RECAP: Thrilling seventh inning catapults Otters to victory
MARION, Ill. – The Evansville Otters had a come-from-behind 6-4 victory Wednesday against the Southern Illinois Miners, thanks in part to a thrilling seventh inning that featured big extra-base hits by Jeffrey Baez and Riley Krane.
The Miners grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single by Jamey Smart.
Following four straight shutout games at Rent One Park going back to Aug. 17, the Otters finally put a tally on the scoreboard in Marion in the top of the second inning to tie the game 1-1.
In the next inning, Baez delivered with an RBI single to score Gary Mattis and give the Otters a 2-1 lead.
Through the first five innings, Otters starting pitcher and former University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagle Austin Gossmann had a nice bounce-back start put together on the mound.
Running into a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, Gossmann was relieved for right-hander Tyler Spring out of the Otters’ bullpen.
The Miners tied the game 2-2 on a bases-loaded walk, proceeded to jump ahead 3-2 on a fielder’s choice putout and throwing error, and then doubled up the Otters 4-2 on a run scored off a wild pitch.
The top of the seventh inning was just as crazy, as Blake Stelzer came on for the Miners in relief of starting pitcher Chase Cunningham.
After getting the first two outs, Stelzer walked Josh Allen. Then with two strikes and the two outs on the scoreboard, Baez delivered once again with an RBI triple into the gap to score Allen and bring the Otters within one, 4-3.
For Baez, it was his second triple of the game. He finished with a four-hit night and a pair of RBIs.
Following Baez, Krane lined one to the outfield that was missed on a diving attempt, going all the way to the wall. Baez walked home, and Krane scampered around the bases for an inside-the-park home run to push the Otters back ahead 5-4.
The mad dash for Krane was his 17th home run of the season, good for third in the Frontier League. After a two-RBI night, Krane leads the league with 72 RBIs.
The Otters added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to take a 6-4 advantage, as Krane reached base, and Allen scored on an error by the first baseman.
Offensively, Mattis and J.R. Davis also had multi-hit games for Evansville.
On the mound, Evansville’s Gossmann took a no-decision, going 5.1 innings with three runs and six strikeouts. Southern Illinois’ Cunningham also took a no-decision, allowing two runs – one earned – in six innings with seven strikeouts.
Final tallies and decisions included a win to Evansville’s Spring, a loss to the Miners’ Stelzer, and then a save to the Otters’ Logan Sawyer for closing out the bottom of the ninth.
Following Wednesday’s games, the Otters are ahead of the Florence Y’alls by 1.5 games and 3.5 games ahead of the Southern Illinois Miners in the Frontier League West Division standings.
First pitch Thursday for the rubber game in the series is 7:05 p.m. from Rent One Park in Marion, Ill.
Evansville Otters broadcast coverage Thursday 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.