Jimmy Kerrigan provided a go-ahead two RBI double in the top of the ninth inning to help boost the Rascals (9-9) to an 8-6 victory in the series finale Thursday night against the Evansville Otters (9-9) at Bosse Field.
The win was the first comeback victory of the year when trailing going into the final frame and without it, the Rascals would have been swept for the first time this season.
It was no easy task for the Rascals as they had to go up against Otters closer Randy McCurry, who has converted three straight successful save opportunities against River City dating back to the 2016 campaign.
With a 5-4 lead, McCurry issued back-to-back walks to Josh Ludy and Josh Silver to put the tying run in scoring position. Jason Merjano then reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second to put runners at second and third with one out for Jimmy Kerrigan.
Similar to this past Sunday’s contest, Kerrigan came through clutch with a two RBI double to give his club the lead and then would come into score five pitches later via a RBI double from Clint Freeman to take a 7-5 lead.
“Silver got us going with a real good at-bat and Ludy followed that up with one of his own. Those two guys helped us see a lot of pitches did what they needed to do to help us get a rally going,” Kerrigan said. “In my at-bat, I came up with an aggressive approach and was just looking to hit the ball hard somewhere and happened to find a gap.”
Taylor Love then followed the RBI extra-base hit trend with triple to extend the lead to three runs and tallied his first multi-hit and RBI game of his career.
Fast forward to the beginning of the game, the Otters got on the board first with a two out, two RBI single against Rascals starter Dan Ludwig. However, both of the runs were unearned and Ludwig go on to toss his third quality start of the year.
Down 2-0, Love brought in Freeman with a RBI single to cut the deficit in half in the top of the third and the Rascals would take the lead three innings later against the Otters first reliever of the night.
After a solid five innings from Otters starter Hasten Freeman in his first start of the year, Jason Broussard was called in from the bullpen and he allowed a walk and two hits in the inning, including a RBI single from Josh Silver to take a 3-2 lead.
However, the lead didn’t last long as Ludwig’s final two runs of the night came home to score in the Otters next opportunity via a two-run home run from Jeff Gardner, his second long ball in as many days.
Jason Merjano tied the game up once again in the seventh with his team leading third home run of the year and it stayed that way until a two out RBI triple from catcher Mitchell Ho to put his team ahead 5-4 setting up McCurry with the save opportunity.
The blown save for McCurry was his first of the year and then Jason Zgardowski was the man to earn the save for the Rascals despite giving up a run cap off the 8-6 game.
The win went to Matt Chavarria, his first of his Frontier League career and he went 1.1 innings giving up one run on two hits and struck out two.
Starter Dan Ludwig took a no-decision and went 6.1 innings giving up four runs, two earned, on seven hits and struck out four.
In total, the Rascals tallied ten hits and three players had a pair: Taylor Love, Jimmy Kerrigan and Clint Freeman.
“The win felt great for our club, we had a rough first couple games of this trip so to come back and get a win in the final game is huge,” Love said.
The Rascals will continue their season Friday night as they take on the Gateway Grizzlies at GCS Ballpark Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
River City Rascals