SAUGET, Ill. — A ninth-inning Gateway Grizzlies error opened the door for the Lake Erie Crushers to add four unearned insurance runs on a grand slam en route to a 5-0 Gateway loss Tuesday night at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Grizzlies starter Dakota Smith had a second good outing in as many starts this season; he allowed only one run on three hits and struck out six over six innings. Lake Erie (7-3) scored its only run against Smith (1-1) on a solo homer in the sixth inning.
Gateway (5-5) mounted only five hits, but dealt with bad luck: Grizzlies third basemen Joel McKeithan was robbed of a would-be three-run homer in the second inning. Crushers center fielder Cameron Newell made the catch on a full sprint into the low fence in right-center field, only to tumble headlong over the wall but hang onto the baseball. Newell had another diving catch in the fifth inning to rob Matt Hearn of a base hit.
Blake Brown led the Grizzlies’ offense with two hits and a walk. Hearn added two hits of his own.
Gateway returns to action Wednesday night in game two of the series against Lake Erie. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with Alec Kisena on the mound for the Grizzlies and Donald Murray throwing for Lake Erie.