RECAP: Otters march on to extra innings victory
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The Evansville Otters rallied three times and scored six runs after the seventh inning to march on to an extra innings, walk-off victory over the Southern Illinois Miners by a final score of 9-8.
The Miners opened the scoring in the top of the first off of Otters’ starter Braden Scott, as Ariel Sandoval singled home Nolan Earley from second with two out to give Southern Illinois a 1-0 lead.
The Otters would flip the scorecard in the bottom of the second, when Miles Gordon drove in Dakota Phillips on a sacrifice fly and Andrew Penner singled home Andy DeJesus from third. After two innings of play, the Otters led 2-1.
The Miners would tie the game in the top of the fifth when Arturo Nieto doubled home Luke Mangieri from second. Southern Illinois wasted little time in regaining the lead in the top of the sixth, scoring twice on a double from Luke Mangieri to take a 4-2 advantage.
The Otters fell behind by their largest margin of the night when the Miners tallied another run in the top of the seventh, as Nolan Earley singled in Arturo Nieto from third before Ariel Sandoval drove in Bryant Flete with a sacrifice fly to center. Heading into the stretch, the Miners led 6-2.
Evansville would cut into the Miners’ lead in the bottom of the seventh when Jose Pujols scored from third on a wild pitch uncorked by reliever Blake Stelzer, pushing the score to 6-3.
Augie Gallardo and Joe Riley made their Otters debuts in relief of Scott's start.
Heading into the penultimate frame, the Otters managed to tie the game thanks to a two-run triple for Miles Gordon and an RBI single for Jose Pujols. After eight innings the game was tied at 6-6.
Into the extra innings and the tenth inning, Logan Sawyer came on with the go-ahead run at second and nobody out, as the international tie-breaker rule came into effect. Following an infield error, Ariel Sandoval would hit a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game, before Jarrod Watkins would deliver a pinch-hit single that extended the Miners’ lead to two, 8-6.
The bottom of the tenth began with Dakota Phillips stationed at second as the international tie-breaker runner. In the first at-bat of the inning, Andy DeJesus put runners at the corners with a base hit to left. Then Miles Gordon brought the Otters within one with an RBI double that put the tying run at third with nobody out.
For the second time in the game, Jose Pujols would tie the game, this time in the bottom of the tenth and with a sac fly to center. Miles Gordon, the winning run, advanced on the fly ball. After Andrew Penner was hit by a pitch, Gary Mattis stepped to the plate with one out and a chance to win the game. Mattis walked it off with a bloop single to right that plated Gordon from third. The Otters thus won 9-8.
The comeback proved to be the Otters’ second stunning rally victory in a week, after Evansville overcame a six-run deficit entering the ninth inning Saturday against Lake Erie.
With the win, the Otters maintain sole possession of first place in the West Division, entering Thursday with a one-game lead over the Florence Y’alls.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. for Thursday's rubber match from Bosse Field, and fans can follow a broadcast of the game on Frontier League LiveTV with a 6:20 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.