The Gateway Grizzlies trailed 3-0 in the first inning Tuesday night, but they rallied for five unanswered runs en route to a 5-4 victory over the River City Rascals at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Gateway (13-15) earned its fourth win in its last five games; the Grizzlies’ only loss in that span was a ninth-inning heartbreaket Sunday at Windy City.
After the Rascals (16-12) scored three runs on only one hit in the top of the first inning, the Grizzlies bounced back with two runs in the third on a Jamey Smart RBI groundout and Connor Owings RBI single, the latter with two outs.
Chris Carden (3-1) picked up the victory, his third win in four home starts, over 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out seven.
Owings added a solo home run in the seventh for what proved to be the Grizzlies’ winning run. The blast was his fourth of the season and tied him with Luke Lowery and Andrew Daniel for the team lead. Owings and Smart are Gateway’s co-leader with 21 RBIs, a total that ranks third in the Frontier League.
Sakurai extended his team-best 12-game hitting streak with two singles, a run, his sixth steal of the year, and the aforementioned RBI — his 16th.
River City scored an unearned run with two outs in the ninth and threatened further with the potential tying run at first base, but Grant Black locked down his sixth save of the season in eight chances. Tuesday marked Black’s fourth appearance in the Grizzlies’ last five games, which have been spread over the last six days. He has pitched in 16 — 57.1 percent — of the Grizzlies’ 28 games.
Gateway and River City are scheduled to meet again at 11:35 a.m. CDT in game two of their three-game series and the only regular-season day game at GCS Credit Union Ballpark in 2019. Cody Luther is the Grizzlies’ probable pitcher.