MARION, Ill. — The Gateway Grizzlies scored a run in each of the first two innings, but their 2-0 lead quickly evaporated in an eventual 4-3 loss Saturday night to the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park.
Gateway (19-27) has lost four games in a row, all by one run. The Grizzlies are 7-11 in one-run games this season.
Gateway pounded out 12 hits, but they were all singles; the Grizzlies scored only two runs on seven hits in the first two innings. They left five men on base in the first two frames (four in scoring position) and stranded 11 runners total.
Southern Illinois (22-18) had only six hits, but three went for extra bases — including Harrison Bragg’s two-run homer that tied the game in the second inning. Bragg, a rookie, has three home runs and seven extra-base hits in his first nine professional games. He also had the walk-off single Friday that beat the Grizzlies.
Gateway’s loss Saturday night was its first in the aforementioned four-game losing streak that did not end on a walk-off hit. Each of the six games on the Grizzlies’ road trip has been decided by one run.
Max MacNabb (4-5) took the loss for the Grizzlies. He surrendered four runs (all earned) in six innings of work and struck out four. Connor Leedholm threw two perfect frame of relief and struck out one batter, but he did not factor in the decision.
Southern Illinois won its fourth straight, and the Miners will await the result of tonight’s game between the Evansville Otters and the River City Rascals to find out their place in tomorrow’s Frontier League standings. (At publication, the Rascals and Otters were tied, 6-6, in the eighth inning.) If the Rascals win, River City and Southern Illinois will both jump past Evansville and move into a tie for first place. Southern Illinois would technically lead by virtue of winning percentage.
Blake Brown had two hits, a run and an RBI for the Grizzlies; Shane Mardirosian added a single, a walk, a run and a steal. Trae Santos, Matt Gonzalez and Cody Livesay all had two-hit nights of their own. Eight of the Grizzlies’ nine starters had at least one hit.
Gateway and Southern Illinois will finish their three-game series Sunday at 5:05 p.m. before the Grizzlies return home to GCS Credit Union Ballpark for All-American Week: a three-game series Monday through Wednesday against the Windy City ThunderBolts.