SAUGET, Ill. — Chris Carden fired seven shutout innings and Dustin Woodcock launched a three-run homer to power the Gateway Grizzlies to a 3-0 win Sunday over the Florence Freedom at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Woodcock's drive over the right-field wall came with two outs in the first inning and supplied the entirety of the Grizzlies' offense. The big fly was Woodcock's third professional home run, all of which have come in the first two weeks of July.
After they collected four hits in the first inning, the Grizzlies (22-32) did not have another. Connor Owings reached on a one-out walk in the third inning, after which point Freedom pitches combined to retired 17 Grizzlies in a row.
Carden (5-1) turned in his fifth straight quality start. He matched a career high with seven innings pitched, which equaled his total from his most recent outing July 5 against Southern Illinois and dropped his season ERA to 3.60. Over his last two outings, he's allowed only three hits across 14 innings.
Patrick Boyle walked the Florence (37-18) leadoff hitter in the eighth inning but followed with three consecutive strikeouts to earn a hold. Geoff Bramblett locked down his second save in as many chances with a perfect ninth inning. Over three appearances in July, Bramblett has retired all 10 batters he's faced with six strikeouts.
Gateway snapped its three-game losing streak and ended the Freedom's three-game winning streak.
Moreover, the Grizzlies once again closed within 6 1/2 games of a tie between the River City Rascals and the Southern Illinois Miners for the Frontier League's final playoff spot.
Gateway will be off Monday before opening a three-game series Tuesday against Southern Illinois at 6:35 p.m. CDT in Marion, Ill.
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.