O'FALLON, Mo. -- The River City Rascals withstood a late rally to defeat the Evansville Otters 4-3 on Wednesday night in Game 2 of their Frontier League Divison Series matchup, taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Neither team scored through the first three innings, and after Otters starter Tyler Beardsley retired ten hitters in-a-row following a lead-off single, the Rascals got three straight hits with one out in the bottom of the fourth to load the bases. Zach Lavy then delivered a two-run double to put the Rascals in front. Nolan Meadows added a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth to bring the Rascals lead to 4-0.
The Otters then struck for three runs in the seventh however, all with two outs. Dakota Phillips put them on the board with a bases-loaded walk, and Rob Calabrese made it a one-run game with a two-run double. Evansville then had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth inning, and attempted to tie the game on a long fly ball to right field, but Kameron Esthay made the grab and delivered a dart to the plate to retire the runner tagging from third, ending the inning. Jason Zgardowski left two runners stranded in the top of the ninth to finish off a six-out save, striking out the side to seal the victory.
Rascals starter Taylor Ahearn (1-0) went five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits with five strikeouts in a winning effort. Beardsley (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs over 5 1/3 innings while striking out nine without issuing a walk.
After an off-day on Thursday, the series shifts to Bosse Field in Evansville for Game 3 on Friday night, with first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. CDT. Austin Dubsky will take the mound for the Rascals as they look to finish off the sweep and advance to the Frontier League Championship Series.