Productive hitting gives Otters the series win over the Freedom


Productive hitting allowed the Evansville Otters to get key RBI knocks in a 4-2 win over the Florence Freedom Sunday, clinching a series win for the Otters.

Patrick McGuff provided a gritty, quality start on the mound for the Otters, beginning in the first inning.

McGuff worked around a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first by picking up two strikeouts.

Offensively, the Otters struck first in the second inning.

Carlos Castro led off the inning with a double to right-centerfield.

Hunter Cullen moved Castro over to third with a groundout, and Rob Calabrese singled to score Castro, giving the Otters the first run of the game.

Later in the inning with runners on the corners, J.J. Gould smacked an RBI single to score Calabrese, giving the Otters a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the third, Taylor Bryant hit a sac fly to put Florence on the board with the score 2-1.

The top of the fourth was almost identical to the start of the top of the second.

Castro doubled, Cullen moved him to third on a groundout, and Calabrese doubled to score Castro to give the Otters a two-run lead. Then with runners on the corners, David Cronin ripped an RBI single to centerfield, scoring Calabrese to give the Otters a 4-1 lead.

The Freedom cut the lead in half when shortstop Austin Wobrock ripped an RBI double to score Ricky Ramirez Jr. in the bottom of the fifth.

There would be no more runs scored from that point on, as McGuff pitched a scoreless sixth, exiting the game with over 110 pitches thrown.

Patrick McGuff went six strong innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits while fanning nine.

Freedom starter Mike Castellani exited after the sixth inning as well, giving up four runs on nine hits and tossing three strikeouts.

Taylor Wright retired the side, ending the seventh inning with his 22nd strikeout of the year.

Abraham Almonte shut the door in the eighth, and Danny Hrbek earned his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth as Keith Grieshaber caught the final out of the game in left field to seal the win for the Otters.

Calabrese had two clutch RBIs, increasing his total to three for the series. Castro was three 3 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored.