RECAP: Allen and Baez each homer, as Otters lose in series finale
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Josh Allen and Jeffrey Baez each recorded round-trippers Thursday, but the Evansville Otters could not finish a sweep of the Windy City ThunderBolts, losing 9-5 in the series finale at Bosse Field.
Evansville entered the scoring column early in the bottom of the first inning, as Josh Allen launched a baseball over the fence in his first at-bat. The solo home run gave Evansville 1-0 lead and was Allen’s first home run since returning to the Otters organization earlier this week.
However, the 1-0 lead didn’t have much time to stand until the ThunderBolts answered in the top of the second when Rob Weissheier hit his second home run of the series to tie the game.
Windy City grabbed a 4-1 lead in the third off a two-run home run by John Sechen and an RBI single by Weissheier.
The Otters cut the deficit back to one in the home half of the third, as Josh Allen notched his second RBI of the game on a double that scored Elijah MacNamee.
Later in the inning, Allen scored on a sac fly by Riley Krane.
With a 4-3 lead, Windy City’s offense pushed forward with four more runs in the top of the fourth. Nikola Vasic recorded an RBI single, and a multi-RBI knock by Payton Robertson. ThunderBolts then led 8-3.
It was a tough night on the mound for Evansville starter Austin Gossmann. Gossmann exited the game in the middle of the fourth, eventually taking the loss after allowing eight runs in 3.1 innings.
Evansville did get one run back in the bottom of the fifth, as Jeffrey Baez rocketed a no-doubter out of the ballpark for a solo shot. Baez went deep in each game of the three-game series.
Otters reliever Jacob Bowles followed his former University of Southern Indiana colleague, Austin Gossmann, in long relief. For the second straight relief outing, Bowles was rock-solid.
The right-hander went 4.2 innings, allowed only a pair of hits, and struck out six.
Windy City tacked on another run in the eighth, and Evansville scored once in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Andrew Penner to make the score 9-5 but could not muster enough momentum in the end.
Windy City’s Logan Wiley picked up the win, going six innings and allowing four runs.
Offensively, Allen led the Otters with three hits and two RBIs. MacNamee, Baez, and Dakota Phillips each tallied two hits.
Following Thursday’s games, the Otters are 1.5 games ahead of the Florence Y’alls in the Frontier League West Division standings with 16 games remaining in the regular season. Only the division winners will make the postseason.
Starting Friday, the Otters will embark on a long road swing that will see them play 10 games in 11 days on the road at Gateway, Southern Illinois, and Schaumburg.
Friday’s first pitch at Gateway for the series opener is 6:45 p.m. Evansville right-hander Tim Holdgrafer is slated to go against Gateway lefty Jordan Barrett on the mound.
Evansville Otters broadcast coverage Friday can be found on the Evansville Otters Youtube channel.
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.