SAUGET, Ill. – In front of a crowd of more than 6,300 fans, the Gateway Grizzlies slugged three home runs in an 8-6 loss to the Washington Wild Things at GCS Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.
With the Grizzlies trailing 5-1 in the fourth inning, Blake Brown smoked his first homer on the season to make it 5-2. In the sixth, Craig Massoni blasted a towering two-run shot to left field. Massoni’s second homer in Gateway’s opening series pulled the Grizzlies within a run.
The Wild Things responded in the bottom half of the seventh, when Bryan Harr popped his second homer of the day with a two-run blast. Austin Wobrock would tack on a solo shot of his own in the ninth inning to put Washington ahead, 8-4.
Gateway’s offense wouldn’t go down quietly in their final at-bat, as Tyler Tewell hit his first long ball of the season with a two-run shot to right field. After the homer, Wild Things RHP Andrew Woeck closed out the game by retiring Logan Davis.
LHP Sasha Kuebel (0-1), a former arm in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, made his Frontier League debut with the Grizzlies. After throwing three scoreless frames, Kuebel allowed a solo homer to Harr and would ultimately be touched up for five runs in the fourth inning.
RHP Chase Cunningham (1-0) picked up the victory while throwing five-plus frames and allowing four runs.
A bright spot for the Grizzlies was the performance of righty Dakota Smith in relief of Kuebel. Smith kept Gateway in the ballgame with 2.1 scoreless innings of work.
The Grizzlies leave town for the team’s first road trip of the season beginning on Tuesday night, as they open up a three-game set against the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park. RHP Vince Molesky will make his season debut for Gateway while Southern Illinois sends RHP Edward Cruz to the mound. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs on 1400 AM KJFF and www.GatewayGrizzlies.com/Radio
. Sam Levitt will call the action.