Otters Lose Second Straight, Fall Two Games Back in Division
A second straight loss to the Schaumburg Boomers drop the Otters to third place in the Frontier League's East Division behind Southern Illinois and Washington.
Solid pitching from Schaumburg starter Eddie Cody kept the Otters off the board, including working himself out a jam in the top of the second which found Evansville with two runners on base, and retiring seven batters straight from the second to the fourth inning.
Down 2-0 going into the top of the eighth, the Otters were able to pull within a run when outfielder J.R. Higley started the inning with a double, then scored on a RBI from All-Star third baseman Shayne Houck. An opportunity to take the lead came later in the inning with two outs as the Otters had the tying run on third, and the go-ahead run on first only to be left stranded when outfielder, Chris Elder ground out to end the inning.
Schaumburg put it away with a four-run bottom of the eighth after a hit batter by Otters reliever Evan Mott scored on a throwing error later in the inning followed by a bases-clearing double by Boomers catcher Michael Valadez.
The loss puts the Otters in third place, two games out of the division lead, after a win by Washington and a loss by Southern Illinois. The Miners loss puts them in sole possession of second place in the division, one game out of the lead.
The Otters will look to avoid the series sweep against Schaumburg later this evening when game three will begin at 6:30pm. They'll return home Friday for a three-game series against the division-leading Wild Things.
The good news is if the regular season were to end today, the Otters would be in the playoffs. The bad news is, the regular season is not ending today, and with roughly three and a half weeks left in the regular season, the Otters can't afford to fall apart now.