Home BaseballGateway Grizzlies Stewart, Brannen Lead Grizzlies In Rout Over Evansville

Stewart, Brannen Lead Grizzlies In Rout Over Evansville

Gateway third baseman, center fielder enjoy career days at the plate in rubber game win

by Jason Guerette
The Gateway Grizzlies got multi-homer games at the plate from D.J. Stewart and Cole Brannen, who drove a career-high seven and four runs, respectively, in a 16-2 blowout win over the Evansville Otters at Grizzlies Ballpark on Sunday afternoon, delivering the home club a series win.
Yet again, the Otters scored the first run of the game on a David Mendham solo homer in the first against Tyler Cornett (3-0), but the Grizzlies responded as quick as possible in the bottom of the first when Andrew Moritz slammed a solo homer to right field to tie the game off Otters starter Zach Smith (0-4) at 1-1. After both pitchers settled in, the Otters were able to get a pair of doubles and a sacrifice fly by Randy Bednar in the top of the fourth inning, taking a 2-1 lead.
With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the inning, things turned around in a huge way for the Grizzlies. Jack-Thomas Wold extended his hit streak to 10 in a row with a single to right field, and Stewart worked a walk to set up Brannen, who clubbed a go-ahead, three-run home run to right field, giving Gateway their first lead of the day at 4-2.
The Grizzlies then exploded in the next two innings to turn the game into a laugher. The first four batters of the bottom of the fifth reached base safely, with a Peter Zimmermann walk driving in a run to make it 5-2 and chase Smith from the game. After Wold brought in a run with a fielder’s choice for a 6-2 advantage, Stewart drove a Jon Beymer pitch on a line over the left field wall for a game-breaking, three-run homer and a 9-2 Grizzlies lead. Abdiel Diaz capped the inning with a sacrifice fly, giving the Grizzlies a 10-2 advantage.
Then, after Cornett completed his “quality start” with a scoreless top of the sixth, the bats came alive against James Krick in the bottom half, with the first six Grizzlies of the frame reaching base. Wold collected another RBI on a single for a 11-2 lead, and then Stewart followed with a grand slam that made the score 15-2. Brannen would follow Stewart on the next pitch with his second homer of the game, a solo shot for the final 16-2 margin.
Stewart finished 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a career-best seven RBIs in the contest, marking his fourth career multi-homer performance, while Brannen ended up 3-for-4 with his first-ever multi-dinger contest, adding a double, three runs scored, and a career-best four RBIs. Three other Grizzlies also enjoyed multi-hit performances in the rout as Gateway capped off a 5-1 home stand in decisive fashion.
Winners of 10 of their last 12 games overall, the Grizzlies next head up to Canada for a week-long road trip, their longest of the season, beginning on Tuesday, June 4, in Ottawa against the Titans. Deylen Miley will start the opener at Ottawa Stadium against the Titans’ Grant Larson, with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m. CT.

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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