Otters grab early lead, but Grizzlies avoid sweep


The Evansville Otters grabbed an early 3-0 lead Thursday night, but could not complete a series sweep as the Grizzlies responded back with a 9-3 win against the Otters.

The Otters provided early run support behind starter Austin Nicely Thursday as Carlos Castro hit a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Otters an early 2-0 lead.

Keith Grieshaber would score a run off the bat of Taylor Lane to give the Otters a 3-0 lead in the top of the third.

The Grizzlies’ offense would awake out of hibernation the rest of the game to avoid a home sweep.

With a runner on base, the hot-hitting Brent Sakurai crushed a two-run home run to right field to cut the Otters lead to one, 3-2.  It was his third home run of the series.

A few batters later, Luke Lowery knocked in an RBI single to score Andrew Daniel, tying the game at three after three.

Shawon Dunston Jr., the son of former overall #1 pick Shawon Dunston, hit a fielder’s choice that scored Cody Brickhouse, giving the Grizzlies their first lead of the series at 4-3 after four.

In the fifth, an error by J.J. Gould allowed Gunnar Buhner to reach first base safely, and Rafael Valera would hit a two-run home run in the frame to give the Grizzlies a 6-3 lead through five innings.

The night would end for Otters starter Austin Nicely, who went five innings, allowing seven hits, six runs – five earned – with three strikeouts and four walks.

Grizzlies starter Chris Carden pitched well, going 5.2 innings while allowing three runs – two earned – on six hits and throwing eight strikeouts.

Anthony Ray would hit an RBI single, followed by two bases-loaded RBI walks in the seventh by the Grizzlies, as they would score nine runs on 11 hits.

Thursday’s game marked the first time this season the Otters were dealt a loss after scoring first, going 5-0 previously.

The Otters will continue their road trip during the weekend, heading to O’Fallon, Mo. to begin a three-game series against the River City Rascals Friday at 6:35 p.m.