MARION, Il—The Gateway Grizzlies only collected one hit after the second inning in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Southern Illinois Miners, dropping the game and the series on Thursday at Rent One Park.
For the third straight night, Gateway (30-63) scored first as they produced a pair of runs off Miners (38-55) starter Zach Cooper (6-10) on a Brent Sakurai fielders choice and a Terry McClure single with the bases loaded in the second inning. Evan Rogers walked ahead of a Brent Gillespie single and Brian Lees was hit by a pitch as he squared around to bunt to setup the bases full situation. Leading 2-0 after two, only Cody Livesay would reach base the rest of the way, lining a single to left field in the top of the eighth as Cooper dominated in a complete game effort that included nine strikeouts.
Dalton Shalberg (0-3) was electric early, shutting down the Miners offense until the home half of the fifth inning. After back-to-backs walks of Ben Moore and Culver Plant, London Lindley laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Romeo Cortina then teed off on a first pitch breaking ball that sailed over the left field wall pushing the Miners in front 3-2.
Shalberg would steady himself over the next two and third innings until Nolan Earley knocked the righty out of the game with a double to the gap in right center in the bottom of the eighth. Tanner Cable emerged from the bullpen giving up a run scoring single to Craig Massey before retiring the side in a 4-2 ballgame. Shalberg’s final line included 7.1 strong innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts.
This contest was the final game to be played at Rent One Park in 2017. The Grizzlies will return home to GCS Ballpark on Friday as they host the Evansville Otters in the final three games of the Frontier League regular season. Alec Kisena will get the ball for Gateway opposite a TBD pitcher for Evansville with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.