AVON, OH. (WFIE) - The Evansville Otters fell to Lake Erie Crushers 7-3 in Friday’s series opener, as Lake Erie was able to break a 3-3 tie with four unanswered runs down the stretch of the game.
Lake Erie catcher Bryan DeLaRosa delivered the big blow to break the 3-3 deadlock in the bottom of the sixth inning, crushing a two-run home run to right field to give Lake Erie a 5-3 advantage.
The Crushers added two more insurance runs in the eighth on an RBI single by Dale Burdick and an RBI triple by Aaron Hill.
DeLaRosa’s home run was hit off Otters starter Tyler Beardsley, who was dealt the loss. The loss snapped Beardsley’s run of consecutive starts without a loss. Going into Friday, Beardsley was 3-0 with two no-decisions in his last five starts.
Offensively, the Otters jumped on the scoreboard first, which usually spells well for Evansville this season.
In the top of the second inning, Hunter Cullen ripped a two-run home run to right to give the Otters a 2-0 lead, his sixth of the season.
Lake Erie would answer with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, sending six men to the plate. John Cable would hit an RBI single, followed by a DeLaRosa’s sac fly.
Momentum shifted in the bottom of the fourth when a pass ball off catcher Rob Calabrese allowed Dale Burdick to touch home, giving the Crushers their first lead of the game at 3-2.
With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth and one out, Ryan Long hit a sac fly to centerfield, scoring Anthony Maselli, to tie the game at three. It was Long’s sixth RBI of the trip, giving him his 31st of the year.
Beardsley would finish with seven innings, allowing five runs - four earned – on nine hits. The California native had two strikeouts and no walks.
It was a combined bullpen effort for the Crushers as Jack Granath made a spot start, tossing 3.2 innings, surrendering Cullen’s home run on two hits.
Lefty Jake Repavich gave up Long’s sac fly, an unearned run, in 3.1 innings, while fanning five. Repavich was handed the win.
Kent Hasler tossed a scoreless top of the eighth with a strikeout.
The Crushers added two more in the bottom of the inning off Otters reliever Jacob Hulcher, who allowed two runs on two hits, extending the Crushers lead to 7-3.
Logan Lombana pitched a scoreless ninth despite Ryan Long hitting a double in the frame.
Game two will be set for Saturday from Avon, Ohio at 5:05 p.m. and can be heard on 91.5 FM WUEV or at evansvilleotters.com with Dave Nguyen on the call.
Austin Nicely will take the hill for the Otters after his first start was disrupted by the rain on Thursday at Washington. He will be opposed by Dylan Mouzakes.
The Otters will return home to Bosse Field June 25 for a six-game homestand against the Schaumburg Boomers and River City Rascals.
Highlighted promotions for that homestand include $2 Tuesday, Deaconess Strike Out Stroke Night, 14 WFIE and Bud Light Thirsty Thursday, Holly’s House and Deaconess Women’s Hospital Night, Deaconess Employee Night and Princess Night with postgame fireworks, and Sunday’s series finale presented by North American Light, an Indiana Tool Plant.
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.
The Otters play all home games at historic Bosse Field, located at 23 Don Mattingly Way in Evansville, Ind. Stay up-to-date with the Evansville Otters by visiting evansvilleotters.com, or follow the Otters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.