EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Following Tuesday’s series-opening postponement, the Evansville Otters and River City Rascals their Wednesday doubleheader with River City taking game one 8-6 in extra innings and Evansville winning game two 2-0 behind a three-hit shutout by Tyler Beardsley.
Game one was about high-scoring offense, starting with the Otters scoring the first three runs in the first inning.
David Cronin led off the bottom of the first inning with a single, and Keith Grieshaber was hit by a pitch from Rascals starter Keenan Bartlett. Ryan Long then stepped up to rip a two-RBI double to give the Otters a 2-0 lead.
Returning to the Otters after a stint with the Columbia Fireflies of the New York Mets organization, Taylor Lane hit a sac fly to score Long for the Otters’ third run.
Rascals starter Keenan Bartlett threw four innings, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks. He would finish the game with a no-decision
Otters starter Austin Nicely was cruising along, throwing 4.1 no-hit innings until running into some trouble in the fifth inning as the Rascals’ offense broke through.
Following an error and a hit by pitch, Andrew Penner recorded the Rascals’ first hit against Nicely.
With the bases loaded, Nolan Meadows hit a grand slam to propel the Rascals ahead 4-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Otters responded as Cronin led off with a walk, advanced to second base on a stolen base, and scored on Long’s second RBI double, tying the game at four.
With Nicely going out to the mound in the top of the sixth and with two outs, Rascals first baseman Zach Lavy hit a solo home run to give the Rascals a 5-4 edge.
Once again, the Otters had an answer to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth, getting a bases-loaded sac fly from Mike Rizzitello that scored Lane to even the game at 5-5.
Nicely would finish with six innings, allowing five runs - four earned - on three hits while striking out five. He would also finish with a no-decision.
It was then a battle of relief pitchers, as the Rascals sent out five relievers after Bartlett was through four innings, and the Otters used three relievers following Nicely.
The game was tied at five still after the seventh and eighth innings, forcing the international tie-breaker rule to go into effect in the top of the ninth, starting with a runner on second base.
In the top of the ninth, River City had two runners on base when Trevor Achenbach hit a three-run home run to push the Rascals ahead 8-5.
Long would add an RBI single, scoring Rizzitello, in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as the Rascals took game one 8-6.
Evansville’s Drew Beyer was given the loss while River City’s Taylor Sugg threw three innings in relief to earn the win.
In game two, it was all Tyler Beardsley for the Otters from start to finish.
Beardsley started the game by tossing 4.2 no-hit innings, giving up the first hit on a single by River City’s Braxton Martinez.
The veteran right-hander was dealing, retiring his first 11 batters, 12 of his first 13, with six strikeouts.
However, the right-hander received his run support in the third inning.
In the bottom of the third and with two outs, Cronin reached on a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then scored on Jack Meggs’ RBI single, giving the Otters a 1-0 lead. Meggs advanced to second on a throw home.
Long followed with an RBI single, his fourth RBI of the day, to score Meggs, extending the Otters lead to two.
That was all Beardsley needed as he pitched the rest of the way for the shutout. In the winning effort, Beardsley finished with nine strikeouts and only surrendered three hits. Beardsley moved his overall record to 8-3.
Wednesday’s game two was Beardsley’s second shutout of the season, and Beardsley remains undefeated at home this season while allowing two or less runs in all his home starts.
Rascals starter Austin Dusbky pitched well but did not have the offensive support that his team put up in game one. The former Southern Illinois Miner went all six innings, allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts.
Thursday’s rubber match is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Bosse Field.
Broadcast coverage can be found on the radio at 91.5 WUEV-FM or streamed on the Otters Digital Network via YouTube with Dave Nguyen (play-by-play) and Bill McKeon (analyst) on the call.
Text Courtesy: Evansville Otters