The Gateway Grizzlies and New York Boulders went back and forth all night long on Saturday at GCS Credit Union Ballpark, and thanks to stout work by the bullpen down the stretch, it was the home team that prevailed by a final score of 8-7, evening up the weekend set.
After a scoreless first inning, the Boulders quickly got on the scoreboard in the top of the second with a solo home run by Gabriel Garcia to make it 1-0. But the Grizzlies responded quickly in the bottom half, as after back-to-back two-out singles, Alex Hernandez connected on a two-run double to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead. Gateway then continued their scoring in the next inning with four straight hits to lead off against Boulders starter Justin Alintoff, including a two-RBI double by Kevin Krause, take a 5-1 advantage.
The ballgame turned into a back-and-forth affair in the middle innings. The Boulders bounced back offensively on a two-run home run by Austin Dennis to make it 5-3, and one run in the top of the fifth to get within one run before the Grizzlies answered with a solo home run by Zach Racusin, his second in as many games, in the bottom of the fifth, making the score 6-4 Grizzlies.
The Boulders completed their comeback in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two unearned runs thanks to a leadoff error in the frame on an RBI groundout by Ray Hernandez and a two-out RBI single by Gian Martellini to tie the ballgame 6-6. But the Grizzlies again answered right away with some run manufacturing in the bottom of the frame. After Abdiel Diaz and Hernandez led off with back-to-back infield singles, Andrew Penner reached on a bunt single, with a throwing error by New York pitcher Ryan Munoz (2-2) allowing a tiebreaking run to score and make it 8-7. Two batters later, Racusin drove in Hernandez on a sacrifice fly to make it 8-6.
New York got another run back in the top of the seventh with a solo home run by David Vinsky to make it 8-7, and put the tying and go-ahead runs on base with no one out in the eighth. But after Nick Kennedy struck out Martellini, Sam Gardner came on and finished the frame, stranding the runners on base before striking out the side in order in the ninth inning to earn the save.
The Grizzlies will wrap up their homestand and the month of July with the rubber game of the series on Sunday, July 31 at 5:45 p.m. at GCS Credit Union Ballpark against the Boulders, with Brendan Feldmann making the start on the mound for Gateway.