A slow start halted the Gateway Grizzlies’ chance of a series victory in a 5-2 loss to the Schaumburg Boomers on Sunday night at GCS Ballpark.
The Grizzlies (24-41) trailed 3-0 early on and couldn’t spark a comeback. Schaumburg (28-38) used a strong start from former Gateway pitcher Brett Mabry (4-2) in the victory. Mabry tossed 6.2 innings of two-hit ball against his former team.
The lone blemish of Mabry’s night came in the seventh inning with Schaumburg leading 3-0. Blake Brown followed a Ben Waldrip single by crushing a home run over the left field fence to cut the deficit to 3-2. The home run was one of only five hits given up by Mabry on Sunday night.
The momentum seemed to be swinging Gateway’s way, but the Boomers answered with two runs in the eighth inning to extend the lead back to three. RHP Jordan Wellander allowed a walk and a single to put two runners on for Kyle Ruchim with two away. Ruchim delivered with a double to plate Valadez and Bennett, putting Schaumburg up 5-2.
The runs turned out to be insurance for Schaumburg. Clark Labitan and Dexter Price pitched 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to close things out. Price picked up his second save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Rookie RHP Dillon Shaw (0-1) struggled in his first professional start. He worked himself out of trouble in the first two innings before surrounding three runs in the two innings that followed.
A leadoff walk to Alexi Colon came back to hurt Shaw in the second inning. Colon advanced to second when Ty Nelson singled and then got to third base after KJ Stark misplayed a ground ball. The next batter Willi Martin then lifted a fly ball deep enough to score Colon and put Schaumburg on the board.
Shaw loaded the bases in the fourth inning after issuing two walks and a single to start the inning. The final walk to Ruchim knocked Shaw out of the game and Jordan Spencer came in to pitch in relief. Spencer surrendered an RBI single to Colon to begin his outing that extended the Boomers’ lead to 2-0. Schaumburg added a third run in the inning on an RBI groundout from Ty Nelson.
After a day off Monday, the Grizzlies head to Windy City to take on the ThunderBolts for three games. LHP Jason Ziegler (0-0, 10.39) will pitch for Gateway in game one. Sam Levitt will call the action on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs on 101 ESPN’s digital platforms and 1400 AM KJFF.