WASHINGTON, Pa. — The Gateway Grizzlies scored three runs in the second inning and two more in the fourth to run out to a 5-0 lead Friday night and never looked back in a 8-4 victory over the Washington Wild Things in the series opener at Wild Things Park.
Gateway (7-6) won its second straight game to climb back above the .500 mark; the Grizzlies will play for their first three-game winning streak of the season Saturday. Gateway had dropped its first four series openers of the year before Friday's triumph.
Luke Lowery doubled to lead off the second inning and brought his hitting streak to a team-best seven straight games after starting the season 1-for-20 at the plate. Connor Owings followed with a walk before Rafael Valera brought in a run with a single, Jamey Smart drove home a second with a sacrifice fly, and Anthony Ray made it 3-0 with an RBI single of his own.
Washington (3-11) dropped its second in a row and fell to 1-6 at home in 2019.
After the Wild Things scored two of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Grizzlies battled back with a pair in the sixth on a Sakurai RBI double and another Dunston Jr. fielder's choice.
Dunston Jr. polished off the Grizzlies' win with a solo home run to right field in the ninth. It was his second of the season and his first since opening weekend. He drove in three and stole two bases to go with the big fly and a walk.
Jason Seever (1-0) earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief work. He has yet to allow a run in nine innings out of the Grizzlies' bullpen, despite the fact that they asked him to throw 42 pitches Friday after he threw 10 on Thursday and 16 on Wednesday.
Grant Black struck out all three Wild Things he faced in the bottom of the ninth, although it was no longer a save situation with the Grizzlies ahead 8-4.
Gateway and Washington are scheduled for game two of the three-game series Saturday at 6:05 p.m. CDT.
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 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 10 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.