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Stars Shine As Grizzlies Edge Wild Things

by Jason Guerette

The Gateway Grizzlies won their fourth straight game on Tuesday night back home at GCS Credit Union Ballpark, getting contributions from many sources in beating the first-place Washington Wild Things 8-7 to take the series opener. 

It was the Grizzlies’ all-stars who shone brightest in a back-and-forth affair in Sauget- after Washington used back-to-back leadoff doubles in the top of the first inning to take a 2-0 early lead, Gateway responded by loading the bases on a triple and two walks for all-star Trevor Achenbach, who lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 2-1. Jay Prather followed with a ground ball to the right side of the infield that plated another run and tied the game up at 2-2. 

Washington reclaimed the lead off starter Jared Milch in the third inning on Hector Roa’s two-out RBI single at 3-2, but in the bottom of the fourth, also with two outs, all-star outfielder Isaac Benard put the Grizzlies ahead with a two-run home run at 4-3, extending his personal hit streak to 14 games in a row in the process. 

The West Division-leading Wild Things bounced back immediately, scoring three more runs in the top of the fifth on back-to-back RBI hits by Wagner Lagrange and Andrew Czech to go ahead 6-4, but in the bottom of the sixth against reliever Kenny Pierson (2-2), it was Gateway who would take the lead for good. After leadoff singles by Benard and Zach Racusin, Achenbach stepped up and launched his team-leading 17th home run of the season out to left-center field, a go-ahead, three-run shot to make it 7-6 Grizzlies. Two batters later, Clint Freeman’s RBI double made the score 8-6. 

A solo homer by Niko Pacheco in the top of the eighth made it an 8-7 ballgame, and the Wild Things also got the tying run into scoring position in the ninth against all-star pitcher John Murphy, but would not score that runner as Murphy struck out the side for the save. 

Achenbach finished 2-for-3 while tying his season-high with four RBIs in the game, while Benard ended up 3-for-4 and was a triple away from the cycle. Freeman also enjoyed a multi-hit night as part of the Grizzlies’ 12-hit attack offensively. On the mound, Nick Kennedy (1-0) earned his first win of the season by tossing three shutout innings in relief of Milch. 

The Grizzlies will look to make it five wins in a row on Wednesday, July 13, at 6:45 p.m. in the middle game of the series against the Wild Things. Justin Ferrell will get the start on the mound for the Grizzlies.

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Pache.co » Stars Shine As Grizzlies Edge Wild Things July 17, 2022 - 16:36

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