It was Jim Gentile’s first game as the Mid-Missouri Mavericks manager, and the job proved to be a tough one.
Gentile lost in his debut when the Evansville Otters defeated the Mavericks 9-6 in 10 innings at Taylor Stadium on Tuesday in a Frontier League game.
Evansville catcher Sean Flynn won the game with a three-run home run to left field in the 10th inning.
Flynn’s drive, his third home run of the season, also scored Brett McCutchan and Terrence McClain.
Gentile replaced Jack Clark, who resigned Monday, and Gentile said he believes the change in managers didn’t affect the players.
“The guys want to win; they just got to tell themselves they can win,” Gentile said. “I try to get them in the right attitude, that they can be a winning ball club.”
That hasn’t been the case so far this season. The Mavs are 4-27. The Otters improved to 19-10.
The Mavericks had a chance to tie or win the game in the bottom of the 10th, but they couldn’t deliver.
With two outs and Nick Saunders and Blake Blase on base, Brent Metheny’s ground ball to first base ended the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Mavs catcher Matt Oakes drove in Blase with a double to tie the game at 6.
Mavericks pitcher Justin Craker relieved starter Jason Wiedmeyer in the eighth inning. Wiedmeyer gave up 10 hits and four runs.
When Craker entered, the Mavs led 5-4.
Craker gave up two runs in the eighth and three in the 10th.
The Mavericks took an early lead when Metheny drove in the game’s first run in the bottom of the fifth inning with a triple that scored first baseman Bryan Weiss.
Metheny scored on Justin McMahan’s single.
The Otters scored three runs in the sixth to take the lead.
The Mavs came back in the bottom of the inning to take a 5-3 lead.
Chad Sterbens tripled to right field. Nick Saunders singled to score Sterbens to tie the game at 3. Blase moved to second on the play.
Weiss’ double drove in Saunders, and Metheny doubled to score Oakes.