EVANSVILLE, IL--The River City Rascals completed a comeback for the ages on Friday night at Bosse Field, defeating the Evansville Otters 8-5 in the series opener for their sixth straight victory. The Rascals entered the top of the ninth trailing 5-0 and with just two hits, before exploding for eight runs in the frame to earn the win.
The Otters jumped out to the 3-0 lead after the bottom of the second, getting a lead-off homer from Brant Whiting, an RBI double from David Cronin, and scoring their third run as Cronin scored on a dropped third strike and passed ball. Tyler Lane gave the Otters the 5-0 lead on a two-run single in the fifth.
With Otters starter Tyler Beardsley taking a two-hit shutout into the ninth, Trevor Achenbach drew a lead-off walk. With one out, Gage West and Paul Kronenfeld also drew walks to load the bases. The Otters brought in Matt Chavarria (4-1), who allowed a bases-loaded walk to Braxton Martinez and a run-scoring single from Zach Lavy. After Kronenfeld scored on a wild pitch, Ransom LaLonde singled in their fourth run, and the tying run scored on a bobbled ball in centerfield by the Otters after LaLonde's hit. Achenbach gave the Rascals the lead on a two-run double and Clint Freeman made it 8-5 on an RBI single.
Rascals starter Josh Kimborowicz allowed four earned runs in four innings in a no-decision. Chad Gendron (4-1) earned the win in relief, with Cody Mincey picking up his 22nd save of the season to seal the win in the bottom of the ninth. The Rascals bullpen combined for five scoreless innings.
Beardsley finished allowing three runs allowed in 8 1/3 innings, walking five and striking out six. Chavarria took the loss, allowing three runs without recording an out.
The Rascals (47-41) look for their seventh straight win as they take on the Otters (45-42) in the middle game of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm CT. Hector Hernandez will make the start for the Rascals.