Otters get crucial win over Crushers to stay in playoff contention
Evansville hosts Lake Erie again Saturday at 6:35 p.m.
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - After seven scoreless innings, the Evansville Otters outscored the Lake Erie Crushers 3-2 in the eighth inning Friday, leading to a win and keeping the Otters in the hunt for the postseason.
Right-handed pitchers Ryan O’Reilly for Evansville and Ean Walda for Lake Erie went toe-to-toe in their performances on the mound Friday.
Both only allowed a single hit each through the first three innings.
O’Reilly retired 11 straight at one point going into the fifth inning with one out.
Through five innings, the two starters had given up only a combined four hits.
Even though Walda was removed after five innings, the game remained scoreless through seven innings.
Both pitching staffs remained strong with runners on or bases-loaded in multiple circumstances.
Neither starting pitcher factored into the final decisions. Evansville’s O’Reilly went 7.2 innings with seven strikeouts, while Lake Erie’s Walda made it through five innings with five strikeouts.
With a bullpen game in the eighth and still scoreless, the Crushers had the first offensive blow. Lake Erie scored two runs; one on an Otters’ defensive miscue, and the second on an RBI single by Steve Passatempo.
Down 2-0, the Otters were not fazed in the bottom of the eighth.
With the bases loaded, Gary Mattis put the ball to force the Lake Erie defense to make a play, and the Crushers’ defense committed an error to make it a one-run game.
Then Josh Allen gave the Otters a 3-2 lead with a two-RBI single to score Andrew Penner and Elijah MacNamee.
Evansville’s Logan Sawyer closed out the win for his league-leading 24th save of the season.
Lake Erie reliever Daniel Kight took the loss.
Following Friday’s games, the Otters remain a half game back of the Florence Y’alls after their win Friday night.
The Otters and Crushers meet again Saturday from Bosse Field at 6:35 p.m.
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