It was less than two months ago when the Wild Things were leading the Frontier League in hitting with a team batting average in the .260s, and some people in the league were saying Washington had the most dangerous lineup in the 10-team circuit.
Somebody check Lost and Found because that Wild Things offense has to be there. It sure hasn’t been seen in many recent games.
Washington’s offensive numbers continued to tumble Saturday when it was swept in a doubleheader by the Evansville Otters, 3-1 and 6-0.
The wins were big for Evansville, which began the day .002 of a percentage point ahead of River City for the final wild-card playoff berth.
The first game was the completion of a game suspended because of rain on June 20. Play resumed in the bottom of the second inning with Washington leading 1-0 and with two runners on base and one out. The Wild Things didn’t take advantage of the situation as Evansville pitcher Anthony Arias (2-1) worked out of the jam and that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Washington had only seven hits and did not score during the doubleheader’s 14 2/3 innings. The performance lowered the Wild Things’ team batting average to .244.
Arias, a rookie lefthander out of Campbellsville, and NAIA school in Kentucky, threw 5 2/3 shutout innings. Relievers Cam Opp and Taylor Wright each tossed a scoreless inning with Wright getting his 12th save.
Washington managed only three hits after play resumed. The Wild Things’ best chance to score was in the fifth inning when Ryan Cox drew a leadoff walked and moved to third base on a one-out double by Brett Marr. However, Jose Medina, who was signed Saturday after being released from the Cleveland Indians’ system, lined out to first base. After a walk loaded the bases, Arias struck out Alex Murphy to end the threat.
“Medina did what he’s supposed to do — hit it to the right side — but he lines out. That has been the story of our season,” Washington manager Gregg Langbehn said while filling out his lineup card for the night’s second game.
Evansville tied the score at 1-1 in the sixth when Elijah MacNamee’s two-out single drove in J.J. Gould.
Gould, the No. 9 hitter in the Otters’ lineup, began the day with a .190 batting average but belted a go-ahead solo homer off Washington’s John Havird (5-6). David Cronin followed with a triple off the wall and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder to make it 3-1.
Gould also hit a solo home run in the second game.
Havird, who was the starter when the game began June 20, picked up where he left off allowing and went seven-plus innings, allowing eight hits and three runs.
Tanner Wetrich, the No. 9 hitter for the Otters in the second game, had a two-run single in the second inning off Josh Lapiana (0-2), and Ryan Long hit a two-run homer in the third to give the Otters a 4-0 lead.
That was more than enough offensive support for Evansville starter Brandyn Sittinger (1-1), who struck out 11 in six shutout innings. He struck out every Washington hitter at least one time.