RECAP | Late home run not enough as Otters drop middle game
JOLIET, Ill. - Steven Sensley's ninth-inning three-run home run was the only offense the Evansville Otters could find Saturday night, falling to the Joliet Slammers 6-3.
The Slammers wasted no time getting after new Otter pitcher Ma'Khail Hilliard Saturday night, striking for three runs in the first inning on back-to-back home runs for Matt Feinstein and Jake Guenther. Feinstein's was his second of the series.
Joliet added to their lead in the second inning, working the bases loaded with one out. A sacrifice fly RBI from Brylie Ware upped the lead to 4-0.
Things settled down in the middle innings as Hilliard found some consistency, striking out a few batters along the way.
But the Slammers struck once again in the fifth, using an RBI double from Feinstein to lift the lead once again. Within the next at-bat, Feinstein came around to score on a throwing error on Hilliard.
Both sides were cold in the sixth, seventh and eighth - the teams combining for two base runners.
As the ninth began, Evansville had just one hit in the ballgame. The Otters began their charge from behind in the ninth, getting a pair of men on within the first two outs. A three-run home run from Sensley put the Otters on the board, but still three runs short.
Joliet held on to their lead, winning 6-3. Alec Thomas got the win in relief, giving up no runs or hits in his four innings. Ma'Khail took the loss, giving up six runs on six hits in five innings. Zach Smith was impressive for Evansville, striking out five of the nine batters he faced in his three innings.
Miles Gordon saw his team-high 20-game hit streak brought to a close on Saturday night.
The series concludes with a Sunday matinee at 1:05 p.m. from Duly Medical Group Field in Joliet.
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.