Home BaseballGateway Grizzlies Steve Brook Wins 600th Game, Grizzlies Sweep Joliet

Steve Brook Wins 600th Game, Grizzlies Sweep Joliet

Gateway puts up most runs in a game since 2010, gets manager milestone victory

by Jason Guerette

The Gateway Grizzlies scored a season-high 21 runs, the most runs they had scored in a game in almost 13 years, and beat the Joliet Slammers 21-14 in a high-scoring marathon at Grizzlies Ballpark, completing a three-game sweep with their fifth win in a row overall. The win gave manager Steve Brook his 600th win in the Frontier League, as he became the fifth manager in league history to reach that milestone. 

Joliet got the scoring started against Lukas Veinbergs (2-1) in the top of the first inning on Matt Warkentin’s two-run double, but Gateway responded right away, tying the game on Abdiel Diaz’s two-run double to make it 2-2 with no one out in the bottom of the first. The Grizzlies would end up scoring two more runs that inning on RBIs by Andrew Penner and D.J. Stewart to make it 4-2. 

After Joliet got one of those runs back in the top of the second, the Grizzlies got back to work against Justin Ferrell (0-1) by scoring four more times in the bottom of the inning, with Penner’s three-run home run making the score 8-3. The offenses kept on going back and forth for both teams, with the Slammers plating two more runs on a home run by Liam McArthur in the top of the fourth to get within 8-5 only to see Gateway plate two runs back in the bottom half thanks to a sacrifice fly by Willie Estrada and an RBI double by Mark Vierling 

The Grizzlies would increase the lead to 11-5 on Penner’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the fifth, and then scored six runs in the sixth inning to blow the game open, featuring RBI doubles by Penner and Eric Rivera, a two-run single by Peter Zimmermann, and another RBI groundout by Jairus Richards, taking a 17-5 lead.  

Gateway then crossed the 20-run threshold with a four-run bottom of the eighth that included a pinch-hit, two-run double by Jonathan Soto, an RBI groundout by Vierling, and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch by Zimmermann, making the score 21-5. It marked the first time the Grizzlies had plated 20 runs in a game since June 6, 2010, when they scored a club-record 25 runs in a win over the Lake Erie Crushers. 

Leading 21-5 going to the top of the ninth, the Grizzlies then saw the Slammers bat around and score nine times in the top of the ninth, aided by two errors and four walks, making the score 21-14, but Trevor Harris struck out former Grizzlie Matt Feinstein to finally end the three-hour, 43-minute game, and improve the Grizzlies record to 11-4 on the season. 

Penner had the biggest day on offense for the Grizzlies, going 4-for-6 at the plate while scoring five runs and setting a new career-high with six RBIs. Zimmermann also ended up with three more RBIs, increasing his Frontier League-leading total to 25 on the season, while Diaz, Estrada, Vierling, and Soto all drove in two runs. Six Grizzlies hitters in total also scored multiple runs as Gateway secured their first series sweep of the season. 

After an off day on the Memorial Day holiday, the Grizzlies will look to keep their winning ways going on Tuesday, May 30, beginning a five-game road trip in Avon, Ohio against the Lake Erie Crushers at 5:35 p.m. CT.

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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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