The Gateway Grizzlies used a five-run sixth inning to defeat the Windy City ThunderBolts 9-8 on Saturday night at GCS Ballpark.
The Grizzlies (11-21) have now won four of their last five games. The victory secured the team’s first three-game winning streak of the season. The ThunderBolts (14-15) have now lost three consecutive one-run games.
With the score tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Grizzlies batted around and scored five runs to break the game open. Rolando Gomez began the inning with a double and scored on a one-out single by Ryan Soares moments later. Madison Beaird joined the hit parade with an RBI single before Ben Waldrip delivered the biggest hit of the game. Waldrip blasted an 0-1 pitch over the right field fence to give Gateway an 8-3 lead.
The game entered the eighth inning with Gateway leading 9-4. That’s when Windy City made things interesting against the Grizzlies’ bullpen. Jordan Wellander loaded the bases and Mike Torres delivered a single to cut the deficit to four. A second run scored on a wild pitch and two more runs scored moments later after Rolando Gomez couldn’t handle the throw on a possible inning-ending double play ball. However, Brett Zawacki worked around the miscues and struckout Marquis Riley to end the inning with the Grizzlies still leading 9-8.
Windy City put the tying run on third base in the ninth inning, but Zawacki worked around trouble yet again and sealed the victory. Coco Johnson lifted a ball to deep right field, but Madison Beaird had just enough room to make the catch that ended the game.
Grizzlies’ starting pitcher Max Schonfeld (2-1) pitched around trouble all night, allowing only three runs (one earned) on 10 hits in the victory. Two of Gateway’s first three runs scored on RBI groundouts and the third came home after one of three Windy City errors on the night.
Richard Seigel, Rolando Gomez, and Madison Beaird led the charge with seven hits combined.
The Grizzlies go for the sweep Sunday night. RHP Vincent Molesky (3-2, 6.03) will take the mound for Gateway and RHP Travis Tingle (2-4, 2.43) will pitch for Windy City. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs on 101 ESPN’s digital platforms and 1400 AM KJFF. Sam Levitt and Kevin Schaefer will call the action.