The Evansville Otters pulled back into a first place tie with the Florence Y’alls Wednesday night, as the Otters broke a 1-1 tied game through ten innings by outslugging the Y’alls 6-1 in a home run derby.
Wednesday’s win for the Otters evens the midweek series one game apiece.
Otters’ right-hander Ryan O’Reilly and Y’alls southpaw Jonaiker Villalobos traded seven scoreless innings, opening the ballgame with an impressive pitcher’s duel.
The Otters scratched out the first tally of the ballgame in the top of the eighth.
Riley Krane drove Miles Gordon home from third on an infield single to the right side, before Harrison DiNicola ended the inning on the same play by cutting Andy DeJesus down at the plate.
The Y’alls answered right back in the bottom of the eighth, after Samson Abernathy replaced O’Reilly, whose final line would read 7.2 innings of one-run ball on four hits, seven strikeouts and three walks.
Abernathy entered with two men aboard and two out, when he was met by Trevor Craport who laced a ball to the left field corner bringing home the tying run.
The go-ahead run was racing around third, however, in the form of Chad Sedio; he was cut down on a picture perfect relay from left fielder Andrew Penner to cut-off man Andy DeJesus and catcher Justin Felix to end the inning and keep the ballgame tied.
Abernathy pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth after the Y’alls held Evansville at bay in the top half of the inning.
Joe Dougherty entered from the Y’alls’ bullpen to keep the Otters’ international tie-breaker runner from scoring in the top of inning number ten.
Logan Sawyer entered with the game on the line, opening the bottom of the tenth, with a runner in scoring position and nobody out. Sawyer struck out the first batter he faced, got the lead-off man in the order, Axel Johnson, to ground out to second, before the Otters’ closer managed to get Luis Pintor swinging and send the ballgame to a home run derby finale.
As the third batter in the derby, Andretty Cordero opened the homer tally with five towering drives to left field, one even clearing the Y’alls scoreboard in left center. Cordero’s performance put the Otters up 5-0.
Though Connor Crane managed to club a homer for the Y’alls as their second batter (fourth overall), newly minted Otter Jose Pujols smashed one of his own to left, sending the derby to its final ledger, six bombs to one.
Evansville will look to take the series rubber match Thursday, July 15. Fans can follow along with an audio broadcast on the Evansville Otters YouTube channel, with first pitch scheduled for 5:34 p.m. CT.