SAUGET, Ill. — The Gateway Grizzlies opened the 2018 season with a win over the defending Frontier League champion Schaumburg Boomers by a score of 6-2 Friday night at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
The game got started with a bang. It was a three-run home run from Terry McClure on 1-0 count to get the Grizzlies on top, 3-0, in the first inning.
The scoring would go on hold until the eighth inning when the Boomers had their second error of the game. This came in a key moment of the game in the bottom of the eighth. Brennan Morgan hit a towering pop fly to third baseman Kenny Towns and he dropped it and Blake Brown was hustling with two outs came around to score from second base.
The eighth inning didn’t stop then — Brent Sakurai would make the Boomers pay with a two-run single down the first base line to give the Grizzlies a 6-2 lead.
Starting pitcher Alec Kisena had an outstanding start for his 2018 campaign. He recorded the first six outs all by himself, all six came from the strikeout. Kisena finished the night throwing five innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs. He earned his first win of the season.
The two runs for the Boomers came in the third inning. It was a sacrifice fly from Josh Gardiner and an RBI single from Kewby Meyer.
There was also multiple impressive debuts from Grizzlies rookies, Patrick Boyle who struck out five over the course of 2 1/3 innings in relief, while not giving up a hit and not allowing a run. Josh Glick also impressed; he picked up a 1 2/3 inning save in his Grizzlies debut.
For the Grizzlies offense, it was highlighted by McClure’s home run — but McClure was also robbed of his would-be second home run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Grizzlies out-hit the defending Frontier League champs 8-4. Seven of the nine starters recorded an hit.
This is the first time since August 6th, 2016, the Grizzlies defeated the Boomers; they had fallen in the previous seven meetings.
Coming up next, the Grizzlies will take on the Boomers on Saturday night for game two of their weekend series at 7:05 p.m. from GCS Credit Union Ballpark.