Hansen’s walk-off wins series opener for the Otters


With Hunter Cullen on third and an intentional walk to Ryan Long, Mitchell Hansen ripped an RBI single through the hole at second base, as the Otters won in walk-off fashion Friday night by a score of 4-3 against the Florence Freedom.


Cullen led off the bottom ninth with an infield bloop single in front of Florence shortstop Austin Wobrock, using his speed down the first base line to beat the throw to first.


David Cronin laid a sacrifice bunt to move Cullen over to second with one out. Keith Grieshaber advanced Cullen to third on a deep fly ball to centerfield, making it two outs in the inning.


After Long’s walk, Hansen, who was 0-4 with three strikeouts heading into the ninth, swung at the first pitch he saw over the plate, scoring Cullen, and was mobbed by his teammates shortly after.


The game did not start too well for the Otters, as the Freedom jumped on Otters starter Patrick McGuff early, scoring three runs after two.


Cullen got the Otters on the board with a solo home run deep to right field to make the score

3-1 Freedom in the third.


McGuff was smooth sailing from that point on, throwing five of his 10 strikeouts, exiting the game in the seventh.


Down 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Taylor Lane smacked a lead-off double to centerfield. Rob Calabrese worked a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs. Cullen laid a sacrifice bunt to move Lane to third.


A sac-fly by Cronin scored Lane, making the score 3-2.


Grieshaber, who was leading the Frontier League in batting average and hits coming into the game and 0-3 from the plate going into the seventh, crushed an RBI single to score Calabrese from second to tie the game at three.


Grieshaber’s hit would take out Florence starter Scott Sebald, who went 6.2 innings, with seven strikeouts, four walks, giving up three runs on four hits.


Otters reliever Danny Hrbek pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, with a strikeout, three flyouts and two groundouts.


The Otters and Freedom will continue their series from Bosse Field Saturday at 6:35 p.m.


The game can be heard on 91.5 FM WUEV and viewed on the Otters Digital Network via YouTube.com with David Nguyen (play-by-play) and Bill McKeon (analyst) on the call. Game updates can also be found on the Evansville Otters’ Facebook and Twitter pages as well as Pointstreak.com.


The Otters are having many promotions in honor of celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.


Saturday’s game will be Military Appreciation Night, Boy Scout Night, and the Old National Bank Attendance Awards ceremony, and sponsored by Brentwood Springs, YMCA, and the Buffalo Trace Council. Sunday’s series finale will be Bark in the Park presented by It Takes A Village. Fans can purchase their tickets now.