SAUGET, Ill. — The Gateway Grizzlies rattled off six runs from the third through sixth innings in a smooth 6-3 victory Thursday to earn a series win over the Evansville Otters at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Gateway (19-29) has won three of its last four games. The series win was the Grizzlies' first since back-to-back wins June 11 and 12 over River City.
After the Grizzlies fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, they responded to take the lead on Luis Román's two-out, two-run single in the third. Zak Taylor added to the Grizzlies' advantage with an RBI single to score Andrew Daniel in the fourth inning, then Taylor scored on a Shawon Dunston Jr. RBI single two batters later.
Evansville (27-20) has dropped three of its last four games.
Dustin Woodcock homered for the second time in the Grizzlies' three-game series against the Otters to extend Gateway's lead to 5-2 in the fifth before Dunston Jr. manufactured the Grizzlies' final run of the night in the sixth. After a two-out single, Dunston Jr. stole second and third, then scored on Otters catcher Mike Rizzitello's errant throw to third base that escaped up the left-field line.
Dunston Jr. stole three bases Thursday to extend his total for the season to a league-leading 22 steals on 24 attempts (91.7 percent). He also had the Grizzlies' only multi-hit game with a pair of singles.
Geoff Bramblett struck out three and locked down a perfect four-out save in his first save opportunity of the season.
Grant Black (1-4) earned his first win of the year with 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief. He finished the fifth inning after Grizzlies starter Jordan Barrett reached 114 pitches over 4 2/3 innings. Barrett allowed two runs (only one earned) and struck out four.
The Grizzlies will open a three-game series in Marion, Ill., against the Southern Illinois Miners with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch Friday before the All-Star Break begins Monday. Gateway trails Southern Illinois by 7 1/2 games for the Frontier League's final wild-card playoff spot.
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.