After the Florence Freedom battled back to tie the game in the top of the ninth, the Evansville Otters’ Ryan Long hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Otters the series win, defeating the Florence Freedom 6-5.
In the first inning, Keith Grieshaber led off the game with a solo home run to left field to give the Otters a 1-0 lead.
Dakota Phillips’ RBI single to centerfield in the third extended Evansville’s lead to two.
Florence’s Caleb Lopes would tie the game at two with a two-run home run in the fourth.
The Freedom took a 3-2 lead in the seventh, sending seven men to the plate, on a sacrifice fly by Luis Pintor.
The Otters responded in the eighth, with Long leading off with a game-tying solo home run over the Bud Light Lime Patio in left field. Taylor Lane followed with a single, his second hit of the day, and would score on a 400-foot home run by Phillips, giving the Otters a 5-3 lead.
In the top of the ninth, closer Tyler Vail went to the mound for his first save opportunity of the season.
Isaac Bernard led off the top of the ninth with a double. Pintor hit his second RBI of the game, scoring Bryant to make the score 5-4. Lopes added his third RBI of the afternoon, knocking in Pintor, tying the game at 5.
Hunter Cullen became the Otters’ first base runner in the bottom of the ninth after he was hit by a pitch. A bunt by David Cronin forced Florence pitcher Ryan Mordecai to throw to second, but Cullen’s speed was able to beat the throw.
Mordecai would be pulled, as the Freedom sent Johnathon Tripp to the mound. He was able to get Grieshaber to pop up to Lopes at second base for the first out.
After tying the game at three in the eighth, Long smacked a single through the diving Lopes at second base, scoring Cullen from second.
It would be the second walk-off for the Otters in the series.
The Otters will have Monday off before they hit the road for a six-game road trip, starting with a three-game series against the Gateway Grizzlies. First pitch from GCS Ballpark is at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. The game can be heard on 91.5 FM WUEV with David Nguyen with the play-by-play.