MARION, Ill. — After winning back-to-back one-run games to start their road trip, the Gateway Grizzlies dropped a third one-run game in a row — all in walk-off fashion — to the Southern Illinois Miners on Friday night at Rent One Park.
Gateway (19-26) got back-to-back singles from Jhonniel Alvarez and Shane Mardirosian in the ninth inning — both when the Grizzlies were down to their final out — to drive in Brent Sakurai and tie the game.
Southern Illinois (21-18) put a runner at second base after a lead-off error to start the bottom of the ninth, and Harrison Bragg drove him home with a single to win the game.
Chris Metrick (0-1) took the hard-luck loss in relief for the Grizzlies; he did not allow an earned run in an inning of work.
Mardirosian continued his scorching start with the Grizzlies: he went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Mardirosian is 6-for-13 (.462) with a homer, five RBIs, six runs scored and three steals in four games.
Cody Livesay stole two bases and scored two runs. The Jonesboro, Illinois, native is just one steal from tying the Grizzlies’ career record, which is currently held by Jonathan Johnson. Livesay and Johnson also share the Grizzlies’ longest hitting streak in franchise history: 23 games.
Will Anderson allowed four runs on three hits and three walks in the first inning, but battled back in the remainder of his start: he surrendered just one run on one hit and three total baserunners in the remaining six innings. In total, Anderson allowed five runs (all earned) over seven innings. He struck out six and did not factor in the decision.
Jeff Cardenas added two hits for Gateway. Alvarez was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
The Grizzlies remain 5.5 games back of first-place Evansville, while the Miners are tied with the River City Rascals for second place — just a half-game back in a tight West Division.
Gateway and Southern Illinois will play game two of their three-game series Saturday at 6:05 p.m.