06/20/2021 8:25 PM
EVANSVILLE, IN –The Windy City ThunderBolts came within a few feet of completing a ninth inning rally, but lost to the Evansville Otters, 8-6, on Sunday night at Bosse Field. Jamey Smart represented the tying run in the ninth, but his drive was tracked down on the warning track to close the night.
The Otters (17-6) scored the first four runs of the night. An error kept the second inning alive. Andrew Penner made it pay with a two-run single. In the third, two more runs crossed for Evansville on an RBI single by J.R. Davis and a sacrifice fly by Riley Krane.
The Bolts (9-13) started the march back into the game in the top of the fourth. Brynn Martinez led off with a triple. Jamey Smart singled him home. In the fifth, Zac Taylor hit an opposite field solo homer, his second of the year. Later in the inning, Dan Robinson tripled. Martinez knocked him in on a base hit, bringing the Bolts within a run, 4-3.
The next half inning, the Otters exploded for four runs, once again fueled by an error. The inning’s first batter, Riley Krane, reached on Zach Racusin’s misplay at first. Kenny Mathews retired the next two hitters before four unearned runs followed. Penner drove in his third and fourth runs of the game with a single. On the he next pitch Justin Felix blasted a two-run homer to center, making it 8-3 Otters.
Mathews was done after five innings. He gave up eight runs, but only two were earned. The Bolts bullpen kept the game within reach. Danny Zardon, Stetson Woods and Neil Abbatiello each tossed scoreless innings.
In the ninth, three of the first four batters reached, including an error by Otters shortstop Andy DeJesus. The error scored Jose Layer to make it 8-4. Dan Robinson stroked an RBI single and Brynn Martinez brought the Bolts within two runs with a sacrifice fly. With a man at first and two outs, Smart was the next hitter. He hit a line drive to centerfield that Miles Gordon ran down in stride to end the game.
Mathews (1-3) took the loss on the mound. Polo Portela (2-0) earned the win for Evansville, throwing six innings of three-run ball.
The Bolts have Monday off before beginning a three-game series at Schaumburg on Tuesday night, starting at 6:30 CT. RHP Layne Schnitz-Paxton (0-0, 0.00) takes the ball for the Bolts. Coverage begins at 6:15. All three games can be heard on 88.3 WXAV.
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