The fans at Wild Things Park on Tuesday night were nearly treated to history for the Gateway Grizzlies, as Lukas Veinbergs (3-0) carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning in his first professional start against the first-place team in the West Division. While he did not complete the feat, he did earn the win, as the Grizzlies beat the Washington Wild Things 4-0 for their third win in a row and fourth in their last five games.
The offense got Veinbergs run support in the top of the second inning, as with two runners on and one out, Ian Bibiloni tripled to the right-center field gap to make it a 2-0 Gateway lead. Abdiel Diaz wasted no time in bringing Bibiloni home with a sacrifice fly on the first pitch he saw from Washington starter Hayden Pearce (4-5) making the score 3-0.
The Grizzlies were able to score an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning on a bases-loaded walk by Isaac Benard for a 4-0 cushion, and Veinbergs took care of the rest. The right-hander from Pinckney, Michigan and the University of Missouri allowed five walks in the contest, but also struck out six, holding Washington’s offense down until the ninth, when Jared Mang broke up the no-hitter with a double down the left field line.
Washington also got the tying run to the plate in the inning by loading the bases, but Sam Gardner struck out the side to secure the save as Gateway pulled within one game of a playoff spot in the West Division standings with the series-opening road victory.
Gateway will look to make it four straight wins and a series win as well in the middle game of the series on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 5:05 p.m. CT. Carson LaRue will toe the rubber for the Grizzlies in the contest, opposed by Washington left-hander Sandro Cabrera at Wild Things Park.