RECAP: Otters, Miners’ offenses limited by pitching again
MARION, Ill. - The Evansville Otters found themselves in another low-scoring battle Wednesday against the Southern Illinois Miners, but the Miners had the final advantage, winning 3-0.
Once again, solid starting pitching limited the offenses, thanks to the Otters’ Polo Portela and his Miners counterpart Gunnar Kines.
There were only a combined eight hits towards the three total runs scored.
Evansville got their first hit of the game in the third inning off the bat of Miles Gordon, and Arturo Nieto had Southern Illinois’ first hit in the home half of the third.
The Miners scored the first run in the fifth after two walks put runners at first and second. An RBI hit by Bryant Flete scored Ian Walters from second.
Despite the lack of hits early on, walks became key in getting baserunners on for both clubs in the middle of the game and leading to increased pitch counts for both starters.
Gunnar Kines, who earned the win, lasted five innings for the Miners. He surrendered no runs on two hits and four walks, while striking out four.
Portela, who took the hard-luck loss, went 5.2 innings for Evansville. The right-hander allowed only one run off three hits and five walks. He struck out four as well.
The middle relievers did their job, as the game remained 1-0 Miners until the bottom of the eighth.
With two outs and two runners in scoring position, the Miners added two insurance runs on a two-RBI single by Jared Mang off Otters reliever Joe Riley to make it a 3-0 Miners lead.
Southern Illinois’ Stevie Ledesma came on in the ninth for a 1-2-3 inning to earn the save.
Both teams each stranded eight runners on base Wednesday night.
Elijah MacNamee and Miles Gordon had the only hits of the game for the Otters. Also noteworthy, J.R. Davis did not record an at-bat Wednesday, as he walked in all four of his plate appearances. The four walks are a single-game, team-best this season.
Following a loss Wednesday night by the Florence Y’alls, the Otters still hold a one-game lead in the Frontier League West Division going into Thursday’s games.
The series finale between the Otters and Miners Thursday is at 7:05 p.m. from Rent One Park in Marion, Ill.
Evansville right-hander Ryan O’Reilly is scheduled to pitch against righty Zac Westcott of Southern Illinois on the mound.
Evansville Otters broadcast coverage Thursday can be found on the Otters’ Youtube channel, starting at 6:55 p.m. for the pregame show and 7:05 p.m. for the first pitch.
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.