O'FALLON, Mo. — The Gateway Grizzlies were shut out for only the second time in 2019 and made three seventh-inning errors Thursday night to sink their chances in a 4-0 loss to the River City Rascals at CarShield Field.
Gateway (16-26) had not been shut out since May 14, the fourth game of the season; the Grizzlies lost 2-0 on the road to Joliet that day.
River City (22-19) won the series and moved to 5-4 against the Grizzlies this year.
Gateway had the leadoff man reach base in each of the last three frames — and put two runners on with only one out in the seventh and eighth innings — but failed to score.
Lucas Lanphere (1-4) took the hard-luck loss. He threw six-plus innings and allowed only one earned run (four total) on four hits. He struck out six and walked two. In games in which they get a quality start this season, the Grizzlies are 7-11. They were 26-12 with a quality start in 2018. Gateway has lost seven of the last eight games in which its starter has tossed a quality start (defined as six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs conceded).
River City took the lead on a JD Hearn bloop single followed immediately by a Nolan Meadows RBI double in the fifth inning. The Rascals followed with three unearned runs in the seventh inning.
Lanphere left the game with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh, at which point Ryan Madden made his professional debut.
Gateway used nearly every available reliever during its doubleheader Wednesday, so Madden was forced into a difficult situation. He pitched admirably: He induced a Nolan Meadows (third in the Frontier League in RBIs) pop-up to shallow left and struck out James Morisano. Tanner Wetrich grounded a would-be third out to third base, but an in-between hop kicked off Christian Funk's glove for an error. Two additional unearned runs followed on two subsequent Grizzlies errors.
Gateway has dropped 11 of its last 13 games and has not won back-to-back games since June 11 and 12 against River City.
After nine straight road games, the Grizzlies will open a six-game homestand Friday with the opener of a three-game series against the Southern Illinois Miners at GCS Credit Union Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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.