Sauget, Ill. – The Gateway Grizzlies moved above .500 for the first time since early July after a comeback win on Tuesday night at GCS Ballpark against the Traverse City Beach Bums. Gateway trailed by a run heading into the bottom of the ninth but rallied for a pair of runs to win the series opener, 4-3.
After RHP Kramer Champlin when eight strong innings for the Beach Bums, he was replaced by closer Andrew Brockett as Traverse City (28-38) led 3-2. Brockett (3-4) hit Tyler Tewell with a pitch in the right leg to start the frame. Sam Fischer came on as a pinch-runner for Tewell while Craig Massoni followed with a single to put the winning run on-base.
Zach Lavy ultimately drove in Fischer with a sac fly to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs and Massoni on second base, Logan Davis hit a bloop single beyond the reach of Traverse City left fielder Ryan Bottger as Massoni raced home with the winning run. It was the first walk-off hit for Davis in a Gateway uniform.
The Grizzlies (35-34) got the scoring started in the third inning against Champlin. With two runners in scoring position, Massoni laced a single into centerfield for his 40th and 41st RBI of the season. It gave Gateway a 2-0 edge.
LHP Corey Kimes cruised through the first four innings in his 13th start of the season but ran into trouble in the fifth. Will Kenjer hit a single for Traverse City’s first hit while Giancarlo Burgeoni followed with a two-run homer to tie the game at 2-2.
RHP Jordan Wellander entered in relief during the sixth and although he escaped that inning without allowing a run, he gave up the go-ahead run on a sac fly to Jeff DeBlieux in the seventh.
Trailing 3-2, the Grizzlies bullpen settled down and kept it a one-run deficit. RHP Ja’Vaun West went 1.1 scoreless innings while RHP Kevin Jefferis (2-1) picked up the victory by retiring the side in order for a scoreless ninth.
The Grizzlies have now won three straight games and are 5-2 on their current nine-game homestand. The series continues on Wednesday as RHP Adam Eggnatz (5-2, 2.98 ERA) takes the ball for Gateway against LHP Dylan Stoops (6-3, 3.67 ERA) for the Beach Bums. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs Wednesday on 1400 AM KJFF and online at www.GatewayGrizzlies.com/Radio
. Sam Levitt and Matt Sabados have the call.