JOLIET, Ill. – The Evansville Otters climbed above .500 for the first time this season after defeating the Joliet Slammers 6-4 Wednesday morning from Joliet Route 66 Stadium.
Joliet opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when Travis Bolin doubled off the left-center field wall to plate the first run of the game.
Evansville responded to tie the game 1-1 with a run in the top of the third off a sac fly by Jeff Gardner.
The Slammers reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third with a three-run inning, highlighted by a two-RBI single from Justin Garcia that put Joliet in front 3-1. Garcia would later score on an RBI single from Danny Zardon, giving Joliet a 4-1 advantage.
Back-to-back two-run innings in the fourth and fifth propelled Evansville ahead.
In the top of the fourth, Hunter Cullen roped a single through the right side for an RBI and later scored on a Ryan Long RBI double, bringing the Otters within one run.
Manny Cruz delivered with a two-RBI single up the middle in the top of the fifth to give the Otters a 5-4 edge.
The Otters held onto the lead for the rest of the game, adding on an insurance run in the top of the eighth on an RBI single from Zach Welz for the game’s final score of 6-4.
Starting pitcher Luc Rennie picked up the win for the Otters, tossing five innings and giving up four runs. The right-hander allowed six hits while striking out five and walking two.
Joliet starting pitcher Taylor Goshen lasted only 3.1 innings pitched, surrendering three runs toward a no-decision.
Joliet’s Matt Sandoval was tagged for the loss, whose inherited runners came across to score on the Cruz two-RBI single in the fifth.
The series finale is Thursday at 10:05 a.m. from Joliet Route 66 Stadium in Joliet, Ill. as the Otters will be seeking their first series sweep of the season.
Game coverage will be available on WUEV 91.5 FM and online at wuev.org with Sam Jellinek (play-by-play) on the call.
Fans can also follow Otters social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for game updates throughout the day.
The Evansville Otters are the 2006 and 2016 Frontier League champions. Season tickets, group outing packages, and single game tickets are on sale now for the 2018 season.