RECAP | Small ball proves victorious for Otters in series opener
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - In a tight contest where runs were at a premium, the Evansville Otters cashed in on a go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday to defeat the Empire State Greys 3-2 at Bosse Field.
The Greys got things started in the top half of the first, making the Otters pay for a leadoff error by third basemen Andy Armstrong. Empire State's first basemen drove in right fielder Zach Sullivan with a fielder's choice hit towards second.
One inning later, left fielder Yerwin Trejo led off the second with a triple, setting the table for another run. Two batters later, shortstop John Benevolent brought him in with a fielder's choice to second.
In the third, the Otters struck for the first time. After leading off the inning with a double, second basemen Gary Mattis attempted to steal third. A poor throw-over from starting pitcher Conor Maguire resulted in Mattis scoring on the play.
In the fourth, the game leveled out. After right fielder Elijah MacNamee and designated hitter Steven Sensley both walked and advanced on a sacrifice bunt, shortstop George Callil brought one in with a sacrifice fly hit to right field.
The game stayed level for the next three innings, despite the Otters leaving a combined six runners on in that time.
Finally, in the bottom half of the eighth, Evansville found the run column again in small-ball fashion. After earning a walk, Armstrong advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a passed ball.
First basemen Zach Biermann drove in the game-winning run on a hard-hit single to right-center field, bringing in Armstrong.
The bullpen arms of Samson Abernathy, Joe Riley and Logan Sawyer allowed no hits in their combined three innings of work. Austin Gossmann struck out seven in his season debut, giving up two runs on three hits.
The win was credited to Joe Riley, his second of the season while the loss was handed to bullpen arm Jason Pineda for the Greys. Evansville's Sawyer received the save, his first of the season.
Evansville stranded a season-high 12 runners on base while recording their three runs on seven hits.
Empire State stranded five runners in the game, two of which came in the eighth inning.
With the win, Evansville hits .500 for the first time this season. Empire State drops to 0-4 in their inaugural season.
The two return to action Wednesday night with the first Senior Connection night of the year. Individuals 55 years of age or older can purchase discounted general admission tickets. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
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.