EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- The River City Rascals used a huge third inning to defeat the Evansville Otters 8-1 in the series opener on Friday night at Bosse Field. The Rascals only recorded five hits in the game, but the Otters left eleven runners stranded on base in the loss. JD Hearn hit a grand slam to lead the Rascals offense.
Braxton Martinez put the Rascals on the board with an RBI single in the first inning. Otters starter Jake Welch (3-2) then walked the bases loaded with one out in the third before hitting Zach Lavy with a pitch to make it 2-0, which was immediatly followed by Hearn's slam. The Otters scored their lone run in the fifth, on an RBI groundout from Hunter Cullen, before Trevor Achenbach extended the Rascals lead with a two-out, two-run double in the seventh.
Rascals starter Micah Kaczor allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision, exiting the game after allowing a pair of hits in the fifth. Reliever Anthony Herrera (1-2) earned the win, retiring all four hitters he faced. Welch allowed six runs on only two hits in 2 1/3 innings of work, his shortest start of the season. He walked six Rascals hitters.
The Rascals (23-19) look to take the 2-0 series lead against the Otters (25-17) tomorrow night, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. CDT. Travis McQueen is expected to take the mound.