SAUGET, Ill. – The Gateway Grizzlies exploded for 11 runs as they defeated the Evansville Otters Saturday night at GCS Credit Union Ballpark. FINAL SCORE: Gateway 11, Evansville 2.


Gateway starter Ja'Vaun West set the tone by retiring the side in order to start the game while his teammates helped him out.


Gateway scored six runs in the first inning on a pair of three-run home runs by first baseman Brent Gillespie and shortstop Brent Sakurai.


That was all the run support that West would need.


West allowed a two-run double in the fourth to put Evansville on the board, but did not allow another run after that.


Gateway added an insurance run in the second and four more in the sixth to extend the lead to 11-2.


West allowed a leadoff single in the seventh but retired the next batter on a fly out to centerfielder Dan Holst. That was the last out West recorded.


West earned the win by pitching 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs and striking out seven for his sixth consecutive quality start.


2017 marked West's sixth season with the Grizzlies, making him the longest-tenured Grizzlie in franchise history. No Grizzlies pitcher has appeared in more games, and his 470 strikeouts and 30 wins are both career franchise records.


Gateway will wrap up the 2017 campaign in the season finale against Evansville Sunday night at GCS Credit Union Ballpark. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. All the action can be heard 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.