CRESTWOOD, IL –The Gateway Grizzlies hit four home runs Sunday night, sending the ThunderBolts to an 8-5 loss at Standard Bank Stadium.
Gateway took a lead right away as leadoff batter Michael Johnson hit the fourth pitch of the game over the left field wall. Tommy Richards was then hit by a pitch and Michael Wing’s two-run home run made it 3-0 in the first inning.
The ThunderBolts responded with two runs in the third. Ryan Soares singled and Mike Torres walked before Kyle Robinson doubled them both in to cut the deficit to one.
Jake Fisher settled in for the Bolts after the first, retiring six of the next seven hitters, including four on strikeouts. Wing, though, led off the fourth with his second homer of the game to push the Grizzlies’ lead to 4-2. In the fifth, Johnson walked and Richards doubled before TJ Bennett went deep for a three-run shot that made the score 7-2.
The Bolts rallied in the eighth off the Grizzlies bullpen. Torres singled and scored on Robinson’s double. Ryan Tufts scored Robinson on another double later in the inning. Tufts stood at second with two outs when Max White tripled to score him and cut the Grizzlies lead to 8-5. White, though, would be left at third base and the Bolts did not threaten in the ninth.
Aaron Newcomb(9-4) pitched seven two-run innings, allowing just four hits for the win and Fisher (4-8) took the loss, going six innings and allowing seven runs on six hits with seven strikeouts. Richard Barrett pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.
The rubber match between the ThunderBolts and the Grizzlies will be played on Monday night. Travis Tingle (6-4, 4.60) will start game three for the Bolts against Gateway’s Tucker Jensen (6-2, 4.32). It is Youth Baseball and Softball Night at Standard Bank Stadium; all kids wearing their youth baseball and softball jerseys will get in free. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on meridix.com.