EVANSVILLE, IN – Dane Phillips hit a seventh-inning grand slam to prevent the ThunderBolts from completing the sweep as the Evansville Otters came away with a 6-5 win over the Bolts at Bosse Field Thursday night.
The Otters (11-13) scored the game’s first run with back-to-back two-out hits in the second inning. Christopher Riopedre singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Brandon Soat’s base hit.
The ThunderBolts (16-8) got on the board in the fourth inning. Coco Johnson singled and Larry Balkwill hit a two-run homer to give the Bolts 2-1 lead.
That would be the score into the seventh as Max Duval of Evansville and the ThunderBolts’ Kyle Von Ruden locked in a pitchers’ duel.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the otters mounted a rally. Xyruse Martinez kept the inning alive when he reached on an error. John Schultz singled and Josh Allen walked to load the bases in front of Phillips, who chased Von Ruden from the game and gave Evansville its biggest lead of the series at 5-2.
The Otters added a run in the eighth on a Chris Sweeney RBI single.
The ThunderBolts made it interesting against Randy McCurry in the ninth. Johnson hit his second homer of the series to make it 6-3. Tim Zier singled and Balkwill was hit by a pitch and both men scored on a David Kerian triple, making it a one-run game. Kerian stood at third with one out but McCurry retired Blair Beck and Ransom LaLonde to end the game.
Duval (3-1) struck out ten over eight innings to earn the win. Von Ruden (1-2) allowed five runs (one earned) in 6.2 innings and suffered the loss.
The Bolts continue their 13-game trip on Friday with game one against the River City Rascals. Jake Fisher (2-0, 4.24) gets the start in the series opener against River City’s Austin Warner (1-0, 4.18). First pitch from CarShield Field is scheduled for 6:35 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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