Sauget, IL (June 19, 2022) – The Gateway Grizzlies fell behind 2-0 to the Joliet Slammers on Sunday at GCS Credit Union Ballpark, but came back to take the lead, and then held it while also keeping up the offense late in an 8-5 victory to avoid a sweep on Father’s Day.
The Joliet offense got to work right away in the top of the first, taking a 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Brylie Ware and an RBI fielder’s choice by Scott Holzwasser. Steven Ridings (1-0) was able to minimize the damage, however, and the Grizzlies quickly responded in the bottom of the frame beginning with three straight hits, including an RBI single by Trevor Achenbach to cut the score to 2-1. One inning later, in the bottom of the second, Jay Prather and Abdiel Diaz led off with two straight infield singles and later came in to score when Jackson Pritchard hit a two-run double to give Gateway their first lead of the game at 3-2. Gateway would add two more runs in the fourth for a 5-2 cushion.
Joliet got a run back in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI double by Matt McGarry and a solo home run by Carson Maxwell in the top of the sixth inning to cut the Grizzlies lead to 5-4. But in the bottom half of the sixth inning, Gateway responded thanks to an Isaac Benard RBI single to make it 6-4. The Grizzlies also added another run in the bottom of the seventh when Prather came in to score as part of a double steal to make it 7-4 Gateway.
Tyler Depreta-Johnson got the Slammers within 7-5 on a solo home run in the eighth, but the Grizzlies answered in the bottom half with a solo home run by Peter Zimmermann for the final 8-5 score. Reed Hayes then shut the door in the top of the ninth inning, recording the save as the Grizzlies notched the victory over Joliet.
Four different Grizzlies finished with multiple hits in Gateway’s 13-hit attack, including Benard, who had three hits to lead the Grizzlies as he extended his hit streak to eight games. Touchette, Achenbach and Andrew Penner each had two hits apiece. Ridings, meanwhile, pitched the first five innings to get the win on the mound, striking out six Slammers batters in his first win since May of 2019.
After an off day on Monday, the Grizzlies will continue their nine-game homestand with the final three-game series beginning Tuesday night, June 21, at 6:45 p.m. with the Schaumburg Boomers making their first trip to GCS Credit Union Ballpark this season.
(Special thanks to Jason Guerette)