SAUGET, IL. (WFIE) - 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.
The road series at River City can be heard on 91.5 FM WUEV with Dave Nguyen on the call.
The Otters are having many promotions in honor of celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
The Otters 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.