RECAP: Otters’ offense awakens in big way
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – After a tough week offensively and a pregame rain delay Saturday, the Evansville Otters’ offense awakened in a big way against the Gateway Grizzlies, outscoring the Grizzlies 14-1 for the win.
Evansville scored early with two runs in the second inning, including an RBI single by Justin Felix.
The Otters’ confidence increased as Gateway starter Jordan Barrett struggled early with his command to find the strike zone. Evansville walked six time in the first two innings. The Otters went on to walk a couple more times in the third inning but could not produce a run on Barrett.
Barrett lasted only three innings with eight walks, taking the eventual loss.
Evansville made their big scoring run across the middle three frames.
The Otters scored three runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a Riley Krane home run.
Three more came across the plate for Evansville in the fifth inning, featuring an RBI double by Andy DeJesus.
Evansville then batted around and put up a five-spot on the scoreboard in the sixth.
Dakota Phillips led off the inning with a home run, Gary Mattis later rocketed a two-RBI double, and Jeffrey Baez recorded an RBI single.
The Otters led 13-0 after six innings.
Gateway broke the shutout with a run in the seventh, and Evansville got the run back on an RBI double by Andrew Penner in the eighth, leading to the eventual 14-1 final score.
In the meantime, while Evansville’s offense was rolling, starting pitcher Tim Holdgrafer did not miss a beat on the mound. The right-hander stayed locked in despite the lengthier offensive innings.
Holdgrafer picked up the win after going seven strong innings, allowing only one run with eight strikeouts.
By the end of the night, Elijah MacNamee, Riley Krane, Jeffrey Baez, Andrew Penner, and Andy DeJesus all tallied multi-hit nights, led by Krane and Baez with three hits apiece. DeJesus also walked three times. Gary Mattis led Evansville in RBIs with three.
Evansville’s 16 hits were three shy of the most by the Otters in a game this season. The Otters 14 walks for the offense and by Gateway’s pitching staff were the most walks in a single game for the Otters this season.
Following Saturday’s action, the Otters have a one-game lead in the West Division over the Florence Y’alls.
Sunday’s rubber game of the series between the Grizzlies and Otters starts at 12:35 p.m. with gates opening at 11:30 a.m.
Left-hander Braden Scott will toe the rubber for Evansville, and he will be opposed by right-handed pitcher Matt Mulhearn for Gateway.
Evansville Otters broadcast coverage Sunday can be found on frontierleaguetv.com.
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.