Grant Buckner’s two-RBI double in the seventh inning completed the Gateway Grizzlies 9-7 comeback win over the Frontier Greys on Saturday night at GCS Ballpark.
The Grizzlies (18-34) trailed 7-1 after the top of the fifth inning before mounting the comeback. The Greys (24-26) allowed eight unanswered runs in the final four innings.
Cody Livesay singled and Madison Beaird reached on fielder’s choice to put two runners on base with two outs in the fifth inning for Ben Waldrip. Waldrip delivered with a two-RBI double when left fielder Shane Brown and shortstop Francisco Rosario collided in the outfield. The hit cut the deficit to 7-3.
Gateway added two more runs in the sixth inning, part of a streak which saw them score at least one run in the final five innings. Grant Buckner walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a single by Richard Seigel. That put two runners on for Garrett Vail who delivered with an RBI double to cut into the deficit and make it 7-4. Livesay then delivered the final blow of the inning with a two-RBI single to score Seigel and Vail, bringing Gateway within one run.
Meanwhile, after Gateway starter Donny Murray struggled in his third professional start, the bullpen kept the Grizzlies in the game. Newcomer Ross Spurgeon allowed only a lone run in 2.2 innings of work and Jordan Spencer (1-0) followed with a scoreless seventh inning.
That kept the game at 7-6 in favor of the Greys until Buckner delivered the night’s biggest hit. With two runners on and two outs, Buckner launched a two-RBI double off the centerfield wall to bring home Blake Brown and Rolando Gomez. It gave the Grizzlies their first lead lead of the game.
RHP Scott Harkin pitched a perfect eighth inning and RHP Tyler Thompson notched his first save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth inning. The Greys brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning in Brandon Tierney, but Thompson induced a huge double play ball before getting Scott Carcaise to groundout to end the game.
The Grizzlies and Greys will play the rubber game of this three game set Sunday night. RHP Vince Molesky (3-3, 6.52 ERA) will take the mound for Gateway and RHP Bobby Shore (4-3, 3.78) will pitch for the Greys. Sam Levitt and Kevin Schaefer will call the action on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs on 101 ESPN’s digital channels and 1400 AM KJFF.