Ask anyone with the Gateway Grizzlies, and they would probably say the season hasn’t started the way they had hoped.
A lack of offense and a pitching staff that gives up runs in bunches won’t get the job done.
Apparently, the Florence Freedom was the cure for both of those problems.
After falling on Memorial Day 4-2 to the traveling Frontier Greys, the Grizzlies found some life inside their bats over the course of a three game set.
On Tuesday, ace JaVaun West (2-0) went a strong seven innings, giving up only two runs. He was the recipient of a lot of run support, with Madison Beaird and Ben Waldrip in the middle of it. The Grizzlies knocked around Freedom starter Casey Henn for nine runs over five innings before adding three more to win 12-4.
The one game winning streak didn’t last long as the following night the Freedom pulled out a 7-5 win. The Grizzlies fell behind early 4-0 but would eventually come back late to take the lead 5-4. Blake Brown had a monster night at the plate, hitting a pair of big home runs, but his work wasn’t enough. Gateway pitcher Brett Zawacki was a strike away from ending it and giving the Grizzlies their second straight win, but Florence outfielder Austin Newell hit a two run single on the 10th pitch of his at-bat to give Florence the lead they would not relinquish.
Determined to get their second series win of the season, Gateway relied on newcomer Vincent Molesky to pitch them to a 10-4 victory Thursday night. Molesky, making his Grizzlies debut, pitched five innings with mixed results. He allowed two two-run homers to Florence, one each in the third and fourth innings. The offense came early and often. All ten runs were scored in the first four innings. Blake Brown is swinging a hot bat, hitting his third homer in two days and powering the offense most of the year. Brown wasn’t alone, however. Each Grizzlies batter had at least one hit, with Rolando Gomez collecting three and Bearid, Brown, and Clayton Brandt each having two.
Gateway continues their homestand this weekend with three against the Washington Wild Things. Catch the action on the 101ESPN Sports media platforms (online or on the app).
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