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Grizzlies Stunned In Joliet

Gateway cannot hold one-run lead in eighth inning, drops opener of critical series

by Jason Guerette

The Gateway Grizzlies were one strike away from sending the game against the Joliet Slammers to the ninth inning up 2-1, but Tyler Depreta-Johnson’s two-run, go-ahead base hit off Sam Gardner (5-2) sent them to a stunning 3-2 defeat at Duly Health and Care Field on Tuesday night. 

 

The game began as a pitcher’s duel deluxe between Trevor Charpie and Carson LaRue, with both pitchers barely surrendering any baserunners in the first four innings. In the bottom of the fifth, LaRue lost his command, walking three batters and also hitting one in the inning to give the Slammers a 1-0 lead without the aid of a hit. He was able to minimize damage and strand the bases loaded, however, eventually finishing six innings of one-hit, one-run ball. 

 

In the top of the seventh inning, the Grizzlies struck back and took the lead by coming up clutch- with runners at second and third base and two outs, Jay Prather pinch-hit for Alex Hernandez, and came through with a two-run single to right field, putting the Grizzlies ahead 2-1. Nick Kennedy then worked around a one-out double for a scoreless bottom half to hold the lead. 

 

But in the eighth, after Gardner got a strikeout and a tremendous diving play at shortstop by Abdiel Diaz for a fielder’s choice, he issued his second walk of the inning to put the tying run in scoring position. Gardner then got ahead of Depreta-Johnson 0-2 before the Joliet shortstop lined a base hit to center field, giving the Slammers the lead on just their third hit of the entire game. Tyler Jay then retired the Grizzlies in order in the ninth to end the game, dealing Gateway their third one-run loss in their last five games overall. 

 

The Grizzlies will look to bounce back in the second game of the critical road series on Wednesday, August 17, at 6:35 p.m. CT, sending Manuel Rodriguez to the mound against Joliet southpaw Cole Cook.

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