LOVES PARK, Ill. - The Gateway Grizzlies pulled out a victory in the continuation of the suspended June 28 game against the Rockford Aviators on Tuesday evening before falling to the Aviators in a series opener, 3-2.
The evening at Aviator Stadium begun with the continuation of a game that was suspended due to weather on June 28 at GCS Ballpark between the Grizzlies and Aviators. The game was suspended at the end of 10 innings with the score tied at 2-2.
International tie breaker rules were in effect when the game resumed, putting a runner on second base with nobody out for each team in every half inning. Gateway still acted as the home team even while wearing their road uniforms.
Grizzlies RHP Brett Zawacki (4-1) dealt with the free base runner flawlessly in the 11th and 12th innings, stranding the runner in both frames.
After stranding a runner in the 11th, the Grizzlies broke through in the 12th. Rolando Gomez started the inning as the runner at second and still stood there with two outs. Madison Beaird then stepped to the plate and hit a ground ball in the hole to Avaitors' second baseman Justin Fox, who dove to stop it from trickling into the outfield but had no play at first base. Gomez came around all the way to score from second, giving the Grizzlies a 3-2 walk-off win.
In the regularly scheduled series opener, Grizzlies' starter Trevor Richards (1-3) allowed only one earned run in six innings on the mound. He was the only pitcher to appear for Gateway in the seven-inning game.
The Grizzlies (15-30) got off to a quick start after loading the bases with two outs in the second inning. Ryan Soares delivered an RBI single to give Gateway a 1-0 lead.
After cruising through the first two frames, Richards ran into trouble against the Aviators in the third. Anthony Renteria started the inning with a double down the right field line. Fox then hit a grounder to Gomez at second base, who proceeded to bobble the ball and was unable to make the play. Renteria began to dart for home after the error, which prompted Gomez to throw to third base. The throw was bounced to Grant Buckner who couldn't handle it cleanly and Renteria scurried into score, tying the game at 1-1. The Aviators (28-16) scratched across two more runs in the frame to take a 3-1 lead.
The Grizzlies responded with a lone run in top of the fourth inning when Seth Heck singled to start the frame and then ultimately scored on a wild pitch, pulling Gateway to within 3-2.
Gateway's offense, which left nine runners on base, couldn't muster up much of anything against Rockford's bullpen. LHP David Russo (3-0), RHP Matt Frahm, and RHP Colby Holmes combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief. Holmes picked up his fourth save of the season.
The Grizzlies and Aviators continue their series on Wednesday with a 12:05 p.m. start at Aviator Stadium. RHP Max Schonfeld (2-3, 3.53 ERA) makes the start for Gateway and is opposed by LHP Payton Baskette (1-1, 7.14 ERA).