EVANSVILLE, IN – For the second straight night, the ThunderBolts lost a ninth inning lead, but this time, they couldn’t recover as the Evansville Otters won 4-3 in twelve innings Thursday night at Bosse Field.
The Otters scored first in the third inning. Joe Spiers was hit by a pitch, stole two bases and scored on a two-out Jamar Walton single.
It took until the sixth inning for the ThunderBolts to respond. They finally got to Kyle Barry when Zach Aakhus led off with a double. After Chris Wade sacrificed him to third, Chase Porch sent a flyball to left field that Greg Alexander couldn’t handle. Aakhus scored and Porch made it 2-1 when he crossed the plate on a JJ Sferra groundout.
Todd Privett struck out seven over seven innings and allowed just four hits. He gave way to Greg Johnson in the eighth with the one-run lead. Johnson couldn’t hold it as Mike Durant sent a towering homer to straightaway centerfield with two outs to even the score.
Windy City jumped right back out in front in the top of the ninth. Mike Torres led off with a single and moved to second on a Ryan Basham sacrifice bunt. After Devin Shepherd was intentionally walked, Zach Aakhus made the Otters pay with an RBI base hit.
The Bolts carried the one-run lead into the ninth, but again, Johnson could not hold it down. With two outs, Vinnie Scarduzio was at second and Joe Spiers was at first and Greg Burns knocked a single out to right scoring Scarduzio to send the game into extra innings.
Neither team made any noise in the tenth or eleventh innings, but in the twelfth, Korby Mintken led off for the Otters with a base hit. After a Spiers sacrifice, he stood at second with only one out. Jesse Oster struck out the ninth inning hero, Burns, but with two outs, Greg Alexander singled to center, scoring Mintken and winning the game, 4-3.
Josh Cephas pitched a scoreless twelfth for the win (1-0) and Oster took the loss (0-1).
The Bolts will try to recover Friday night against the Florence Freedom at Champion Window Field. Bryant Cotton (0-1) will head to the mound for Windy City against Florence’s Anthony Bello (0-0). First pitch is set for 6:05 CDT and pregame can be heard on SportsJuice.com at 5:45.