Long propels Otters to comeback win in the eighth

With the Evansville Otters down 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday, Ryan Long propelled the Otters ahead with a go-ahead triple, as the Otters came from behind to defeat the Windy City Thunderbolts 3-1.

Tuesday’s win was Evansville’s first come from behind win when trailing in the eighth inning or later since May 19.


On that Sunday in May, Ryan Long tied the game in the eighth and won it in the ninth against the Florence Freedom at Bosse Field.


On Tuesday, the Thunderbolts jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI double from Trey Fulton, scoring Tyler Alamo who led off with a walk.


That would be the only run Otters starting pitcher Tyler Beardsley allowed in his seven innings of work. He struck out a season high eight batters, keeping his team in the game.


A key sequence happened in the top of the fifth, as the Thunderbolts had the bases loaded with one out. Remaining calm on the mound, Beardsley was able to get Windy City’s RBI leader Dash Winningham to ground into a 1-2-3 double play.


Windy City starter Austin Jones was able to keep the Otters offense in check, throwing six shutout innings, tossing eight strikeouts and allowing four hits.


Heading into the eighth, the Otters had four runners left on base, including a second inning where Rob Calabrese and Dakota Phillips hit back to back singles with no outs, and were ultimately left stranded.


With two outs, David Cronin worked a walk, which was followed by a hit-by-pitch to Keith Grieshaber.


Heading into the at-bat, Long was 0-3 in the game. He ripped a first-pitch fastball to right-centerfield that rolled all the way to the wall, knocking in his 20thand 21st RBIs of the season. Long would also come around to score on the play as an insurance as a throwing error allowed Long to continue home.


Otters reliever Taylor Wright came in from the bullpen in the ninth to try to seal the win, but Windy City put up one last effort.


Windy City catcher Trey Fulton led off the inning, hitting a ball deep down the left field line. It was initially ruled a home run on the field but was deemed foul. Fulton would get on base with a single.


Then after a walk by Blair Beck, Otters first baseman Carlos Castro was able to make a strong throw to third to get Fulton out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Brynn Martinez.


Wright then locked in to get a strikeout and a groundout to close out the game for a save.


Otters reliever Chris Cepeda picked up the win, pitching a clean top half of the eighth.