The River City Rascals (45-37) continued to roll Wednesday night and used a two run bottom of
the eighth inning to sweep the two game series against the Gateway Grizzlies (24-57), 5-4, after
a one hour and eight minute rain delay Wednesday night at CarShield Field.
River City has now won five of their past six games and are eight games over the .500 mark for
the first time this season.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Rascals trailed 3-1 and had failed to solve
the opponent’s start Ja’Vaun West for the first half of the game.
Looking for their third comeback win in a row against the Grizzlies, Jason Merjano got things
going with a leadoff single for his first hit of the night and then Josh Silver stroked a two-run
home run over the left field wall to tie the game up at three.
“The home run put some life back into the dugout and we had a lot of momentum going for the
rest of the game,” Silver said. “
Manager Steve Brook managed his bullpen well in the top of the eighth inning to keep the game
tied and then the Rascals carried the momentum into the bottom half of the eighth inning and
used five quality at-bats in a row to take two run lead.
Brandon Thomas drew a walk to put the tying run on base and then a sacrifice bunt from
shortstop Johnny Morales put him in scoring position.
The Grizzlies elected to intentionally walk Josh Ludy to face Mike Jurgella and he responded
with a go-ahead RBI single. Ludy got to third on the throw home and Jurgella darted into second
giving the Rascals an opportunity to add to the lead.
“They had gotten me on some breaking balls earlier in the game so I sat on it and got a
breaking ball up in the zone and did some damage with it,” Jurgella said.
Taylor Love pinch-ran for Ludy and he would end up scoring the eventual game winning run two
pitches later on a sacrifice fly from Merjano.
Cody Mincey made his way from the bullpen to the pitching mound in the top of the ninth and
despite the bases loaded and no outs, the righty allowed just one run, unearned, and struck out
Evan Rogers looking for the final out to earn his team leading tenth save of the year.
Elwood was tagged with the loss and righty Storm Rynard took the win, his second of the year.
Both starters took a no-decision, including Rascals southpaw Dan Ludwig who tossed a quality
Ludwig allowed three runs, earned, on nine hits and struck out seven.
The first run came via a RBI single from Blake Brown in the opening frame to put the Grizzlies
up 1-0 and then after Silver tied the game up in the fourth with a RBI single, Ludwig allowed a
two-run home run off the bat of Brent Sakurai to put his team down 3-1.
Ludwig and four relievers were solid after that and went on to limit the Grizzlies bats and help
the Rascals complete the comeback victory.
The win puts the Rascals in sole possession of the first wild card spot and look to build on their
45 win season on the road this weekend against Evansville.
The series kicks off a nine game homestand and first pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 6:35
p.m. at Bosse Field with righty Tim Koons on the mound.