Follow Us :

Otters use longball to defeat Slammers in series opener

By: Matthew Gustafson

JOLIET, IL – The Evansville Otters were powered by three home runs to an extra inning victory Tuesday over the Slammers. 

Joliet (21-25) kickstarted the scoring in the bottom of the first when Matthew Warkentin doubled down the right field line to score Antonio Valdez. Drew Stengren then brought home Warkentin with a single to center, giving the Slammers a 2-0 lead. 

Evansville (18-28) responded quickly, scoring in the next inning. The Otters put two runners on base before a Delvin Zinn single to center field scored Jomar Reyes to make it 2-1. Mason White tied the game for Evansville in the top of the fourth with a solo home run to right field. 

The Otters took the lead the following inning when David Mendham singled to center field, bringing home Delvin Zinn. Randy Bednar then widened the gap with a three-run homer to left-center field, scoring Gio DiGiacomo and Mendham for a 6-2 lead. 

Joliet started its comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run to left field by Matthew Warkentin, cutting the deficit to three. The jailbirds kept the bats hot and tied it up with three runs in the next inning. 

Two singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with two outs for Matthew Warkentin, who reached on a fielder’s choice to score Cal Hejza as he and all runners were safe. Jonathan Sierra tied it up with a single to right-center field, scoring Liam McArthur and Antonio Valdez. 

Both teams pitched scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to force extra innings. Evansville took the lead for good in the top of the tenth when Mason White hit his second home run of the game, scoring Randy Bednar and Alec Olund to give the visitors a 9-6 lead. 

The Slammers scored one final run in the bottom half of the inning off a Jeissy De La Cruz single to center field, but the comeback attempt fell short as the Otters took the opening game of the series in extra innings. 

Braden Scott threw 6.2 innings as the starter for the Otters, allowing eight hits and six earned runs while striking out eight batters. Brett Sanchez took the bump for Joliet, allowing seven hits and five earned runs while striking out six in 5.2 innings pitched. 

The Slammers will look to even up the series tomorrow, Wednesday, July 3, as part of the team’s Independence Day celebration. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.

For information on season tickets, premium suites or group outings, please visit the Slammers’ official website at