Home BaseballGateway Grizzlies Veinbergs Tosses Shutout, Grizzlies Thump Otters

Veinbergs Tosses Shutout, Grizzlies Thump Otters

by Jason Guerette

The Gateway Grizzlies got another stellar performance from Lukas Veinbergs (9-3), with the right-hander shutting out the Evansville Otters on six hits with nine strikeouts while the offense put up a consistent effort in a 9-0 victory at Grizzlies Ballpark on Tuesday night. 

The Grizzlies scored in every turn at bat they took except in the bottom of the fifth, starting in the first inning, when Jairus Richards and Eric Rivera reached on back-to-back leadoff singles against Evansville right-hander Zach Smith (6-9). Richards and Rivera then executed a double-steal, with the former tying the Frontier League record with his 71st stolen base of the season, before Cole Brannen made the score 1-0 with a sacrifice fly. Andrew Penner then collected a two-out RBI single to make it a 2-0 game. 

Gateway would keep on scoring all night- Richards hit a solo home run in the second inning to make it 3-0, and D.J. Stewart hit a two-out RBI single in the third inning for a 4-0 advantage. Richards and Clint Freeman then both clubbed solo home runs in the fourth inning to chase Smith and increase the lead to 6-0. 

Photo Credit: Mick Lite

After a scoreless fifth, the Grizzlies made history in the sixth inning, as Richards walked with one out, went to second on Rivera’s single, and then the pair executed another double-steal, giving Richards his 72nd stolen base of the season to set a new Frontier League record. He later scored on a wild pitch by James Krick to make the score 6-0, and the Grizzlies would complete the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Stewart in the seventh inning, and another wild pitch in the eighth for the final 9-0 score. 

But they only needed one run tonight, as the Otters could not touch Veinbergs, who set a new career-best in innings pitched by finishing what he started, throwing 81 of his 120 pitches for strikes, and walking just one Otters batter against his nine strikeouts for the first nine-inning shutout thrown by a Grizzlies pitcher in almost exactly one year. 

Gateway’s magic number is now down to three to clinch a West Division title entering a doubleheader tomorrow against Evansville at Grizzlies Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT, Parker Johnson and Nathanial Tate getting the starts for the Grizzlies. A sweep of the twin bill and a Schaumburg loss at Florence can clinch the Grizzlies’ fourth West Division crown in club history.

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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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