Gateway Grizzlies outfielder Dustin Woodcock launched home runs in successive at-bats Friday night and delivered the Grizzlies a 7-4 win over the Windy City ThunderBolts at Ozinga Field.
Woodcock took over the team lead with seven home runs this season, despite the fact that he’s played in only 32 of the Grizzlies’ 68 games. He also became the first Grizzlie with more than one multi-homer game in 2019. Brent Sakurai and Connor Owings have one each.
The Grizzlies (30-38) won their second game in a row and collected their fifth win in their last seven games.
They went in front 2-0 in the third inning when Sakurai, Owings, and Luke Lowery combined for back-to-back-to-back singles. Sakurai and Owings scored the runs; Owings and Lowery picked up the RBIs.
Woodcock added to the Grizzlies’ advantage with a two-run big fly that he tucked inside the right-field foul pole in the top of the sixth inning.
After the ThunderBolts (29-41) battled back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, Woodcock put the Grizzlies back in front for good with a solo shot over the right-field fence in the eighth inning.
Dominic Topoozian allowed four runs (three earned) over six innings and did not factor in the decision, but he posted his third straight quality start. Moreover, Topoozian was perfect through the first five innings: 15 ThunderBolts came to the plate and he retired them all, six via strikeouts. Topoozian finished with a season-high seven punchouts.
Lucas Lanphere (2-4), Thomas Nicoll, and Geoff Bramblett threw a scoreless inning apiece out of the Grizzlies’ bullpen. Lanphere collected the win — his second, both of which have come at Ozinga Field against Windy City — and Bramblett pushed his save total to nine without a single blown save.
Gateway tacked on two insurance runs in the ninth inning for the final margin.
Nine of 10 Grizzlies who came to the plate had at least one hit, but Woodcock had the only multi-hit performance.
Gateway and Windy City will continue their three-game series with a 6:05 p.m. CDT first pitch Saturday.