FLORENCE, Ky. — The Gateway Grizzlies (24-55) out-hit the Florence Freedom (50-28) Saturday night, but hit into five double plays and left eight runners on base in a 7-1 loss.
After Florence scored in the second inning, Freedom centerfielder Andre Mercurio extended the lead to 3-0 with a two-run homer.
Gateway battled back, scoring a run on Matt Hearn's RBI single. He drove in Brent Sakurai, who had tripled to start the rally. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and only one out, Terry McClure hit a line drive that looked like it was earmarked for extra bases down the right-field line. Instead, Florence first baseman Jordan Brower made the catch and doubled Joel McKeithan off of first base to end the inning.
Florence added three runs in the fifth and a final tally in the sixth for the 7-1 final margin.
Vince Molesky (5-7) took the loss for the Grizzlies. He was pitching for the fourth time in Gateway's last six games, and allowed six runs over five innings. Molesky struck out four and walked two. His most recent start (Sunday in Normal) was on short rest, and he was used out of the bullpen on Wednesday and Thursday.
Tanner Cable, Austin Sweet and Ruger Rodriguez — in his professional debut — combined to throw three innings out of the Grizzlies' 'pen without allowing an earned run.
Hearn went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Blake Brown and McClure both had two hits.
Gateway returns to action Sunday evening for the finale of a three-game series in Florence against the West Division-leading Freedom. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. CDT on the Grizzlies Media Network.
ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find - affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.
ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is celebrating its 25th season as a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 12 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.