple more, bringing the Otters within two.
Then Riley Krane came to the plate with runners at first and second, doubling down the left field line to push the score to 10-9, the Otters down a run.
Following the Krane at-bat, Andy DeJesus hit a ground ball over the mound fielded by the Crushers’ second baseman Trevor Achenbach, who threw home to try to beat J.R. Davis to the plate. Sliding under the tag, Davis scored the tying run, completing the Otters’ six-run comeback with one out in the ninth.
DeJesus’ game-tying appearance was followed by Dakota Phillips, who laced an 0-2 pitch to the corner in left that hopped over the wall for a go-ahead ground-rule double that scored Riley Krane. It was Phillips’ second hit in the inning.
Then Otters’ rookie Gary Mattis smashed a ball into the right-center gap for a back-to-back ground-rule double that extended the Otters’ lead to three, 13-10. The Otters completed the six-run comeback in the ninth by scoring nine runs on nine hits.
Logan Sawyer, the Frontier League’s saves leader, came on to work a 1-2-3 ninth, sealing the improbable comeback and sending the Otters to their 41st win of the season by a 13-10 final.
Logan Sawyer earned his 18th save of the season, while Abraham Almonte picked up the win.
The nine-run inning for Evansville was the most for the club in a single frame since 2017, which the franchise did on three occasions during the 2017 season. The Otters scored a 10-run seventh inning against Gateway on May 19, a 10-run seventh inning against Joliet on July 7, and a 15-run fourth inning against Traverse City on July 25 in 2017.
The Otters will look to sweep the series against Lake Erie Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. CT, and fans can listen to an audio broadcast of the game on the Otters’ YouTube channel with a 12:50 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.