SAUGET — A crowd of 6,314 watched Gateway Grizzlies starting pitcher Ja'Vaun West fire seven scoreless innings in a 5-0 win against the Washington Wild Things Wednesday night at GCS Ballpark.
The attendance was the best for Gateway in 2013 and it was the 15th largest in franchise history.
The large crowd saw the Grizzlies improve to 27-13 this season. Gateway resides comfortably in first place in the rugged West Division of the Frontier League with a 4 1/2 game lead over Schaumburg Bombers.
Gateway has won 18 of its last 24 games. The Grizzlies are a league-best 17-7 at home. The series win was the 10th of the season in 14 series for the Grizzlies.
Another big crowd is anticpiated for the home game on the Fourth of July.
"We had great weather tonight and expect the same Thursday," Grizzlies general manager Steve Gomric said. "We hope fans will come to GCS Ballpark for another great fireworks show Thursday."
West (7-1) scattered four hits and struck out seven batters in seven strong innings of work to notch the win. The right-hander from Atlanta, Mo., helped give the Grizzlies their fourth shutout win of the season.
"Ja'Vaun had another strong outing and continues to impress," Grizzlies manager Phil Warren said. "He's having a breakout year right now."
Gateway reliever Zac Treece fired two scoreless innings of relief to finish off the win.
Gateway and Washington (21-20) were scoreless until the third inning when Antone DeJesus extended his hit streak to 15 games with a leadoff single and Michael Pair followed with a two-run home run.
The blast was Pair's third in his last four games and his sixth of the season. It turned out to be the only offense the Grizzlies would need on a gorgeous night in the friendly confines of GCS Ballpark.
Landon Hernandez drove in Jonathan Johnson later in the inning to make it 3-0 Grizzlies.
Hernandez delivered again in the fifth with a two out solo home run and Jet Butler followed with a home run of his own to make it 5-0.
Hernandez and DeJesus both recorded two hits in the game.
That's what Warren likes to see from his Grizzlies.
"Our offense is clicking right now," Warren said. "We have been waiting for this all season and it's great to see our offense come together like this."
The Grizzlies look for the series sweep against the Wild Things on Thursday night. There will be postgame fireworks once again to finish off the series.
Matt Sergey (0-0) makes his debut with the Grizzlies. First pitch is set for 6:05.