SCHAUMBURG, IL. (WFIE) - The Evansville Otters nearly had their fourth no-hitter in franchise history on Friday, winning 3-0 as starting pitcher Patrick McGuff had his no-hit bid broken by the Schaumburg Boomers with two outs in the ninth inning.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and a runner on first, Clint Hardy hit a shallow single to right field to break up a no-hitter from McGuff.
McGuff would see only four Boomers reach base in the outing, surrendering the lone hit, one walk, a hit-batter, and one via an error by the Otters’ defense.
The Otters ace went the distance, ending the game with his 11th strikeout, moving McGuff’s record to 5-0 with 60 strikeouts and a 1.04 ERA on the season.
The Evansville Otters have two complete games this season, both by McGuff. McGuff’s first complete game was in game one of a doubleheader on May 22 at Gateway, going the full seven innings.
McGuff was able to get early run support, as the Otters manufactured their scoring offense with a small-ball approach.
Carlos Castro led off the top of the second with a double. With one out, Mike Rizzitello had a drop third strike called, as a wild pitch from Schaumburg starter Connor Reed was mishandled by Boomers catcher Nick Oddo. As Rizzitello ran down the first base line, Castro advanced from second to third. After Oddo threw out Rizzitello for the second out of the inning, first baseman Matt Rose’s throw back to Oddo went over his head, allowing Castro to slide at home headfirst to score the Otters’ first run of the game.
In the top of the sixth with one out, J.J. Gould doubled to right-centerfield, followed by another double from David Cronin, to put runners on second and third.
Keith Grieshaber’s sac-fly to left scored Gould to extend the Otters’ lead to two.
In the ninth, Carlos Castro hit the first triple of the year for the Otters, as right fielder Clint Hardy lost sight of the ball in the lights. Rob Calabrese hit a sac-fly to score Castro, giving the Otters their third run.
Castro finished 3 for 4 at the plate with two doubles, a triple, and two runs scored.
Game two of the series between the Otters and Boomers will be Saturday at 6 p.m. from Boomers Stadium, with Dave Nguyen providing broadcast coverage on 91.5 FM WUEV on the radio and evansvilleotters.com.
Jake Welch will take the mound for the Otters, who is 0-1 with a 4.21 ERA. The Boomers will counter with Erik Martinez, who is 0-1, with a 3.00 ERA.
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.
To purchase a season ticket or group outing package, call (812) 435-8686 or visit the Bosse Field front office at 23 Don Mattingly Way, Evansville, Ind. The front office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions.