Late home run by Grizzlies hurts Otters

The Evansville Otters suffered a 5-3 loss to the Gateway Grizzlies Tuesday as a three-run home run by Gateway’s Dustin Woodcock produced a comeback win for the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with runners on first and second. Luis Roman smacked a two-run double for Gateway to give the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead.

The Otters responded in the top of the second to tie the game.

All-Star catcher Rob Calabrese led off the inning with a single.

Two batters later, Hunter Cullen ripped a double to the outfield, moving Calabrese to third, putting runners on first and second with one out.

With two outs, David Cronin smacked an RBI single to right field, scoring Calabrese, cutting the Grizzlies lead in half.

Keith Grieshaber, the next batter, rocketed a single to left field, scoring Cullen to tie the game at two.

Both teams would remain scoreless in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, but the Otters would break the 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth.

Jack Meggs led off with a single and was followed by Hunter Cullen who was hit by the pitch.

J.J. Gould laid a successful sac bunt to move Meggs and Cullen to second and third with one out, setting up another big spot for Cronin.

Cronin then walked to force the bases loaded with one out in the top of the sixth.

That would force Gateway to pull starter Dominic Topoozian, who earned a no-decision, throwing 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts.

The third earned run came from the bat of Greishaber, hitting a sac fly to left field that scored Meggs, giving the Otters a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth with two outs and two men on, Tyler Beardsley threw his last of eight strikeouts to get out of a jam. The reigning Frontier League Pitcher of the Week tossed six strong innings, allowing two runs on three hits, and unfortunately earning a no-decision.

Otters reliever Drew Beyer threw a scoreless seventh inning but could not shut down the Grizzlies in the eighth.

Connor Owings led off the bottom of the eighth with a single.

Two batters later, Roman singled, putting runners on first and second with one out.

After Andrew Daniel struck out looking, Dustin Woodcock crushed his three-run home run over the porch in right-centerfield, his first hit of the game, pushing the Grizzlies in front 5-3.

Grizzlies reliever Grant Black came on in the ninth and retired the Otters in order, earning the save.