John Havird pitched seven strong innings to help the Washington Wild Things shut down the River City Rascals, 1-0, in a Frontier League game on Thursday night.
This was the last regular season home game in River City’s history. The Rascals will cease operations at the end of the season.
Havird threw seven shutout innings, surrendering just four hits, walking one and striking out nine.
Jesus Balaguer worked a scoreless eighth and Zach Strecker had a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to pick up his 11th save.
Hector Roa’s solo home run in the seventh inning, his 17th of the season, provided the only run of the game.
Taylor Ahearn gave up Roa’s home run and just one other hit over eight innings. Ahearn, who struck out 7, was the tough-luck loser.
Frontier League awards
Evansville’s third baseman Ryan Long was named the Most Valuable Player in the Frontier League Thursday. Southern Illinois’s starting pitcher Chase Cunningham was named Pitcher of the Year and the Jason Simontacchi Award for Rookie of the Year went to Evansville’s closer Taylor Wright.
Long, in his third season with the Frontier League, joined the Otters in 2017, following his 2016 Big 12 Championship run while at Texas Tech. The Crandall, Texas, native is batting .292 with 14 home runs and 77 RBI. He has 25 doubles and a .905 OPS. Long started for the Frontier League in the 2019 All-Star game. He is the third Evansville Otter to win the league’s MVP.
Cunningham, a Belmont University alum, is in his first season with the Miners, and fourth in the Frontier League. The Miner’s ace is 10-4 in 20 starts. His team is 15-6 in games in which he pitched. The Bristol, Tenn., native has a 3.19 ERA to go with his 128 strikeouts in 130 innings. Cunningham was selected to the 2019 Frontier League All-Star team.
Wright, from Berwyn, has saved 17 games, striking out 56 in 47.2 innings. The Brown University graduate is 3-0, with a 0.94 WHIP and a .175 batting average against.
Lake Erie Crushers Cameron Roth won the Roger Hanners Award for Manager of the Year. He led the Crushers to a 51-41 record and a Frontier League Eastern Division title.
The Fran Riordan Citizenship Award went to Tyler Beardsley of the Evansville Otters. Wilfred C. Bussing III, owner of the Evansville Otters, nominated Beardsley, stating in his letter, “Beardsley is one of the most committed young men our club has seen in my 19 years in the League.” Bussing also talked about how easily Beardsley connects with the community, “He is a positive role model to children in the community.”
Beardsley participated in numerous activities within the community from reading to children at local learning centers, to promoting pet adoption at local shelters. The Fran Riordan Award is named for the Frontier League Hall of Famer who is the current manager of the Oakland A’s Class AAA team in Las Vegas.
The Frontier League’s Organization of the Year Award, goes to the Evansville Otters as voted by other organizations throughout the League. The Otters current total attendance is 97,422, an average of 2,165. Evansville is the oldest member of the Frontier League, joining in 1995.
Michael Larson, General Manager of the Schaumburg Boomers, received his first Bob Wolfe Executive of the Year Award. Schaumburg currently leads the League in attendance and in 2019, realized a team record in corporate sponsorships.