Grizzlies 7 Bolts 4
CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts erased a deficit with a four-run sixth inning but saw the Gateway Grizzlies score three late runs to put them away and take the opener of a weekend series 7-4 at Ozinga Field Friday night.
Gateway (30-38) struck for two runs in the third inning to take the first lead. They got three consecutive singles, including RBI hits from Connor Owings and Luke Lowery.
Dominic Topoozian, the Grizzlies’ starting pitcher looked like he might make that 2-0 lead hold up as he retired the first 15 batters he faced.
A Dustin Woodcock two-run homer in the top of the sixth doubled the Grizzlies’ lead before the ThunderBolts (29-41) began their comeback.
Tyler Straub led off the sixth with a double to break up the perfect game and Brynn Martinez singled him in for the first run. Christian Funk added another RBI single before Chase Cockrell reached on an error to score another run.
With two outs and the tying run at second base, Tanner Gardner came up to make his ThunderBolts debut at the plate. He grounded a double into rightfield to knot up the score at four but Cockrell was thrown out at the plate, trying to take the lead.
Woodcock responded with his second homer of the night to put the Grizzlies back ahead 5-4 in the eighth before they tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth on RBI singles for Luis Roman and Anthony Ray.
Topoozian and Cole Bellair both allowed four runs over six innings and neither took a decision. Lucas Lanphere (2-4) pitched a scoreless inning for the win and Connor Mayes (1-2) took the loss.
The series continues with a Saturday evening showdown that features Chris Washington (2-7, 3.33) on the hill for the Bolts against Gateway’s Chris Carden (5-2, 3.70). It’s Elvis Night at Ozinga Field, presented by Weiss Memorial Hospital, with a pregame concert from John Elvis Lyons at 4:15. The game is set for a 6:05 first pitch.