MARION — Gateway Grizzlies starting pitcher Ja'Vaun West struck out a career-high 10 batters and the Grizzlies offense rallied late to pick up a 3-1 series opening win Friday night against the Joliet Slammers at Silver Cross Field.
The Grizzlies lead the Frontier League's West Division by two games. The Grizzlies are tied with the Evansville Otters for the best record in the league.
West (5-1) allowed only one run on three hits in seven innings while improving to 4-0 on the road. The right-hander from Atlanta, Mo., only walked two batters.
Gateway (20-10), which won for the second straight game, fell behind 1-0 in the third inning. Marquis Riley brought in a run on a sacrifice fly for Joliet (12-19).
It stayed 1-0 until the seventh when Alex Guthrie brought in Antone DeJesus on a fielder's choice to tie the score. DeJesus doubled to start the inning and advanced to third on a Joliet error.
Jet Butler broke the tie in the eighth with an RBI single for Gateway and Jon Myers added insurance by plating a run on a double.
Myers paced the Grizzlies with a 2-for-4 night.
Zac Treece notched the two-inning save for Gateway. The save was his third of the season and his seventh career. The right-hander from Hot Springs, Ark., struck out three batters.
Gateway will look to win its eighth series of the season Saturday night against the Slammers. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. at Silver Cross Field.