RECAP: Baez leads Otters to win with three-hit night at the plate
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – For the second time in as many nights, outfielder Jeffrey Baez led the Evansville Otters to a 6-2 victory against the Windy City ThunderBolts Wednesday after another monster night at the plate.
Talking about déjà vu, the Otters won their third straight game that finished with a 6-2 final score, going back to Sunday’s win against the Gateway Grizzlies.
Individually, outfielder Jeffrey Baez recorded a three-hit night and hit a home run for the second consecutive game.
On Wednesday, Windy City managed to take a 1-0 lead after the top of the first on a sac fly and what ended up being a long inning on the mound for Evansville Otters starting pitcher Ryan O’Reilly.
The Otters backed up their pitcher and had an answer just like in Tuesday’s game.
In the bottom of the first, Josh Allen doubled and then scored on a single by Dakota Phillips to tie the game.
The Otters grabbed the lead right after when Jeffrey Baez hit a deep, two-run home run over the left field fence.
With a 3-1 advantage, O’Reilly found his groove on the mound. The right-hander allowed an RBI double to Windy City’s Donivan Williams in the fourth that brought the ThunderBolts back within one, but O’Reilly was not shaken.
O’Reilly earned the win, going seven innings and striking out five.
Windy City’s starter, Kenny Mathews, was pulled after six innings with five strikeouts and three runs allowed. He took the loss.
Evansville scored one run in the seventh and added two more in the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Baez led off with a single, stole second, and then proceeded to score on an RBI single by Gary Mattis.
Mattis also finished with a multi-hit game.
Following his single, Mattis swiped second and third base, and then scored on a wile pitch to give the Otters their 6-2 lead.
Otters reliever Augie Gallardo pitched the last two frames behind O’Reilly, striking out four and allowing no hits or runs.
Gallardo earned the two-inning save, which the Otters’ bullpen achieved for the second consecutive night after reliever Tyler Spring earned a two-inning save on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Florence Y’alls split a doubleheader against the Joliet Slammers, so the Otters’ Frontier League West Division standings lead sits at 2.5 games. The Southern Illinois Miners are also inching closer, trailing by only three games in the standings.
Evansville will be searching for a series sweep of the ThunderBolts for the second time this season at Bosse Field on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. Right-hander Logan Wiley of Windy City will go up against right-hander Austin Gossmann of Evansville in the pitching matchup. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Evansville Otters broadcast coverage Thursday 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.