The Gateway Grizzlies trailed 11-3 in the seventh inning of Saturday evening’s contest and while they would rally to put the tying runs on base in the eighth, the Grizzlies fell 11-8 to the River City Rascals at CarShield Field.
Gateway LHP Sasha Kuebel (0-2) was roughed up for eleven runs in 3.2 innings. During that same stretch, the Grizzlies (4-4) received a two-run homer from Craig Massoni and a solo shot by Brandon Thomas. The score was 11-3 at the end of the fourth.
LHP Jon Jones and RHP Jordan Wellander were terrific in relief of Kuebel, while both pitchers didn’t allow a run to the Rascals (4-3) for the rest of the ballgame. That dominance allowed the Grizzlies to mount a formidable rally later in the night.
River City LHP Jason Ziegler (1-0) pitched five innings and allowed three runs, while RHP Nick Kennedy followed Ziegler’s outing with a scoreless sixth.
Gateway’s offense came alive against RHP Will Schierholz in the seventh, as the Grizzlies put runners on first and second with one out. Seth Heck then hit a grounder back to the mound, which Schierholz proceeded to pick up and throw away into the outfield. Both runners came all the way around to score, making it 11-5. Blake Brown then laced an RBI single to centerfield to give the Grizzlies another run.
In the eighth, Gateway scored two more runs on a pair of run-scoring singles from Heck and Cody Livesay. RHP Zac Treece came on to replace Schierholz and immediately walked Steve Pascual to load the bases. That brought Vin Guglietti to the plate as the go-ahead run with the score 11-8.
Treece bounced back to strike out Guglietti looking and did the same to Brown moments later. He then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to notch his third save of the season and secure River City’s win.
The Grizzlies and Rascals play the rubber game of their three-game set tomorrow afternoon in O’Fallon. First pitch is set for 4:05 p.m. Gateway RHP Dakota Smith makes his first start of 2016 against Rascals RHP Josh Wright.
The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs tomorrow online at www.GatewayGrizzlies.com/Radio
. Sam Levitt and Matt Sabados will call the action.