The River City Rascals had gone nearly 20 innings without allowing any big outbursts by opposing at-bats heading into Tuesday’s Frontier League baseball battle with the Evansville Otters.
But that ended in the first inning Tuesday night at T.R. Hughes Ballpark, as Evansville sent 10 men to the plate against the Rascals, and registered five hits and five runs to jump out to a big lead, then held off several River City comeback attempts in an eventual 13-8 victory for the Otters.
Rascal starter Preston Vancil (7-9) just didn’t have his good stuff on Tuesday, and gave up 12 hits and 10 runs in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss, while Evansville ace Adam Champion (8-4) went six innings and allowed just seven hits and five runs to get the win.
The real stars on the night though, were Evansville’s hitters, which included third baseman Stephen Marino, who had four hits; right fielder DeAngelo Mack, who had three hits and three RBIs; and center fielder Runey Davis, who had four RBIs.
For River City, left fielder Jeremy Synan and first baseman Chris Andreas had three hits and three RBIs apiece, which included Andreas’ fifth home run of the season.
But after falling behind 5-0 initially and 11-2 after the top of the fifth, the Rascals never could recover.
They did have chances though, loading the bases in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, but just didn’t get enough out of those opportunities.
In the seventh, River City stranded the bases loaded, and in the eighth, the Rascals only managed one run from a bases-loaded, nobody-out situation against reliever Patrick Dolan.
Then in the ninth, River City did score twice, but made the last out of the game with the bases loaded again, while it had the tying run in the on-deck circle.
The Rascals are now 43-47 on the season, and must win all five of their remaining games this week to avoid their first losing season since 2008.
Evansville is 44-46 and is looking for their first winning season since 2005.
The two clubs will be back in action on Wednesday, with rookie Justin Sarratt making the start for the Rascals, and fellow youngster Matt Crim doing the same for the Otters.
First pitch at T.R. Hughes is slated for 7:05 p.m., with the series finale scheduled for the same time on Thursday.
2012 River City Rascals Remaining Schedule
Date …………… Time …… Opponent
August 29 …… 7:05 pm .. Evansville Otters
August 30 ……. 7:05 pm .. Evansville Otters
August 31 …… 7:05 pm .. Windy City ThunderBolts
September 1 … 7:05 pm .. Windy City ThunderBolts
September 2 … 6:05 pm .. Windy City ThunderBolts