WASHINGTON, Pa. (July 8) – Three home runs on the afternoon helped the Washington Wild Things claim a victory and a series win over the Evansville Otters with their 8-4 effort on Sunday. With the win, Washington finishes the first half of the 2018 season in first place in the East Division and became the first team in the Frontier League to reach 30 wins.
After a scoreless top of the first, Washington (30-21) second baseman Carter McEachern started the scoring early with a solo home run in the bottom of the frame to give the Wild Things the 1-0 advantage. Washington couldn’t hold the lead for long as Evansville right fielder Jeff Gardner led off the top of the second inning with a solo home run of his own and tied the game at one.
The Wild Things would reclaim the lead in the bottom of the second on another solo home run, this time from Connor Simonetti. It was Simonetti’s first home run as a Wild Thing and gave Washington the lead 2-1.
Innings three and four featured scoreless ball, but the Wild Things utilized a four-run fifth inning to take a commanding 6-1 lead. Designated hitter James Harris sent a no-doubt, three-run shot over the left field fence, his eighth homer of the season and gave Washington a 5-1 lead. Later in the inning, right fielder Hector Roa singled home left fielder Roman Collins to improve the difference to 6-1.
Evansville (26-23) plated a run in the top of the sixth inning as first baseman Travis Harrison tripled home right fielder Jeff Gardner to make it a 6-2 game. The Wild Things answered quickly by scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a McEachern RBI single to bring in Simonetti and a run scored when center fielder Mick Fennell was plated on an error. After six, Washington led 8-2.
Evansville continued the scoring into the seventh inning, scoring two runs in the frame. Second baseman David Cronin singled home center fielder Hunter Cullen to make it an 8-3 contest. Designated hitter Toby Thomas brought in shortstop Taylor Hillson two at-bats later on a fielder’s choice to make the score 8-4, but it would not be enough as Washington would go on to take its 30th victory of 2018.
Washington starter Trevor Bradley (3-2) was credited with the victory, going five complete innings while giving up one earned run on four hits. Bradley also posted five strikeouts and walked two batters.
Randy Wynne (4-5) took the loss in the contest for Evansville. He went five innings while giving up six runs (all earned) with eight hits and three strikeouts.
McEachern led the way offensively for Washington, going 4-4 with two RBI and a run scored. McEachern, Harris and Simonetti all homered in the contest.
Evansville finishes the first half of 2018 in second place in the West division and sits 1.5 games behind River City.
Washington will send six players to the Frontier League All Star Game on Wednesday in O’Fallon, Missouri in the new Rookie vs Experienced format. McEachern will represent Washington on the rookie team while Harris, Collins, catcher Kyle Pollock, and pitchers Zach Strecker and Thomas Dorminy will play for the experienced team. Washington will be back in action Friday, July 13, following the break as it hosts the Lake Erie Crushers for a three-game set.