The Evansville Otters dropped a late morning contest Wednesday on the South Side of Chicago to the Windy City ThunderBolts in a 5-1 decision, which evened the series at one game apiece.
The ThunderBolts took the early lead in the bottom of the first on a three-run shot to left field from Windy City slugger, Rob Weissheier, off Otters starter Ryan O'Reilly.
The Bolts would plate another in the bottom of the third, as Dan Robinson smacked a solo blast to right that extended Windy City’s lead to 4-0.
Evansville plated their first run of the ballgame in the top of the fifth, which opened with a bunt base hit down the third base line from Otters catcher Michael Gangwish, catching the Bolts defense off-guard by slapping one down for his second hit of the day.
After a Miles Gordon base hit and an error put runners at the corners, Andy DeJesus would drive home the Otters first and only run of the ballgame with an RBI double to left field that was ruled a trap catch on left fielder Zach Racusin. Evansville then trailed 4-1.
Windy City would add their final tally of the ballgame in the bottom of the sixth, Jairus Richards scored on a double steal try from second as the throw down to second trickled into center field with the bag having been left vacated by both middle infielders. Richards would score on the throwing error, pushing the ThunderBolts’ lead to 5-1, where it would hold for the final.
Otters starter Ryan O’Reilly lasted through six innings, giving up those five runs (four earned) on just three hits, two of them big flies.
Samson Abernathy would work behind O’Reilly out of the bullpen, pitching scoreless seventh and eighth innings, allowing only one baserunner in each frame on a base hit and a walk.
ThunderBolts’ righty Logan Wiley earned the win for his stingy seven inning performance, while O’Reilly took his first losing decision of the season.
Evansville will look to take the series rubber match Thursday, as they send Tim Holdgrafer to the hill. First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 a.m.