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Grizzlies Blow Out Lake Erie

by Jason Guerette

The Gateway Grizzlies bounced back from being shut out last night in a big way, hitting five home runs as a team and putting up 12 runs on 15 hits while Joey Gonzalez (11-7) struck out 10 batters over seven strong innings in a 12-2 victory over the Lake Erie Crushers at Grizzlies Ballpark on Friday night. 

Though Lake Erie got runners on base in each of the first three innings, Gonzalez held them off the board, and Gateway opened the scoring in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Mark Vierling stole second base, and former Grizzlie Jackson Pritchard’s throw sailed into the outfield, allowing Alex Hernandez to score for a 1-0 Gateway lead. After Peter Zimmermann walked to extend the inning, Clint Freeman and D.J. Stewart came up with back-to-back doubles off Matt Mulhearn (5-7), making the score 4-0. 

Lake Erie would get two runs back off Gonzalez on RBI hits by Pritchard and Todd Isaacs to cut the lead in half at 4-2, but Gonzalez again got out of further trouble by striking out Jack Harris and Collin Mathews with the tying runs in scoring position. The Grizzlies would then strike back in the bottom of the fifth when Stewart cracked a two-run homer out to left field to make the score 6-2, and Kyle Gaedele followed with a solo shot of his own to expand the advantage to 7-2. 

The Grizzlies weren’t finished hitting the ball over the wall, either, as they clubbed three in the seventh inning to blow the game open. Gaedele’s second solo home run of the day was followed by Willie Estrada’s solo shot for a 9-2 lead, and three batters later, Vierling capped the scoring by hitting a three-run bomb over the right field fence. 

Gonzalez did the rest, as he struck out 10 batters in the game to tie his career-high and earn his 11th win of the season, tying him for the Frontier League lead in victories. Of Gateway’s 15 hits offensively, seven went for extra bases, as the Grizzlies dominated the series opener, and improved to 6-1 against Lake Erie this season. 

Gateway will look to make it back-to-back wins in the middle contest against the Crushers on Saturday, September 2, at 6:45 p.m. CT. Carson LaRue draws the starting nod on the mound for the Grizzlies against Lake Erie’s Yasel Santana at Grizzlies Ballpark in the penultimate game of the regular season.

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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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