RECAP | Watland strikes out 11 in Otters' series-opening win
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Behind a stellar start from pitcher Justin Watland, the Evansville Otters backed the right-hander to a 3-1 series-opening win Tuesday against the Joliet Slammers.
The game remained scoreless well into the fourth inning, with starters Watland and Turner Larkins impressing early. Both had limited the hitting parts of each offense to a single hit into the fourth.
Evansville grabbed the lead in the fourth, as Steven Sensley followed a Zach Biermann double with a two-run home run. The home run was Sensley's ninth of the season.
The Otters cashed in on some insurance in the sixth, as J.R. Davis drove in Jeffrey Baez with an RBI double.
Both starters exited the game after seven innings - and the Slammers finally found their way to the scoring category.
After Augie Gallardo entered in the eighth, a leadoff walk worked around the bases on a passed ball and fielder's choice before scoring on a wild pitch. This would be the sole run Joliet managed in the game.
Logan Sawyer entered the game in the ninth and picked up his league-leading 11th save of the season as Evansville closed out the game, winning 3-1.
Watland finally found the win column again with an 11-strikeout outing where he did not allow a run, while giving up just one hit in seven full innings. The loss went to Larkins, who gave up three runs on six hits, walking eight and not surrendering a walk.
Watland's 11 strikeouts marked the second straight game Evansville had a starter reach double-digit strikeouts and the fifth time of the season.
Evansville and Joliet continue the series Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m., with Bosse Field's gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday is Senior Connection Wednesday, where seniors 55 and older can get a discounted general admission ticket. Plus, after the game is a big postgame fireworks show by Slay's Restoration.
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.