The Gateway Grizzlies fell into an early hole on Wednesday morning against the Schaumburg Boomers, but came back to tie the game in the fifth inning, then take the lead for good with three runs in the top of the eighth in a 5-2 victory at Wintrust Field, securing a split of the short, two-game series.
The Boomers plated both of their runs in the first inning against Carson LaRue, with an RBI single by Gaige Howard putting the home team ahead 1-0, and an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Will Prater doubling the lead to 2-0. But that would be the only runs LaRue would allow in the contest, battling through five innings and holding Schaumburg’s lineup off the board despite walking four in the game.
Gateway’s offense struggled early against Boomers starter Aaron Glickstein, but they broke through in the top of the fifth. With two outs and Mark Vierling on second base, Eric Rivera pulled an RBI double inside the first base bag to make it a 2-1 game. Gabe Holt followed with a clutch RBI single that tied the score at 2-2. In the bottom of the inning, Kyle Fitzgerald singled with two outs and men on first and second, but Andrew Penner threw out Miles Simington at home plate trying to score the go-ahead run to preserve the tie.
The score remained tied until the top of the eighth, when Clint Freeman and Peter Zimmermann drew back-to-back leadoff walks off Boomers reliever Merfy Andrew (0-1). After a pitching change, Jairus Richards gave Gateway their first lead with an RBI double down off of first base, making the score 3-2. D.J. Stewart followed by driving in both Zimmermann and Richards with a clutch double of his own, making it a 5-2 Gateway lead.
That was all that the Grizzlies needed to secure the win, as Zac Ryan and Sam Gardner tossed scoreless innings out of the bullpen to finish off the game, with Gardner securing his second save. Stewart and Freeman each had a pair of hits to extend their hit streaks to 11 games in a row to begin the season, while Rivera also joined them in the two-hit club as Gateway improved to 7-4 on the season.
The Grizzlies will conclude their Chicagoland road trip with a single game on Thursday, May 25, at 6:35 p.m. against the Windy City ThunderBolts at Ozinga Field. Collin Sullivan will make the start for Gateway before they return home for the Memorial Day weekend against the Joliet Slammers.
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.
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