MARION, Il– For the second time in as many nights, the Gateway Grizzlies jumped out to an early lead but surrendered eight unanswered runs in an 8-3 loss to the Southern Illinois Miners on Wednesday at Rent One Park.
Gateway (30-62) plated three runs in their first at bat off Southern Illinois (37-55) starter Matt Parish (4-4) thanks to a pair of RBI-singles from Joel McKeithan and Blake Brown scoring Cody Livesay and Brent Sakurai who walked and singled respectively. Terry McClure added a sacrifice fly plating McKeithan as the Grizzlies led 3-0 after one half inning. Brown, McKeithan and Sakurai each recorded multi-hit games with Brown registering three singles as the Grizzlies matched their opponent with ten total hits and ten men left on base in the ballgame.
The Miners plated two runs in the bottom of the first however, as Blake Wiley drove in Romeo Cortina who reached on a Sakurai error with a triple to the gap in right center off Gateway starter Will Anderson (2-14). A sacrifice fly from Nolan Earley made the score 3-2 after one complete.
Southern Illinois took a lead they would never relinquish in the bottom of the second, scoring two more runs off Anderson on a Cortina sacrifice fly and a Wiley RBI-single to take a 4-3 advantage. Wiley would go on to reach base in all five at bats, collecting three hits to go with a pair of walks and four runs batted in in the contest.
Anderson faced one over the minimum in a scoreless bottom of the third before surrendering two more Miners runs in the fourth as the Grizzlies fell behind by three. Southern Illinois then scratched across an additional insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, taking a 7-3 lead in Anderson’s final inning of work. The righty left the game after six frames, allowing seven runs, six of which were earned on ten hits while totaling three strikeouts in the losing effort.
Trevor Bauer provided a scoreless inning of relief in the seventh, but the Miners added one final insurance run off Gateway reliever Ruger Rodriguez in the eighth, pushing Southern Illinois in front by the eventual final, 8-3.
The Grizzlies loss sets up a rubber match in Thursday’s series finale as Gateway righty Dalton Shalberg takes the hill opposite Miners right-hander Zach Cooper. First pitch is slated for 7:05 CT at Rent One Park.