RECAP | Stuteville impresses in Otters' debut
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The Evansville Otters kicked off their weekend home series against the Gateway Grizzlies Friday with a 6-4 win behind an impressive pitching debut from Brice Stuteville.
Stuteville, who ptiched across town at the University of Southern Indiana, made his first professional start Friday after it was announced that Otters' pitcher Tim Holdgrafer had his contract sold to the Kansas City Royals organization.
The Rockport, Ind. native pitched three scoreless innings to start the game Friday.
In the fourth, Gateway score the game's first tally on a Peter Zimmermann fielder's choice that brought in Trevor Achenbach for an unearned run after an Evansville error.
Gateway's Jay Prather later drove in another run to give the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead.
Evansville regrouped in the bottom of the fourth to provide run support back in the Otters' favor.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Miles Gordon singled in a pair of runs, quickly tying the game at 2-2. Pitches later, Steven Sensley brought in a go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the sixth, Stuteville's day ended after back-to-back Gateway singles to start the frame.
After the pitching change, Evansville's second error scored a runner from third to tie the game.
Two batters later, Prather earned another RBI, this time on a fielder's choice groundout to take a 4-3 lead with an unearned run.
Jeffery Baez took no time at all to even things up, kicking off the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run to left.
The next three Otters would reach base, setting the table for Mattis, who singled in two more runs, and giving Evansville a 6-4 advantage.
The solid back-end bullpen of Joe Riley and Logan Sawyer finished the game for Evansville, closing the game nearly perfectly.
Making his professional baseball debut, Stuteville gave up four runs - one earned - on six hits, striking out four while not giving up a single walk.
The win went to Samson Abernathy in relief, his first of the season. Andres Rodriguez took the loss out of the bullpen. Sawyer earned his eighth save of the year - furthering his lead atop the Frontier League leaderboard.
Evansville out-hit Gateway 10-9 and have now won nine straight games in which they out-hit their opponents.
The two sides will continue the three-game set on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m., gates opening at 5:30 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.