AVON, Ohio (WFIE) -Brandyn Sittinger made a solid, first start Tuesday as an Evansville Otter, but one run was the difference as the Otters dropped the series opener against the Lake Erie Crushers 1-0.
Tuesday was the second time this season the Crushers shutout Otters. The Otters and Crushers are meeting up for the third of four series this season, and second in Avon, Ohio.
The one-run difference came before many fans had found their seats in the bottom of the first inning.
The Crushers’ leadoff man, Aaron Hill, began the home half the first with a double. He came around to score three batters later as Dale Burdick delivered a two-out RBI single.
From there, both pitching staffs were able to limit both offenses from capitalizing on opportunities.
One opportunity the Otters had to tie or take the lead came with one out in the bottom of the fifth.
A single by Tanner Wetrich, a walk by J.J. Gould, and a hit by pitch against Jack Meggs loaded the bases, but Keith Grieshaber and Ryan Long struck out looking to end the threat.
Lake Erie’s Jared Koenig earned his second victory against the Otters, throwing five scoreless innings, surrendering only three hits while recording seven strikeouts. He improved his record to 5-1.
Evansville’s Sittinger made his first professional start and settled in after the lone run in the first inning. He went five innings, allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts, but he was given the tough-luck loss.
The Otters also threatened in the top of the sixth with runners on second and third and one out. However, pitcher Augie Gallardo got back-to-back strikeouts against Rob Calabrese and Tanner Wetrich to end the inning.
Logan Lombana pitched a clean ninth inning for the Crushers to end the game and earn his sixth save of the season.
Following a game where runs were tough to come by for both sides, the two clubs will have a quick turnaround with an early morning start Wednesday from Sprenger Stadium.
Game two will be set for 10 a.m. CT Wednesday from Avon, Ohio.
Broadcast coverage can be heard on 91.5 WUEV-FM or at evansvilleotters.com with Dave Nguyen on the call.
The Otters are celebrating their 25th anniversary season in 2019.
Evansville will return home to Bosse Field next weekend Aug. 2-4 for a three-game series against the Southern Illinois Miners.
Friday’s game is E is for Everyone Night, partnering with Evansville’s city-wide campaign. There will also be a postgame firework show. Saturday’s game will be Educators Appreciation Night presented by the Public Education Foundation. Before the new school year begins, all educators are invited for a night of baseball and enter to win door prizes and giveaways. Sunday’s series finale will be Bark in the Park sponsored by Meijer and It Takes A Village. Fans can bring their dog to the ballpark.
Courtesy: Evansville Otters