The Grizzlies could not carry over their offensive clinic from Sunday and drop the first game of their six-game home stand to the Normal CornBelters by a final score of 9 to 4.
The game started with a very busy first inning. Normal struck first with a three-run home run by Aaron Dudley. The Grizzlies began their comeback in the bottom of the first, picking up two runs on four straight singles to start what seemed to be an offensive showdown.
However, after the five run first inning, the offense disappeared for both clubs. Gateway and Normal combined for just one run from the second inning through the seventh inning. The CornBelters picked up the run in the top of the third after Nolan Meadows doubled to bring in Yeixon Ruiz.
The scoring resumed in the eighth as Normal added three runs in the top of the inning. The CornBelters had some help from two errors by the Grizzlies and also from a clutch two out two-RBI double by Jacoby Middleton.
The Grizzlies quickly answered in the bottom of the inning as Craig Massoni picked up an RBI single and Evan Rogers scored the second run of the inning on some confusion in the field for Normal.
Gateway’s best chance to get back into the ballgame stood with two outs in the top of the eighth. The bases loaded were loaded for left handed power hitter Zach Lavy with Gateway down by three runs. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, Lavy could not come through as he struck out to end the inning.
Normal added two more runs in the top of the ninth to pad their lead. FINAL: Normal 9, Grizzlies 4.
Vince Molesky finished with a little over seven innings pitched. He gave up five runs on five hits, allowing three walks and striking out four. He picked up his third loss of the 2017 season.
Craig Massoni picked up his 11th RBI of the season, while also going 2 for 4 on Tuesday night.
The Grizzlies will look to bounce back on Wednesday night against Normal in game two of the three game series. Will Anderson will make his fourth start of the season as he looks to capture his first win as a Grizzly.
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. You can catch all of the action on the Grizzlies Media Network.