Otters Rally Late to Take Down Freedom
FLORENCE, Ky. - Trailing by a run going into the top of the eighth inning, the Evansville Otters rallied for three late runs to topple the Florence Freedom 10-8 on Friday night at UC Health Stadium.
Jeff Gardner put Evansville ahead 1-0 in the first with an RBI single to right field.
Florence responded and grabbed the lead in the bottom of the inning on a Keivan Berges three-run homer.
Brant Whiting tied the game at 3-3 in the second with a two-run homer, his second of the season.
The Otters got back in front in the third. Ryan Long tripled to open the inning and Travis Harrison brought him home with a double. After advancing to third on a fly out, Harrison scored on an Austin Bush groundout to put Evansville ahead 5-3.
Florence got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a Skylar Ewing RBI single.
In the fifth Evansville plated two more runs with Bush driving home a man with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Whiting, giving him three RBIs on the day and putting Evansville ahead 7-4.
In the bottom of the fifth, Florence got it back to a one-run game on a two-run homer from Berges, his second home run of the game.
After an error from David Cronin allowed the inning to continue and put a man on first, Ewing took advantage and doubled home the runner to knot the score at 7-7.
Jordan Brower slugged a solo homer to give Florence the lead, 8-7, in the bottom of the seventh.
With two outs in the eighth, the Otters strung together four straight hits to plate three runs and take a 10-8 lead. Cronin started it with single and Long followed him with another base hit. Harrison then picked up his third hit of the night, a single, driving home Cronin to tie the game. Following Harrison, Gardner came through in the clutch with a two-run double to give Evansville a 10-8 edge.
The Otters held on to win by that final of 10-8, with Alex Phillips coming on in the ninth and tossing a perfect frame, striking out two hitters, to end the game and earn his fifth save of the season.
Matt Chavarria picks up his third win of year out of the bullpen for the Otters. Chavarria went two innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits and two strikeouts.
Evan Korson takes the loss for Florence. Korson went 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out two.
Austin Nicely started for Evansville and receives a no-decision. The lefty tossed five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits while striking out four.
Florence starter Steve Hagen also gets a no-decision. Hagen went just two innings, allowing three runs on five hits and punching out two hitters.
The Otters and Freedom will continue their series tomorrow evening at 6:05 p.m. ET at UC Health Stadium.
Coverage of the series with the Freedom can be found on WUEV 91.5 FM presented by Kruckemeyer & Cohn with Sam Jellinek the call.
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