EVANSVILLE, IN – Dakota Phillips hit a grand slam in the fifth inning for the Evansville Otters as they pulled away from the ThunderBolts for an 8-3 win at Bosse Field Saturday night.
For the second straight night, the Otters (37-27) put the ThunderBolts (28-37) behind in the first inning. David Cronin singled, stole second moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Ryan Long sacrifice fly.
After their first seven batters of the game were retired, the ThunderBolts fought back for the tying run in the fourth. Chase Cockrell doubled and scored on a Tyler Alamo single.
Evansville quickly broke the tie with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Cronin hit a two-run double and scored on a Keith Grieshaber double.
Then, the Otters took over with four runs in the fifth. A single and two walks loaded the bases as Blake Hickman entered from the bullpen to face Phillips. Hickman’s first pitch was taken over the leftfield wall for a home run that made the score 8-1.
Hickman went on to retire the next five batters he faced. He, Connor Mayes and Colby Blueberg combined to set down Evansville’s last 11 batters.
Though they fell short in the end, the ThunderBolts continued to chip away late in the game as Taisei Fukuhara picked up an RBI single in the sixth and in the ninth inning, Jordan Swiss and Omar Obregon hit back-to-back doubles to score the final run.
Tyler Beardsley (6-3) allowed two runs over six innings for the win and Cole Bellair (2-4) gave up seven runs in 4.1 innings and took the loss.
The series concludes on Sunday evening as Chris Washington (2-6, 3.23) takes the mound for the ThunderBolts against Evansville’s Jake Welch (5-3, 3.47). Sunday’s game is a 5:05 start time at Bosse Field and the radio broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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