The Gateway Grizzlies trailed 3-2 with two strikes, two outs, and two runners on base in the eighth inning Tuesday when Dustin Woodcock lined his first professional home run over the right-field fence and delivered the Grizzlies a 5-3 victory over the Evansville Otters at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Woodcock did not have a professional extra-base hit prior to Tuesday, his 10th Grizzlies game. After a walk in his first plate appearance, he had struck out in his two previous trips to the plate before the three-run big fly that eventually won the game for the Grizzlies (18-28).
Gateway won back-to-back games for the first time since July 11 and 12 against River City.
Grant Black locked down a 1-2-3 save for the Grizzlies in the ninth inning against the 2-3-4 hitters in the Evansville (26-19) lineup. It was his first save opporunity since he allowed a walk-off, three-run homer June 21 in Florence and took the loss. The save Tuesday was his eighth in 11 chances this season and the 15th of his Grizzlies career.
Román drove in the Grizzlies’ other two runs with a two-out double in the first inning. Woodcock added his first professional stolen base.
Gateway gave the lead back in a four-hit Evansville second inning and the Otters took the lead with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Thomas Nicoll threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning with three strikeouts; he was one ball away from an immaculate inning.