SAUGETThe Gateway Grizzlies lost to the Evansville Otters 21-4 on Saturday night at Grizzlies Ballpark, snapping a six-game win streak.

After the Otters got a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, three bases-on-balls issued by Johan Castillo (1-1) in the bottom of the first led to a balk, with Andrew Moritz coming around to score to tie the game at 1-1. In the second, Evansville struck again for a pair of runs off Ryne Moore on a homer by Randy Bednar and an RBI double by Blake Mozley, taking a 3-1 lead.

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The Grizzlies would tie the score in the bottom of the fourth when catcher Elias Stevens hit a two-run home run to left-center field, with the Maryville graduate making the score 3-3 with his first professional hit and home run. But then things went sideways on the Grizzlies, as Mike Peabody capitalized on a leadoff walk with a go-ahead, two-run homer in the top of the fifth, part of a four-run inning that put the Otters up 7-3.

Evansville would then bat around twice in the second half of the game, scoring seven runs in the sixth, one run in the eighth, and five more in the ninth. In the bottom half, Cole Brannen smacked his second homer of the season to right field for the final margin of 21-4, capping a three-hit day at the plate for the outfielder. But the Grizzlies could get no closer in suffering the lopsided loss.

Despite the defeat, Gateway remained one-half game back of first place in the West Division, and they will look to bounce back in the finale of their home stand on Sunday, June 2, at 1:05 p.m., with Tyler Cornett drawing the start against the Otters’ Zach Smith at Grizzlies Ballpark.

Grizzlies Win 11-2 Over Evansville

The Gateway Grizzlies got a phenomenal start from rookie Teague Conrad (2-0) on the mound on Friday night against the Evansville Otters, as the right-hander fired eight innings of one-run ball while retiring a remarkable 16 batters in a row at one point, and the offense backed him by hitting four homers in a dominant, 11-2 victory at Grizzlies Ballpark.

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It was the visiting Otters who opened the scoring against Conrad in the top of the third inning when Mason White hit a solo home run to right field for his first professional hit in his debut game, making the score 1-0 Evansville. Conrad then permitted a walk and a single in the frame, but would get a huge double-play ground ball and a strikeout to get out of the trouble.

Conrad was not finished in the slightest, as he would also retire the next 14 Evansville batters to step up to the plate. When all was said and done, the right-hander had tossed the longest outing of the season by any Grizzlies pitcher this season in just his third professional start, striking out nine (including five straight at one point) over eight frames to earn his second straight win.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies’ offense would overwhelm the Otters’ pitching staff in what became a blowout. Gabe Holt tied the score at 1-1 with an RBI single in the bottom of the third inning, and in the fourth, Jack-Thomas Wold began what was a career day at the plate with a go-ahead two-run homer to right field off Parker Brahms (1-3), giving the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead.

Gateway did not stop there. In the fifth, with the bases empty and two outs, Holt reached on an infield single, and after two Brahms walks loaded the bases, Wold came up again, and hit a two-run single to center field off the glove of the diving shortstop, making it a 5-1 Grizzlies lead. In the sixth inning, Mark Vierling led off with a single, and Jose Alvarez hit a potential double-play ball to second base that was booted for an error by Austin Bost. Abdiel Diaz then crushed a three-run homer to right field, his first long ball of the season, to blow the game open and make the score 8-1.

The Grizzlies capped the scoring in the seventh when Wold came up with a man on base and slammed his second two-run homer of the night. On the next pitch, D.J. Stewart followed with a solo home run of his own, capping the Gateway scoring and making the margin 11-1.

Anthony Calarco would hit a solo shot in the ninth inning for the final 11-2 tally, but it was too little, too late as the Grizzlies blasted their West Division rivals to improve to 13-6 on the season while sending the Otters to their fifth straight defeat. Wold led the offensive assault by going 4-for-4 with two homers, two runs scored, and six RBIs, setting career-highs in hits and runs batted in with the performance.

Gateway will look to extend their win streak to seven in a row in the middle game of the series on Saturday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m., with Ryne Moore getting the start against Evansville southpaw Johan Castillo at Grizzlies Ballpark.

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