EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Four home runs pushed the Evansville Otters to a doubleheader sweep of the Joliet Slammers Wednesday, moving the Otters to seven games above .500.
After a scoreless first two innings in game one, the Otters broke through against Slammers starter Keegan Long in the bottom of the third inning.
Hunter Cullen’s one-out double in the inning gave the Otters their first hit of the game.
He would score on David Cronin’s second home run of the season, a two-run shot over the fence to give the Otters a 2-0 lead.
The Otters would break game one open with a six-run fifth inning, sending 10 batters to the plate.
Dakota Phillips ripped a double to lead off the inning. He would score on a two-run blast by Cullen, his seventh homer of the season, giving the Otters a 4-0 lead.
Evansville would get back-to-back jacks as J.J. Gould followed with a solo shot for his third home run of the year to extend the Otters lead to five.
Keith Grieshaber would continue the Otters’ offensive outburst with an RBI single to score Cronin, giving the Otters a 6-0 cushion.
Ryan Long ended his offensive slump with an RBI double to score Grieshaber and would go on to touch home on a fielder’s choice RBI from Jack Meggs.
Evansville would carry an 8-0 lead into the sixth inning.
Keegan Long was responsible for seven of Evansville’s eight runs, tossing four innings and allowing the seven runs on seven hits. His record falls to 2-7.
Joliet’s Dash Winningham hit an RBI single in the top of the sixth, but that would be the only blemish on Tyler Beardsley’s line. The Otters right-hander threw six strong innings, allowing a run on four hits. He earned the victory, improving his record to 5-3.
Evansville took game one by a final of 8-1.
The Otters would continue their hitting ways in game number two, scoring in the bottom of the first inning.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the first, Dakota Phillips hit a hard ground ball to Slammers shortstop Chaz Meadows, who was unable to get the ball out of his hands to make a play. Cronin scored from third as an error was charged to Meadows, allowing Phillips to reach first and give the Otters a 1-0 lead in game two.
The Slammers tied the game at one on an RBI groundout by London Lindley that scored Jimmy Roche in the top of the third.
Evansville responded in the bottom half of the inning as Phillips launched his sixth home run of the season, a three-run bomb give the Otters a 4-1 lead.
Joliet started to come back again, loading the bases with two outs.
Jimmy Roche stepped to the plate and ripped a two-run single to score Meadows and Oliver Nunez, cutting the Otters lead to 4-3.
Arias would be pulled in the inning, going 3.2 innings, surrendering three runs on four hits and ringing up five Slammers.
Lefty reliever Cam Opp was able to get the Otters out of the fourth, striking out Jared Morello for the final out of the frame.
Evansville picked up an insurance run in both the fifth and sixth innings off a two-out RBI single by Phillips to score Cullen and a sac fly by Ryan Long to score Jake Gozzo, respectively. The Otters would take a 6-3 lead into the top of the seventh.
All-Star reliever Taylor Wright pitched a clean inning, earning his eighth save of the season.
Opp was credited the win, his first an Otter, after tossing 1.1 innings with three strikeouts.
Joliet’s Scot Hoffman was dealt the loss in game two, allowing five runs - four earned - in 4.2 innings pitched while striking out six Otters. His record dropped to 3-4.
Game three will be Thursday at 6:35 p.m. with Jake Welch on the mound for the Otters and Tyler Jandron for the Slammers.
Broadcast coverage can be found on 91.5 WUEV-FM and streamed on the Otters Digital Network via YouTube with Dave Nguyen (play-by-play) and Bill McKeon (analyst) on the call.
The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
Thursday is Bud Light Thirsty Thursday presented by Working Distributors and German Heritage Night, featuring German music, German beer, and kraut balls.
Text Courtesy: Evansville Otters