The Gateway Grizzlies fell behind in an early 2-0 hole against the Schaumburg Boomers on Wednesday night at Grizzlies Ballpark, but would score 11 runs in their next three turns at-bat, including seven in the bottom of the fourth, to take a big lead en route to a 12-7 victory.
The Boomers took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on RBI hits by Drue Galassi and Will Prater, but the Grizzlies answered right back with two runs of their own in the bottom half on an RBI double by Andrew Penner and a sacrifice fly by Abdiel Diaz to knot the score. In the third, Gateway would take the lead for good when Eric Rivera led off with a double, stole third base, and came home on a wild pitch. Clint Freeman followed with a solo home run to make the score 4-2.
Then, in the bottom of the fourth, the floodgates opened for the red-hot Grizzlies offense against reliever Ben Strahm, as Gateway sent 13 batters to the plate and scored seven runs. Peter Zimmermann led off with a solo home run of his own, and later in the frame, with the bases loaded, Freeman cleared them with a double to make it 8-2. The Grizzlies weren’t done, as Zimmermann came up again with the bases re-loaded and singled home two more runs. A Diaz bases-loaded walk completed the inning with the Grizzlies holding an 11-2 lead.
Schaumburg would plate five runs off the Gateway bullpen in the top of the sixth to get back in the game and make the score 11-7, but a sacrifice fly by Willie Estrada got one of those runs back and ended up being the final run scored in the game.
Offensively, Zimmermann finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs, while Freeman put up a 2-for-5 night with four runs driven in. Five Grizzlies recorded multi-hit games in the victory. On the mound, Lukas Veinbergs (1-0) pitched five strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out eight to get the win.
The Grizzlies will look to sweep the series from the Boomers in a Thursday morning matinee at 10:35 a.m. CT at Grizzlies Ballpark. Former St. Louis Cardinal Josh Lucas will make his home debut in a Gateway uniform against reigning Frontier League Pitcher of the Week Luis Perez for the Boomers.
Jason Guerette is the Grizzlies' Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations and the "Voice of the Grizzlies." 2023 will be his second season with the organization, handling lead broadcasting duties on the Grizzlies Media Network as well as being in charge of all team press releases and game-day media materials.
2023 will also be Jason's ninth season in the Frontier League after spending 2014-21 in the same role with the Southern Illinois Miners. Overall, he has broadcasted close to 800 games in the league, including playoffs. During the baseball offseason, he serves as a play-by-play broadcaster for Manhattan College and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, with games being seen on ESPN+ among other platforms.
In addition to broadcasting, Jason works as a public address announcer for Seton Hall University women's basketball as well as Columbia University men's and women's basketball. He also spent nine years working "behind the scenes" as a freelance board operator and highlight editor at Westwood One for their coverage of the NFL, NCAA football, and NCAA basketball.
Jason graduated from Seton Hall in 2012 with B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Broadcasting & Visual Media.