Otters split doubleheader against Rascals

Following Tuesday’s series-opening postponement, the Evansville Otters and River City Rascals their Wednesday doubleheader with River City taking game one 8-6 in extra innings and Evansville winning game two 2-0 behind a three-hit shutout by Tyler Beardsley.

Game one was about high-scoring offense, starting with the Otters scoring the first three runs in the first inning.


David Cronin led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, and Keith Grieshaber was hit by a pitch from Rascals starter Keenan Bartlett. Ryan Long then stepped up to rip a two-RBI double to give the Otters a 2-0 lead.


Returning to the Otters after a stint with the Columbia Fireflies of the New York Mets organization, Taylor Lane hit a sac fly to score Long for the Otters’ third run.


Rascals starter Keenan Bartlett threw four innings, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks. He would finish the game with a no-decision


Otters starter Austin Nicely was cruising along, throwing 4.1 no-hit innings until running into some trouble in the fifth inning as the Rascals’ offense broke through.


Following an error and a hit by pitch, Andrew Penner recorded the Rascals’ first hit against Nicely.


With the bases loaded, Nolan Meadows hit a grand slam to propel the Rascals ahead 4-3.


In the bottom of the fifth, the Otters responded as Cronin led off with a walk, advanced to second base on a stolen base, and scored on Long’s second RBI double, tying the game at four.


With Nicely going out to the mound in the top of the sixth and with two outs, Rascals first baseman Zach Lavy hit a solo home run to give the Rascals a 5-4 edge.


Once again, the Otters had an answer to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, getting a bases-loaded sac fly from Mike Rizzitello that scored Lane to even the game at 5-5.


Nicely would finish with six innings, allowing five runs – four earned – on three hits while striking out five. He would also finish with a no-decision.


It was then a battle of relief pitchers, as the Rascals sent out five relievers after Bartlett was through four innings, and the Otters used three relievers following Nicely.


The game was tied at five still after the seventh and eighth innings, forcing the international tie-breaker rule to go into effect in the top of the ninth, starting with a runner on second base.


In the top of the ninth, River City had two runners on base when Trevor Achenbach hit a three-run home run to push the Rascals ahead 8-5.


Long would add an RBI single, scoring Rizzitello, in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as the Rascals took game one 8-6.


Evansville’s Drew Beyer was given the loss while River City’s Taylor Sugg threw three innings in relief to earn the win.


In game two, it was all Tyler Beardsley for the Otters from start to finish.