FLORENCE – The Gateway Grizzlies gave up a go-ahead RBI single on a 3-2 count in the bottom of the eighth inning, snapping a 4-4 tie en route to a frustrating, 5-4 loss that clinched a series defeat against the Florence Y’alls at Thomas More Stadium.

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Again, things started well for Gateway in the first inning, as Abdiel Diaz led off with a triple before scoring two batters later on an RBI single by D.J. Stewart for a 1-0 Grizzlies lead. That held until the bottom of the second inning, when with two outs, Teague Conrad fielded a ground ball near the first base line, but threw the ball away for a costly error, scoring the tying run from third base and making the score 1-1.

Gateway’s offense got that run right back in the next half inning, as Peter Zimmermann doubled before coming home on a Mark Vierling RBI single to make it 2-1. But Conrad could not hold the lead, surrendering two runs in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Hank Zeisler and a go-ahead RBI single with two outs by T.J. Reeves, putting the Grizzlies behind 3-2.

In the top of the fifth, Gateway would received a grade-A, golden chance to not only tie the game, but also perhaps take the lead, as they loaded the bases with no outs on three straight singles, their seventh, eighth and ninth hits of the game off Florence starter Jonaiker Villalobos. But Zimmermann and Vierling both struck out before Villalobos got out of the inning unscathed with a ground ball to shortstop. A one-out hit batter in the bottom of the same inning was then driven home on a Zeisler RBI triple, making the score 4-2 Y’alls.

The Grizzlies still had a rally in them. Cole Brannen reached base on a fielder’s choice, went to second on an errant pickoff throw by Dante Chirico, stole third base, and scored on a wild pitch to make the score 4-3. In the next inning, Stewart led off with a solo home run, his first since June 2, to tie the game at 4-4 off Cam Pferrer (2-0).

But in the bottom of the eighth, Gaige Vailes (0-1) walked Sergio Gutierrez with one out, and after a stolen base and a ground ball moved the lead run to third base, Ed Johnson hit a full-count RBI single just past Vierling into left field off Matt Hickey, making it 5-4 Florence. Gateway would get a two-out single by Zimmermann, followed by an error by Brian Fuentes at third base to put runners on the corners in the ninth, but would again not be able to bring in the tying run in suffering the loss.

The Grizzlies will look to bounce back when they return home for a six-game home stand at Grizzlies Ballpark beginning on Tuesday, July 2, against the New England Knockouts, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.

Comeback Comes Up Short In Florence

Gateway rallies for seven runs in last four innings, but not enough in series opener

Sauget, Ill. (June 28, 2024) – The Gateway Grizzlies fell behind 10-0 in the first four innings against the Florence Y’alls on Friday night, a deficit that turned out to be just a little too large in what became an 11-7 loss at Thomas More Stadium despite a late surge offensively.

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T.J. Reeves opened the scoring in the second inning with a solo home run off Kaleb Hill (2-1), with Florence adding another run later in the frame on a sacrifice fly by Sergio Gutierrez for a 2-0 lead. In the third inning, though, it would turn into an early blowout, as Hill struggled with command, walking three batters and giving up six runs on a two-run double by Reeves and a Gutierrez grand slam, putting the Y’alls up 8-0.

Hill would surrender two more runs in the fourth while walking two more batters to put Gateway behind 10-0 before the first bright spot of the night arrived on the mound in the person of Joel Condreay. The right-hander threw with a purpose, retiring the first nine batters he faced, and ended up finishing the game with a career-long four-inning appearance, surrendering only one run.

Gateway’s offense was stifled by Y’alls starter Reed Smith (4-0) until the sixth inning, when Gabe Holt led off with a walk, and following a single and a wild pitch, he scored on an RBI groundout by D.J. Stewart to make it 10-1. In the seventh inning, Jack-Thomas Wold and Cole Brannen reached base on a single and a walk, respectively, before Abdiel Diaz slammed a three-run home run deep to right field, clearing the Florence bullpen on the fly and drawing the Grizzlies within 10-4 at stretch time.

The Grizzlies would keep up the pressure on reliever Joe Kemlage in the last two innings as well, as after stranding runners on second and third base in the eighth, they got Brannen and Diaz aboard in the ninth before Peter Zimmermann cranked a three-run bomb to left-center field to make the score 11-7. But that is as close as the Grizzlies would get in dropping the first game of their short road trip.

Grizzlies Stumble In Loss To Washington

Gateway manages one hit, commits three errors in deciding inning to drop series finale

Sauget, Ill. (June 27, 2024) – The Gateway Grizzlies were held to just one hit offensively on Thursday night at Grizzlies Ballpark, with three errors defensively leading to a big inning for the Washington Wild Things to break a late tie in a 6-1 ballgame that gave the visitors a 2-1 series win.

Abdiel Diaz got the Grizzlies only hit of the contest, a solo home run leading off the bottom of the first inning to make it 1-0. Gateway’s offense fell completely silent after that, with Wild Things starter Dariel Fregio (5-2) retiring the next 16 batters he faced.

Deylen Miley was sharp as well, allowing just one run (on a game-tying RBI double by Evan Berkey in the fifth) on four hits while striking out eight over six innings to keep the Grizzlies right in the ballgame.

But in the seventh, things fell apart. A leadoff walk by Alvery De Los Santos (0-1) preceded the first error of the inning when a sacrifice bunt was thrown away by the pitcher. With runners at second and third base and no outs, a groundout by Berkey brought in the go-ahead run and made the score 2-1, and another ground ball to Diaz at shortstop turned into the second out.

But another ball hit to shortstop was booted for the second error of the inning by Diaz, allowing another run to score for a 3-1 deficit. Andrew Czech then singled up the middle, and yet another run scored when the ball scooted by Cole Brannen for the final error of the frame, sending Czech all the way to third base. Wagner Lagrange then greeted new pitcher Tyler Cornett with a two-run homer just fair inside the right field foul pole, completing the scoring.

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