FLORENCE, KY. (WFIE) - 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.
The Otters will have a day off Monday before they travel to the suburbs of Chicago for a six-game road trip, starting with a three-game set with the Joliet Slammers.
First pitch Tuesday from Route 66 Stadium in Joliet, Ill. is at 7:05 p.m. and can be heard from on the radio at 91.5 FM WUEV or at evansvilleotters.com with Dave Nguyen on the call.
The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
Evansville will return home on Tuesday, June 11 against the Windy City Thunderbolts for a three-game series, featuring $2 Tuesday, Splash Day, and Working Distributors Bud Light Thirsty Thursday.