(Photo Credit: Mick Lite)
The Gateway Grizzlies used timely hitting and pitching to surge past the River City Rascals with a 12-2 win at GCS Ballpark on Friday night.
Gateway got the scoring started early when Shawn Payne laced a two-run double against Rascals RHP Santos Saldivar (0-1) to score Richard Seigel and Ben Waldrip. The Grizzlies’ offense tacked on one more run in the fourth inning with Ryan Soares’ run-scoring sacrifice fly.
RHP Max Schonfeld (1-1) was solid through 5.2 innings on the mound for Gateway. With the Grizzlies still leading 3-0, the Rascals loaded the bases against Schonfeld in the fifth. The righty danced out of trouble after Saxon Butler grounded out to keep River City’s offense off the board.
The Grizzlies (6-14) took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning, when reliever Troy Barton faced the tying run at the plate with two runners on base and one out. Barton induced a 5-4-3 double play off Johnny Morales’ bat to end the inning and escape with no damage.
Gateway’s offense busted the game open in the seventh. Madison Beaird and Ryan Soares led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Rolando Gomez followed with a base hit that scored Beaird while Richard Seigel chipped in with an RBI hit. Grizzlies’ catcher Garrett Vail delivered the final blow of the seventh with a scorching single up the middle to plate two more runs, making it 9-0.
After the Rascals hit two solo shots in the top of the eighth, Grizzlies’ first baseman Ben Waldrip put the finishing touches on the Rascals (11-8) with a three-run blast to deep right field in the bottom of the eighth.
The Grizzlies and Rascals play the second game of their three-game set on Saturday night at GCS Ballpark. Gateway RHP JaVaun West (2-1, 4.84 ERA) makes the start against LHP Tommy Organ (0-0, 0.00 ERA) for the Rascals. The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which includes 101 ESPN’s digital platforms and 1400 AM KJFF.