SAUGET The Gateway Grizzlies fell behind by multiple runs in the first inning on Sunday afternoon against the Lake Erie Crushers, and were never able to claw their way back into the game in a 7-2 loss at Grizzlies Ballpark. Despite the defeat, the Grizzlies won the series two games to one.

Collin Sullivan (3-3) struggled, allowing back-to-back leadoff singles right away in the contest, with an error in center field putting runners at second and third base with no outs. After Jack Harris reached on a fielder’s choice without an out made on the play, Vincent Byrd, Jr. hit a grand slam home run over the short porch in right-center field, making the score 4-0.

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Lake Erie would add on two more runs in the third off Sullivan on a sacrifice fly by Ethan Skender and an RBI single by Alex Epp with two outs, taking a 6-0 advantage, and made the score 7-0 on another two-out RBI single by Jose Torrealba in the fifth inning.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies offense was stuck in neutral against Anthony Escobar (4-0), who allowed runners on base in every inning but one that he pitched, but did not allow any runners to cross the plate for the Grizzlies over six and two-thirds innings. Gateway would get on the board in the ninth inning when Kevin Krause lined a two-run homer to right-center field off Enrique Ozoa, but would not get closer.

A bright spot for the Grizzlies was the relief pitching of Alvery De Los Santos (one unearned run on one hit with three strikeouts over two innings), Clarke Davenport (three scoreless innings with six strikeouts) and Joely Condreay (one inning, two strikeouts), who combined to hold Lake Erie to just a single run over the final six innings of the game, but it was not enough to record the sweep.

After a much-needed off day on Monday, the Grizzlies will tangle once again with the Washington Wild Things in Sauget beginning on Tuesday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. CT. Teague Conrad will look to bounce back in the series opener at Grizzlies Ballpark.

Grizzlies Win Third Straight Game

The Gateway Grizzlies got a tie-breaking solo home run by player-coach Kyle Gaedele in the bottom of the fifth inning on Saturday night against the Lake Erie Crushers, scoring what proved to be the game-winning run in a 3-2 ballgame at Grizzlies Ballpark that gave the home team its third straight victory.

Again, the Crushers scored the game’s first run, as with runners at first and third base and one out following a pair of infield singles against Kaleb Hill (2-0), Burle Dixon laid down a sacrifice bunt up the first base line to score Vincent Byrd, Jr. and make it 1-0 Lake Erie. But that lead did not last long- in the bottom of the same frame against former Grizzlie Matt Mulhearn (1-3), D.J. Stewart led off with a walk and Tate Wargo extended his hit streak to nine games in a row with a double down the right field line. Jack-Thomas Wold then scored Stewart from third base with an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.

After Gaedele walked to load the bases, Kevin Krause came up with still no outs in the inning, and hit a double-play grounder to shortstop that scored Wargo and put the Grizzlies ahead 2-1. That lead would hold until the top of the fifth, when a leadoff walk to Logan Thomason was cashed in with two outs on Byrd’s RBI single to left field, tying the game once again at 2-2.

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In the bottom of the inning, Gaedele led off against Mulhearn, and fouled off four straight pitches with two strikes before putting the Grizzlies ahead for good on a solo home run to left field, making the score 3-2 on his first long ball of the season and the 10th pitch of the marathon at-bat.

Lake Erie would again threaten the one-run advantage late, but just like last night, the Grizzlies’ bullpen held firm- Gage Vailes tossed a scoreless frame in the eighth, working around a leadoff walk, and Nate Garkow took care of business by striking out the side in order in the ninth for his first save of the season as the Grizzlies clinched the series victory over the Crushers.

Grizzlies Take Opener From Lake Erie

The Gateway Grizzlies came home after a triumphant series in Washington and found themselves in yet another nail-bitingly close game against the Lake Erie Crushers at Grizzlies Ballpark on Friday night. But they persevered, going ahead for good in the seventh inning before holding the lead late in a 4-3 win.

Deylen Miley was outstanding yet again at home, as the right-hander struck out nine and walked just two while setting a new career-high with six and one-third innings pitched. Lake Erie got the game’s first run off him in the third when former Grizzlie Jack Harris doubled with one out, and then stole home later in the inning in a designed double-steal with Burle Dixon, making the score 1-0 Crushers.

Gateway would equalize in the fourth inning against Darrien Ragins, with D.J. Stewart doubling to left-center field with one out, moving to third base on a balk, and scoring two batters later on a wild pitch, evening the score at 1-1. In the sixth, the Grizzlies would take their first lead, as Tate Wargo extended his hit streak to eight games in a row on a one-out single, and went to second on another balk by Ragins. Kyle Gaedele then came up clutch with a rocket RBI double into the left field corner, making the score 2-1.

Lake Erie would get the score even again right away, as Miley surrendered a short-porch solo home run to Alfredo Gonzalez to make it a 2-2 contest. The Grizzlies starter would depart after Jarrod Watkins’ bunt single with one out in favor of Alec Whaley (1-0), who would get out of the jam by inducing a double play.

In the bottom of the seventh, a leadoff two-base error on a dropped popup by Lake Erie second baseman Alex Epp allowed Cole Brannen to reach base against the Crushers’ Cal Carver (1-1). Two batters later, after Brannen had stolen third base, Peter Zimmermann hit a ground ball to the drawn-in Watkins at shortstop, with Brannen’s hand just getting across home plate ahead of the tag by John Tuccillo to put Gateway up 3-2. Two batters later, with runners at first and second base and one out, Abdiel Diaz smacked a high-bouncing infield single into no-man’s land on a hit-and-run, plating Zimmermann to make the score 4-2.

That would turn out to be the game-winning run as well, as Whaley loaded the bases with no one out on three straight singles leading off the top of the eighth, but got a huge double play ball from Scout Knotts for the first two outs, plating a run but keeping the Grizzlies ahead 4-3. The veteran side-armer then got Tuccillo to bounce out to second base to end the threat.

In the ninth, Matt Hickey was called upon for the save, and despite the Crushers getting a single from Watkins and a walk from Ronald Washington, putting the tying and potential lead runs on base, he retired the side with a pair of strikeouts, as the Grizzlies won back-to-back games for the first time this month as well as their fifth straight series-opening contest.

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