SAUGET, Ill. — After hitting only six home runs in their first 10 games of the season, the Gateway Grizzlies homered four times in the first three innings Wednesday night en route to a 6-5 win over the Lake Erie Crushers at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Blake Brown put Gateway (6-5) on the board in the first inning with a solo shot to right field. He added a second homer in the third inning. They were Brown’s first two big flies of the season and his 49th and 50th home runs of his Grizzlies career, which is in its fourth season.
Matt Hearn also homered in the third inning — his first home run as a professional in the 470th plate appearance of his career. In a slice of serendipity, Hearn’s brother, JD, also had his first professional home run last night with the River City Rascals. Matt added a double and a single in a three-hit performance.
Alec Kisena (2-1) didn’t require much help on the mound. He posted a second straight quality start with six innings of two-run ball and struck out seven against two walks.
After the Crushers (7-4) added a run in the seventh and two in the eighth off of the Gateway bullpen, Grizzlies closer Kevin Simmons entered for a four-out save. It was his second save of the season. In three appearances this year, Simmons has now faced 10 batters — he’s retired all 10, and struck out seven. He struck out the side in the ninth against Lake Erie’s 2-3-4 batters.
WATCH: Grizzlies Media Network Reaction after four home runs paced Gateway to a 6-5 win. #WelcometoWild https://t.co/Xtuh8v72tM
Terry McClure had the fourth Grizzlies home run of the night, his second bomb of the season.
Gateway and Lake Erie close out their three-game series with a rubber match Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Max MacNabb (1-1, 3.85) will start for the Grizzlies and Alex Romero (1-1, 2.25) is on the hill for the Crushers.