Otters cannot hold off Rascals’ late rally


The Evansville Otters’ offense picked up where it left off from Saturday’s game on Sunday but could not hold off a late rally by the River City Rascals, falling 8-7 in the series finale.

Evansville had built a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, but River City did not go down without a fight.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and a three-run deficit to the Otters, the River City Rascals managed to score four runs in the frame to get the lead for the first time since the bottom of the first.

River City’s Shane Cooper hit a pinch-hit two-run single off Otters reliever Matt Rowland, bringing the score to a lead 7-6 edge for Evansville.

With Danny Hrbek coming in to relieve Rowland, Cody Livesay delivered an RBI knock, driving in Cooper to tie the game at seven.

A bases-loaded walk to River City catcher James Morisano scored the go-ahead run to give the Rascals an 8-7 lead.

It was the first time the Rascals led the game since scoring two runs back in the first inning, when they sent seven men to the plate, to take an early 2-0 lead.

After Keith Grieshaber was hit by a pitch to start the top of the ninth, Ryan Long moved him over to second base with a groundout, but Taylor Lane and Dakota Phillips struck out back-to-back to end the game.

The Otters had a 5-3 lead after two innings, sending nine men to the plate and scoring five runs in the top of the second. Carlos Castro started the big inning with a solo home run, followed by singles from Mitchell Hansen, Jack Meggs, J.J. Gould, David Cronin, Grieshaber, and Long.

Otters starter Jake Welch pitched into the fifth but had a bases-loaded RBI walk to Braxton Martinez to make the score 5-4. He went four innings, allowing four runs – three earned – with five walks, and striking out five.

Evansville’s Taylor Wright came on in the fifth with the bases-loaded and no outs in a one-run game. He had a strikeout and helped Long turn a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.

In the seventh, the Otters added two more runs with an RBI groundout from Lane and then on a passed ball that allowed Grieshaber to score from third, extending the Otters lead to 7-4.

That would prove not to be enough on the night for the Otters to get the win and take the series.

The Otters will return home on Tuesday, May 28 when they face the Washington Wild Things for the first $2 Tuesday of the season. General Admission tickets and popcorn can be purchased for $2.