The Gateway Grizzlies committed a season-high five errors defensively, walked nine batters, and hit three others for the Florence Y’alls, nullifying a 13-hit day on offense in a 15-6 loss at Thomas More Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
A leadoff hit-by-pitch and three walks helped the Y’alls score three runs in the first inning of starter Clint Freeman (0-2) as the home team took the lead and would never lose it. Gateway was able to use a two-out error by first baseman Alex Ludwick to get on the board in the top of the second inning, then got within 3-2 in the fourth inning when Trevor Achenbach hit his team-leading 12th home run of the season off Florence starter Jared Cheek (1-2).
Florence would get that run back in the bottom half of the frame on a solo shot by Andres Sthormes to make it 4-2, but would blow the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to a three-run home run by Anthony Brocato that made it 7-2, and then back-to-back errors with two outs that brought in two additional runs and made the score 9-2.
Gateway would rally back to get within three thanks to Achenbach’s second home run of the game in the sixth, and then three straight two-out RBI hits in the seventh by Jose Rosario, Achenbach, and Freeman to make it a 9-6 ballgame. But again, the defense faltered in the late innings, as the Grizzlies committed two errors that helped lead to four more runs crossing the plate in the seventh, then a fifth and final error in a two-run eighth inning for the Y’alls that capped the scoring at 15-6.
Achenbach finished 3-for-5 with two homers, a double, three runs scored, and three RBIs to lead Gateway offensively, while Freeman and Jay Prather also enjoyed multi-hit games as the Grizzlies out-hit Florence 13-10, but lost the rubber game.
The Grizzlies’ road swing continues on Tuesday, June 28, when they open up a three-game series against the Windy City ThunderBolts in Crestwood, Illinois. Carson LaRue will make the start for Gateway in the series opener against the ‘Bolts Kenny Mathews at Ozinga Field.