EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The Evansville Otters could not overcome six unanswered runs by the Southern Illinois Miners Friday as the Miners won game one of the weekend series 8-2.
In front of 4,738 fans at Bosse Field for E is for Everyone Night, the Otters managed to find themselves in a 2-2 game through seven innings. However, the Miners scored six runs over the last two frames.
Evansville looked to get back on track at home after a tough road trip to Lake Erie.
Starters Cole Cook for Southern Illinois and Tyler Beardsley for Evansville kept the game scoreless through three innings.
The Miners grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Jamey Smart hit a two-run homer off Beardsley.
The Otters would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth.
With one out, Keith Grieshaber doubled and Ryan Long walked to give Evansville two baserunners, which was followed by the Miners making a pitching change to reliever Gabe Gentner.
Carlos Castro then hit an RBI single to score Grieshaber and bring the Otters within one.
Two batters later, Jack Meggs tied the game on an RBI single that scored Ryan Long.
Cook finished with 5.1 innings pitched, two runs allowed on three hits and two walks, and struck out four. He took a no-decision.
Beardsley would pitch a scoreless seventh but would not head back out to the mound for the eighth. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out seven. Despite a quality pitching performance, he earned a no-decision as well.
The Miners would take the lead in the eighth, adding four runs. The inning was highlighted by a two-run home run by Taylor Sparks.
The Otters had an opportunity to respond once again in the bottom of the eighth.
After walks to Castro and Elijah MacNamee, Jack Meggs was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.
The threat ended as Rob Calabrese struck out, and Hunter Cullen grounded into a 5-3 double play.
The Miners added two more runs on a two-RBI knock by Smart, giving him four on the night, in the ninth to put the Miners in front 8-2, and allowing them to take game one of the three-game series against the Otters.
Miners reliever Nick Durazo earned the win, pitching the seventh inning, and improved his record to 4-2.
Otters reliever Kevin Simmons was given the loss, being responsible out of the three Otters relievers who pitched in the eighth for the go-ahead run.
Game two will be Saturday at 6:35 p.m. from Bosse Field. Jake Welch will be on the mound for the Otters while Southern Illinois has yet to announce their starter.