SAUGET, Ill. -- RHP Trevor Richards pitched five strong innings in his professional debut and Grant Buckner collected four RBI's to help the Gateway Grizzlies defeat the Windy City ThunderBolts 6-5 on Friday night at GCS Ballpark.
The Grizzlies (10-21) jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings and never trailed. They defeated the ThunderBolts (15-15) for the first time this season in four meetings.
Cody Livesay started the scoring in the second inning with a two-out RBI single that plated Grant Buckner who singled with one out.
Gateway extended its lead the following inning via the long ball. Blake Brown reached on fielder's choice and advanced to second base on a single by Tyler Tewell. That brought Buckner up in an RBI spot and he delivered a three-run home run to straightaway centerfield to give Gateway a 4-0 lead.
Richards (1-0) allowed only three hits through four innings, but ran into trouble for the first time in the fifth. Marquis Riley singled to start the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then scored on an RBI single from Max White.
Another wild pitch cost Richards later in the inning. Ransom LaLonde, who reached on a fielder's choice, eventually reached third on a wild pitch. Lalonde then scored moments later on an infield single by Coco Johnson. The ThunderBolts added their final run in the inning on an RBI single by Johnathan Garcia to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Richards eventually worked out of the inning and the Grizzlies added some insurance runs in their next turn. Tewell singled with two outs to keep the inning alive and scored on Buckner's double off the centerfield wall. Rolando Gomez kept the two-out rally alive with another RBI double to plate Buckner and give the Grizzlies a 6-3 lead.
Windy City would add a run in the top of the sixth on Riley's first home run of the season and another on a home run by Max White in the ninth inning off Jordan Wellander. Wellander battled back to shut down the ThunderBolts and close out the game. He picked up his first save of the season.
Livesay and Buckner paced the offense with three hits each. The Grizzlies now have a chance to win three games in a row for the first time this season on Saturday night. RHP Max Schonfeld will take the mound for Gateway. Schonfeld is opposed by Windy City LHP Danny Jimenez. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs on 101 ESPN's digital platforms and 1400 AM KJFF. Sam Levitt and Kevin Schaefer will call the action.