(Photo Credit: Paul Baillargeon)
Gateway outfielder Xavier Macklin drilled a two-run second inning home run and the Grizzlies never looked back in a 7-2 win over the Joliet Slammers Tuesday night at GCS Ballpark.
Macklin erased a 1-0 deficit in the second with a long blast to right field in front of a crowd of 3,267. The home run was his first this season and second career.
Jonathan Johnson added to the Grizzlies (3-1) scoring in the second inning with an RBI single to extend the lead to 3-1. Johnson finished the night 3-for-4 with two singles, a double and a walk.
Gateway tacked on three more runs in the third inning to take a 6-1 lead. Blake Shepherd picked up an RBI single on his first pro hit, Ben Waldrip collected an RBI single and Macklin picked up a sacrifice fly for his third RBI of the game.
Joliet (3-1) scored an unearned run in the seventh and Gateway’s Madison Beaird tacked on an insurance run with an RBI single in the eighth inning to finish off the scoring.
Tucker Jensen (1-0) picked up the win, tossing six and two thirds innings. The right-hander allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out three.
The Grizzlies and Slammers play game two of the series Wednesday night. It’s the second MVP Program Night of the season. Right-hander Ja’Vaun West makes his first start of the year. First pitch is set for 7:05.