The River City Rascals (8-9) allowed a season high 13 runs on 14 hits in their largest loss of the season Wednesday night, 13-6, against the Evansville Otters (9-8) at historic Bosse Field.
After the third inning, the Rascals found themselves trailing 8-1 and although they began to chip away at the lead, including getting the tying run on base in the sixth inning, the Otters responded right back and built on their lead the rest of the night.
On the mound for the Rascals was starter Tim Koons and with two outs and a runner on second, a ground ball could have ended the inning however a throwing error brought in the Otters first run. One pitch later, Jeff Gardner followed that up with a RBI single to put the Otters on top 2-0 in the opening frame.
After Koons tossed a quick second inning, including a strike-him-out, throw-him out, to end it, Clint Freeman carried that momentum into his leadoff at-bat in the third and powered a ball over the wall in right field to cut the deficit in half.
That would be as close as the Rascals would get all game as the Otters had their largest inning in their next opportunity, including a pair of home runs to score seven runs in the bottom of the third.
With one out, the Otters loaded the bases on a walk and two hits for Jeff Gardner, who had the Otters only RBI up to that point in the game. Gardner would add to that and deliver the biggest blow of the inning with a grand slam to extend the Otters lead to 6-1. Two more hits would follow, including a two-run home run from Brandon Soat to head into the fourth leading by seven runs.
Soat’s long ball was the Otters fifth of the series.
That would be the final inning for Koons as he took his second loss of the year, allowing eight runs, six earned, on eight hits and struck out one.
The Rascals bullpen held down the fort for the next two innings giving the Rascals the chance to mount a comeback, which began with Braxton Martinez scoring on an error by the Otters centerfielder and a RBI single into left from Josh Ludy to make it 8-3 after the top of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, Johnny Morales drove in Jimmy Kerrigan with a RBI double and then Morales was the tying run one inning later after he added two more to his RBI total with a single to put the Rascals down by a pair of runs. However, with Morales on first and Brandon Thomas on third,a groundout ended the threat and the Rascals didn’t have a solid chance to tie the game or take the lead the rest of the night.
The Otters responded quickly with back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the sixth and then added three more in the bottom of the eighth on a Christopher Riopedre RBI single and then two walks with the bases loaded to finish off their 13 run night.
The two runs in the sixth were charged to Lucas Laster and the three in the eighth to Joe Iorio.
Despite giving up six runs, five earned, on seven hits and four walks, Otters starter Felix Baez earned his second win of the year. Baez also struck out seven, including the side to begin the game.
In total, the Rascals tallied ten hits and three players had multiple. Johnny Morales had three and Josh Ludy and Clint Freeman notched two.
The Rascals loss marked the third series loss on the road and they look to avoid the sweep tomorrow night with southpaw Dan Ludwig on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. central.