CRESTWOOD — Jake Stephens fired a complete game shutout and the Gateway Grizzlies offense scored early and often in an 11-0 pounding of the Windy City ThunderBolts on a sun-splashed Tuesday afternoon at Standard Bank Stadium.
Stephens, a rookie right-hander from the University of West Florida, allowed only three hits and struck out five batters with no walks. Of the 89 pitches Stephens threw, 61 were strikes. He had six one-two-three innings and retired the last 14 batters he faced.
It was the first professional complete game for Stephens, who had six in his collegiate career.
"Jake was outstanding today," Grizzlies manager Phil Warren said. "He got ahead of hitters, threw strikes and let his defense work."
The shutout was the sixth of the season for the Grizzlies and the win gave them their 12th series win of the year.
Gateway scored in five different innings, including four runs in the third inning and three runs in the fourth.
Five different players had at least two hits in the game while three players scored two runs or more.
Jonathan Johnson scored four runs, Nick DeLorenzo recorded four hits in his second pro game, Landon Hernandez had two hits and two runs, Jet Butler drove in two runs and Antone DeJesus record three RBI.
"Our offense has been productive in this series so far," Warren said. "It was a joint effort today and it was fun to see everyone clicking together."
Gateway has now outscored Windy City 17-1 in the series.
The Grizzlies will look for their sixth sweep of the year when they take on the ThunderBolts on Wednesday morning. Right-hander Ethan McKinzie gets the start for the Grizzlies. The first pitch is set for 10:35 a.m.
Grizzlies notes: Gateway begins a three-game series at Schaumburg against the Boomers with a 6:30 p.m. tilt Thursday. The game Friday also has a 6:30 p.m. start while Saturday's game will begin at 6 p.m. ... the Grizzlies don't return to the friendly confines of GCS Ballpark until Sunday night when they take on the Frontier Greys at 6:05 p.m. Gateway will play three against the Greys before hitting the road again.