The Gateway Grizzlies scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open a back-and-forth game on Saturday night against the Joliet Slammers, and got five RBIs from Peter Zimmermann in beating the visitors 11-6 to win their fourth straight contest and clinch the weekend series at Grizzlies Ballpark.
It was Joliet that took the initial lead against Joey Gonzalez (2-1) in the top of the first inning when Scott Holzwasser hit a solo home run for a 1-0 Slammers advantage. That lead lasted until the bottom of the second, when Jairus Richards came up with a runner on base and crushed a two-run home run out of the ballpark to right-center field, making it 2-1 Grizzlies.
J.P. Fullerton answered back with a solo home run in the top of the third inning to make it 2-2, but Gateway responded again with two runs in the bottom half for a 4-2 lead, including Zimmermann’s first RBI on a single that scored Eric Rivera, and a subsequent sacrifice fly by D.J. Stewart.
Gonzalez then worked around a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth by recording two straight strikeouts, and in the bottom of the frame, the Grizzlies’ offense put up yet another big rally. Rivera started the scoring with an RBI single to make it 5-2, and with the bases loaded two batters later, Zimmermann smacked a grand slam home run out to right field to make it 9-2. Andrew Penner followed two pitches later against Slammers starter Tyler Jay (1-2) with a solo home run of his own to increase the lead to 10-2 and cap the big inning.
Gateway added a run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by Gabe Holt to make it 11-3, and though Joliet hit two home runs in the top of the ninth inning and scored three times, it was not enough as Gateway improved to 6-2 at Grizzlies Ballpark.
The 11-run outburst marked the third-straight game the Grizzlies had put up 10 runs or more, with six Grizzlies in total recording two-hit games, led by Zimmermann’s 2-for-5 showing including a career-best-tying five RBIs. Gonzalez pitched a “quality start” as well, allowing three runs over six innings while striking out eight.
The Grizzlies will go for a three-game sweep on Sunday, May 28, at 1:05 p.m., with Lukas Veinbergs drawing the starting assignment on the mound.
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.