A six-run fifth inning haunted the Gateway Grizzlies on Friday night in a 7-4 loss to the Washington Wild Things at GCS Ballpark.
The Grizzlies (4-10) jumped out to an early lead, but couldn’t hold on. The Wild Things (5-8) extended their win streak to three games with the victory.
Gateway wasted no time getting ahead early. With two outs and two runners on in the first inning, Ben Waldrip singled to plate Rolando Gomez from second. Grant Buckner then singled to score Blake Brown and give the Grizzlies an early 2-0 edge.
Starter Dejai Oliver (0-3) pitched well for the Grizzlies through four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. After retiring the first batter, Oliver issued two walks and a single to load the bases for David Popkins. Popkins hit a deep fly ball to centerfield that scored the runner from third base and put Washington on the board.
Then, the Wild Things put together some two-out magic. CJ Beatty hit a 2-RBI single to give Washington a 3-2 lead. Sam Mende followed with a single and Lee Orr did the same, scoring both Beatty and Mende in the process. Washington’s sixth and final run in the inning came off a single by John Fidanza.
The Grizzlies got one back in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Ben Waldrip to cut the deficit in half at 6-3. However, Daniel Poma answered with a home run in the ninth inning to extend Washington’s lead back to four. Gateway scored one run on two hits in the ninth inning, but the rally fell short.
LHP Tim Flight (2-0) earned the victory for the Wild Things, allowing two earned runs and five hits in 5.1 innings of work.
The Grizzlies were led offensively by Brown, Waldrip, and Buckner who had two hits each. RHP David Murillo was solid out of the bullpen, pitching 2.1 innings of one-hit ball.
The Grizzlies continue their series with the Wild Things on Saturday night at GCS Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. RHP Max Schonfeld (0-0) will take the mound for Gateway. The game will be broadcasted on the Grizzlies Radio Network, including 101 ESPN’s (WXOS-FM) terrestrial signal.