O’FALLON, MO–The River City Rascals snapped their three-game losing streak with a series opening win over the Evansville Otters on Friday night, winning by a final score of 4-3 at CarShield Field. Braxton Martinez and Paul Kronenfeld each drove in two runs in the victory, with Kronenfeld finishing with three hits.
The Rascals scored two in the bottom of the first inning. After JD Hearn got a leadoff double, Kronenfeld drove him in on a single. Martinez then drove Kronenfeld in on another single. The Otters got on the board in the top of the third, after a leadoff triple from Mike Rizzitello and a sacrifice fly from JJ Gould. The Rascals made it 3-1 on an RBI double from Martinez in the bottom of the third. Zach Welz and Rizzitello then hit back-to-back doubles in the top of the fifth, bringing the Otters within one. Rizzitello was thrown out at the plate on a single by David Cronin to keep the Rascals in front.
The Otters would tie the game on a Jeff Gardner homer in the top of the sixth, but the Rascals took the lead for good on a Kronenfeld homer in the bottom half of the frame. The Rascals got 3 2/3 scoreless innings out of their bullpen on the night, with Cody Mincey striking out the side in order in the ninth to earn his league-leading 17th save.
Jonny Ortiz took a no-decision for the Rascals, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs. He struck out five without walking an Evansville hitter. Ryan Orr (3-2) earned the win, providing a scoreless inning in relief.
Otters starter Austin Nicely (5-4) took the loss, allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings, walking three and striking out four. He allowed all 11 of the Rascals hits.
The Rascals (33-31) and Otters (30-33) play the middle game of their series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm CT. Dan Ludwig will make the start on the mound.