SAUGET, Ill. – The Gateway Grizzlies leaned into the long ball on Friday night, blasting four over the fence as a team in a 9-7 win over the Evansville Otters. The victory marks the fourth straight for Gateway—the team’s longest winning streak of 2021 so far—and the first in which the Grizzlies surrendered six or more runs.
After a pair of singles in the top of the second, the Otters took the first lead 1-0 on a Jose Pujols sacrifice fly.
The Grizzlies responded quickly, though. With two on and one out, Jordan Rathbone sent his first professional home run out to right-center field and gave Gateway a 3-1 advantage.
The big flies continued to be the theme of the night. In the top of the third, Evansville seized a 5-3 edge back on a Riley Krane grand slam. Come the bottom of that same inning, Jose Rosario launched another three-run homer to make it 6-5 Grizzlies.
Later, in the bottom of the fourth, Dustin Woodcock hit a towering two-run homer to right, padding the cushion to 8-5.
That’s when Evansville began chipping away again. Elijah MacNamee scored on a double play ball in the top of the fifth and Andrew Penner came home off a two-out error in the sixth inning, slicing the Evansville deficit to just 8-7.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth, Woodcock went yard even higher and deeper to right on a solo shot, leading to the decisive 9-7 margin.
Gateway LHP Jordan Barrett (3-4) earned his first winning decision since the Fourth of July while RHP Geoff Bramblett (7) came on to earn the save. Otters RHP Austin Gossman (2-4) got pegged with the loss after surrendering eight earned runs in five innings.
The Grizzlies start another three-game home series on Friday when the Evansville Otters come to town. First pitch at GCS Credit Union Ballpark is set for 6:45 p.m and you can listen live on YO Radio or watch on Frontier League TV. Coverage begins with the Budweiser Pregame Show at 6:30 p.m.