JOLIET, Ill. — The Gateway Grizzlies trailed 4-1 after five innings Wednesday, but fought back to tie the game in the eighth and win it, 6-5, in the 13th over the Joliet Slammers at Joliet Route 66 Stadium.
Andrew Daniel lined a single into left-center field to score Austin O'Brien and give the Grizzlies (3-2) the lead in the top of the 13th inning, then Connor Owings laced a line-drive single into right field to bring Daniel home as an insurance run that Gateway would eventually need.
Joliet (3-3) left the potential tying run at third base to end the game in the bottom of the 13th.
Ryan Gowens, in his Grizzlies and professional debut, was the sixth and last available Grizzlies pitcher out of the bullpen and worked three innings — the 11th, 12th, and 13th — without allowing an earned run for the victory. He pitched scoreless frames in the 11th and 12th innings despite the international tiebreaker rule putting a Slammers runner at second base to start each inning with nobody out, and he did so under pressure after the Grizzlies failed to score in the top halves of the 11th and 12th.
Gowens (1-0) was added to the Grizzlies' roster Sunday and had not pitched.
Combined, six Grizzlies relievers pitched nine innings without permitting an earned run. They allowed four hits, walked three, and struck out seven.
Daniel was 2-for-7 with a double, RBI, and run scored. Owings and Brent Sakurai both finished 2-for-6 with a walk apiece. Owings tripled, drove in a run, and scored one. Sakurai picked up his third RBI of the season. Rafael Valera was 1-for-3 with a run scored and four walks.
As a team, the Grizzlies had walked only eight times (fewest in the Frontier League) over the first four games of 2019. They walked 14 times Wednesday.
After Gateway and Joliet played until almost 9:30 p.m. CDT in Joliet Tuesday, they started at 10:05 a.m. CDT and played over four-and-a-half hours Wednesday. The finale of the three-game series will be played Thursday, also at 10:05 a.m. CDT. Jordan Barrett is scheduled to pitch for the Grizzlies.