Joseph Scaperotta hit two homers and drove in six runs as the Gateway Grizzlies downed the Windy City ThunderBolts 12-10.
The ThunderBolts got on the board in the first on an RBI single by J. T. Restko and a bases loaded walk by Nate Hall. Gateway countered in the bottom of the first inning on a grand slam by Joseph Scaperotta to make it 4-2 Grizzlies.
After such a wild first inning, no one would have expected the game to remain that way for more than a batter or two, but both pitchers settled in very well, particularly Windy City starter, Brandon Garner who struck out a career high eight over 4.2 innings, at one time retiring 11 in a row.
The Grizzlies got on the board next in the fifth as after Garner retired the first batter, the next seven Grizzlies recorded hits off the right-hander and reliever Tim Dennehy. The frame was highlighted by Scaperotta’s second homer of the game as Gateway took a 9-2 lead.
Windy City stormed right back in the bottom of the inning as Dan Jordan led off with a single and Wade Lamont doubled, making it a 9-3 game. That was only the beginning as a walk to Nate Hall and a single by Bryan Cook loaded the bases for Gilberto Mejia. As he has all season Mejia came through, cranking a grand slam to right-center cutting the Grizzlies lead 9-7.
Gateway came back with two in the bottom of the sixth, countered by a top of the seventh run for the Bolts to make it 11-8 Grizzlies. Windy City would keep battling as in the eighth inning, Wilson Matos led off with a homer to right to chop the lead to 11-9. Gilberto Mejia came up next and was hit by a pitch. In typical Mejia fashion, he stole both second and third. On the steal of third, Charlie Lisk’s throw went into leftfield, allowing Mejia to come home and cutting the Grizzlies advantage to a single run. Lisk attoned for his error with a solo homer in the eighth to seal the final score. The Bolts were able to get the tying run on in the ninth, but Joel Boeschen worked through the jam for his first save.
Adam Bowling (3-4) picked up the win for the Grizzlies going 5.1 innings. Garner (1-1) took the loss for Windy City.
Windy City continues their series against Gateway with a July 4, 6:05 game as Tyler Kelsey (3-3, 3.59) starts for the Bolts against Mark Brackman (2-4, 4.19) for the Grizzlies. For information or tickets, call 708-489-BALL stop by the Standard Bank Stadium ticket office or go to the team’s website at www.wcthunderbolts.com