FLORENCE, Ky– Gateway (29-60) starting pitcher, Dalton Shalberg, (0-2) surrendered three Freedom (56-34) runs in the first inning after a pair of hit by pitches setup a Collins Cuthrell two run double. Garret Vail added a sacrifice fly that scored Andre Mercurio giving Florence a 3-0 lead. Despite taking the loss, Shalberg settled in allowing one run through his next four frames.
The Grizzlies answered in the top of the second after Freedom starter Braulio Torres- Perez (6-2) walked Blake Brown who then stole second and advanced to third when Vail threw wildly into center field. Terry McClure followed with a single to left scoring Brown and pulling the Grizzlies within two.
Florence added an insurance run in the fifth when Jordan Brower lined a double into the right field corner giving the Freedom a 4-1 edge. This was the final run charged to Shalberg who finished the night going five innings, allowing four runs on six hits with three strikeouts and four free passes.
Appearing for the second time in as many nights, Trevor Bauer took the hill in the sixth inning and provided two scoreless innings of relief surrendering just one hit and adding a strikeout.
With Kaleb Earls on the mound in the eighth, Austin Wobrock scored another Freedom run on an infield single from Taylor Oldham pushing Florence in front by the eventual final score, 5-1.
Gateway will look to salvage a series win on Sunday afternoon at UC Health Stadium. Ja’Vaun West will start for the Grizzlies opposite the Freedom’s Cody Gray with first pitch slated for 2:05 p.m.