One night after tying their season high with 13 runs, the River City Rascals (39-35) managed
just three and fell 7-3 in the series finale against the Evansville Otters (40-31) Sunday evening
at CarShield Field.
The defeat marks the Rascals sixth series loss at home this year and they are now 9-21 this
year when scoring three runs or less.
On the mound for the Rascals was southpaw Lucas Laster and Evansville opened up the
scoring against him with two runs in the top of the first inning. Catcher Dane Phillips was the first
to put his team on the board with a sacrifice fly to drive in leadoff man Ryan Long and then after
a walk and a stolen base from Jeff Gardner, he would scamper home on a RBI single from Zach
Welz to take a 2-0 lead.
The Rascals didn’t scratch anything across in their first opportunity despite a one out walk but
they would respond in the bottom of the second inning and Jason Merjano drove in Brandon
Thomas via a RBI single to cut the deficit to a single run at 2-1.
However, that would be the closest the Rascals would come to pulling even as the opponent got
that run back in the top of the fourth inning and then loaded the bases against Laster to have
the chance to break the game open.
The bases became loaded on a single from Chris Riopedre and then back-to-back walks to
Ryan Long and Josh Allen. Dane Phillips made Laster pay for those two walks with a two-out,
two RBI single into left field to take a 5-1 lead but the half inning would conclude right there as
Josh Allen was thrown out at third by catcher Mike Jurgella.
The Frontier League leader in home runs Jeff Gardner notched the Otters sixth run with his 20th
homer of the year right before the stretch and then the Rascals plated their final two runs after
that despite not recording another RBI.
Josh Silver darted home on a double play for the Rascals second run and then an error on the
Otters second baseman allowed Paul Kronenfeld to come into score.
The error brought the Rascals within a trio of runs at 6-3 going into the ninth and then the
scoring was finalized at 7-3 after a bases loaded walk issued to Nick Walker.
Laster took the loss, his second of the year and allowed five runs, earned, on nine hits, four
walks and struck out one in five innings. Shane Weedman was on the winning side of the
decision and lasted six frames, giving up two earned runs on four hits and recorded a strikeout.
Weedman also walked five but got a pair of double play balls to help limit the damage.
Offensively, the Rascals tallied seven hits and Jason Merjano and Josh Ludy each notched a
pair. The two hit game for Ludy was his second of the series.
Despite the loss, the Rascals sit just 1.5 games back from the final wild card spot with 22 games
remaining and the hunt to get back into the playoffs for the third year in a row continues as the
Rascals welcome the Gateway Grizzlies Tuesday night.
First pitch at CarShield Field is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with Reese Gregory on the mound.