AVON, OHIO – The Gateway Grizzlies came back from an early three-run deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the fifth inning on Saturday night, saw the Lake Erie Crushers plate seven unanswered runs, then nearly came back from that deficit late before falling 11-9 at Crushers Stadium in a wild, back-and-forth game.

Lake Erie again scored first, this time by plating three runs off Ryne Moore in the bottom of the first inning on RBI hits by Vincent Byrd, Jr., Ron Washington, Jr., and Jack Harris, taking a 3-0 lead. Gateway, though, would come back, as Jack-Thomas Wold hit a solo homer in his first Grizzlies at-bat to make it 3-1 in the second inning, and Andrew Moritz came through with a two-out RBI single in the third to cut the deficit to 3-2.

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Lake Erie got a run back in the bottom of the third, but the Grizzlies kept coming. After Wold doubled with two outs in the fourth, D.J. Stewart drove him in with a single to make it 4-3. In the fifth inning, also with two outs, Peter Zimmermann doubled in Moritz and Michael Sandle to put the Grizzlies up 5-4.

That lead also would not hold, however, as the Crushers got both runs back in their half of the fifth, taking a 6-5 lead on Scout Knotts’ two-out RBI single. Lake Erie then scored five times in the bottom of the seventh against Alvery De Los Santos, taking an 11-5 lead into the eighth inning.

Again, the Grizzlies would rally. In the eighth, Gateway loaded the bases for Moritz, who struck out swinging, but reached base on a wild pitch, scoring a runner from third to make it 11-6. Then, in the ninth, they put two more runners on base for Cole Brannen, who launched a three-run, two-out homer to right field, making the score 11-9 Crushers. Sandle, Gabe Holt, and Moritz all followed by reaching base, putting the tying run at second and the lead run at first base, but that is where the remarkable rally came to a close, with Zimmermann grounding out to end the game.

Wold finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored in his Grizzlies debut to lead the way offensively, while Brannen finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Stewart ended up 2-for-4 with an RBI as well.

Grizzlies Top Crushers On Opening Night

The Gateway Grizzlies scored all three of their runs in the third inning, and held the Lake Erie Crushers to only two runs on three hits in a 3-2 victory at Crushers Stadium in Avon, Ohio on Friday night, winning their season opener on the road for the second straight season.

It was Lake Erie who broke through first against Ohio native and Gateway starter Deylen Miley (1-0) in the second inning, when Ron Washington, Jr. reached on a walk, went to second base on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by former Grizzlie Jack Harris to give the Crushers a 1-0 lead.

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That lead did not last long, as Gateway pounced on Crushers starter and Kirkwood, Missouri native Jack Eisenbarger (0-1) in the top of the third. Jose Alvarez and Michael Sandle reached on walks to set up Gabe Holt, whose RBI single tied the score at 1-1. After Holt and Sandle executed a double-steal, Andrew Moritz was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Peter Zimmermann, who drew another walk from Eisenbarger to put Gateway ahead 2-1.

A wild pitch would bring in the final run for Gateway, and Miley held that 3-1 lead for the remainder of his five strong innings in his Grizzlies debut, striking out seven and walking two to earn the win. The Grizzlies’ bullpen was also outstanding behind him, combining to allow just a single unearned run on one hit and two walks over the final four innings of the game.

Osvaldo Berrios was charged with the run on a two-out RBI double in the eighth inning by Vincent Byrd, Jr., but he struck out Alfredo Gonzalez representing a potential lead run to end that frame. Lukas Veinbergs was not challenged in the ninth inning, retiring the Crushers in order to pick up the save.

Grizzlies Drop Finale At Lake Erie

The Gateway Grizzlies gave up four runs in the bottom of the third inning, surrendering an early advantage in the process in what became a 6-2 loss to the Lake Erie Crushers at Crushers Stadium, dropping to 1-2 on the season in the rubber game of the weekend series.

Yet again, Lake Erie scored first when Vincent Byrd, Jr. lined a solo home run just over the wall in the right field corner off Collin Sullivan (0-1) to go ahead 1-0 in the first inning. The Grizzlies would respond in the top of the second against Matt Mulhearn (1-0) when Kyle Gaedele and Jack-Thomas Wold led off the frame with doubles. D.J. Stewart hit an RBI groundout to tie the score at 1-1, and two batters later, Cole Brannen stayed hot with an RBI single to make a 2-1 Gateway lead.

But the Grizzlies would manage just two singles the rest of the game in the hit department, and in the bottom of the third, Lake Erie loaded the bases against Sullivan on two walks and a single before Ron Washington, Jr. cleared the bags with a double, putting the Crushers up 4-2. Jarrod Watkins’ RBI triple later in the inning made the score 5-2, and Lake Erie would complete the scoring in the seventh on an Ethan Skender RBI single, sending the Grizzlies to the series defeat.

Gateway will look to regroup after an off day on Monday when they re-take the field on Tuesday night in Evansville against the Otters. First pitch to open up a three-game set at Bosse Field is set for 6:35 p.m. CT.

The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 10 minutes from downtown St. Louis in Sauget, Illinois. The Grizzlies offer baseball fans affordable, family fun at Grizzlies Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. They have also won two Frontier League Organization of the Year Awards, four West Division titles, and the 2003 Frontier League Championship. For tickets or general information, please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call (618) 337-3000.

The Frontier League debuted in 1993, and is the largest of the Major League Baseball Partner Leagues, featuring teams stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. More information and the complete 2024 schedule can be found at frontierleague.com.

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