Beardsley’s strong start, run support by Calabrese and Cullen give Otters 4-0 win


The Evansville Otters posted their second shutout of the week and the season on Friday, beating the Florence Freedom on the road 4-0 behind Tyler Beardsley’s strong start.

Beardsley tossed 6.2 shutout innings with five strikeouts, giving up only two hits in the start.

The Evansville right-hander has put together back-to-back quality starts, going 2-0 with 10 strikeouts and one run allowed in 12.2 innings this past week.

Beardsley was in a pitcher’s duel with Freedom starter Frank Valentino, as both right-handers had six scoreless innings, allowing five total hits.

In the seventh inning, the offense came alive to back Beardsley on the mound as Dakota Phillips led off with a double down the right-field line.

Rob Calabrese then smacked a double to right-center to score Phillips, knocking in his sixth RBI of the season, giving the Otters the first lead of the game at 1-0.

After Carlos Castro moved Calabrese over to third on a groundout, Jack Meggs hit a single to shallow right field, with the ball falling out of Caleb Lopes’ glove on a basket-catch attempt, scoring Calabrese to extend the Otters’ lead to two.

Valentino was removed after that hit, going 6.1 innings, surrendering two runs on six hits while fanning nine.

Beardsley was able to get the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but after allowing a walk, Taylor Wright entered the game to end the seventh with a strikeout.

Wright retired the side in the eighth with three straight strikeouts, pushing his season strikeout total to 21 in 2019.

With two outs in the top of the ninth and Anthony Maselli on first, Hunter Cullen crushed a two-run home run to right field, making the score 4-0 on his fourth home run of the season, and surpassing his total from 2018.

With runners on the corners in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Danny Hrbek struck out Taylor Bryant to end the game.