SAUGET — Better known for his prowess with the bat, Gateway Grizzlies rightfielder RIchard Seigel's speed proved to be the difference on Tuesday at GCS Ballpark.
Seigel scored from second base on an infield single by Xavier Macklin in the 10th inning as Gateway rallied for a 4-3 win over Schaumburg in a Frontier League contest.
The Grizzlies (23-13), which tied the game in the ninth inning when Tommy Richards was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, also scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by TJ Bennett in the eighth inning and a solo home run by Seigel in the first inning.
Seigel led off the tenth inning with a double and after Landon Hernandez and Michael Wing were retired, Ben Waldrip walked to put runners on first and second.
Macklin then hit a slow two hopper that Boomers third baseman Tyler Sciacca fielded and fired to first. Macklin beat the throw and Seigel, running with two outs, beat the return play throw to the plate with a head first dive.
"Two outs, two strikes.... I'm going on contact. I knew it wasn't hit very hard,'' Seigel said. "When I got to third, (Manager) Phil Warren had his arm waving for me to go and so I did.
"Baseball is a game where when you are struggling, crazy things happen. It was a good night.''
Heith Hatfield was the losing pitcher for Schaumburg (20-14), while Chris DeBoo (2-0) was the winner for the Grizzlies.
The Boomers took a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning on a a two-run home run by Alexi Colon in the eighth, before the Grizzlies tied it in the bottom of the ninth.
Michael Wing singled to lead off and after Ben Waldrip struck out, Xavier Macklin reached on an error by third baseman Tyler Sciacca to put runners on first and second.
Schaumburg reliever Dexter Price then walked TJ Bennett to load the bases then hit Tommy Richards with a pitch on his next delivery to force in the tying run.
The Grizzlies broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning on a double by Ben Waldrip and a perfect suicide squeeze bunt by designated hitter TJ Bennett.
Grizzlies starter Kerry Kelley (1-0), making just the second start of his professional career, was sharp once again in seven innings and left with a 2-1 lead.
But Colon put an exclamation point on the Boomers win in the top of the eighth off Grizzlies reliever Zach Arneson.
Justin Vasquez led off with a single and moved to second base on a balk by Arneson. Four pitches later, Colon took an Arneson pitch over the rightfield wall for his game-winning clout.
The past week has been a busy one -- both on and off the field -- for Gateway which split a doubleheader at West Division foe River City on Sunday.
Off the field the Grizzlies roster continues to be an ever-changing one. In the past week, Gateway has seen middle infielder Michael Massi have his contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals and popular second baseman Jonathan Johnson was picked up by the New York Mets on Saturday.
Reliever Aaron Baker became the third Grizzlies of the week to sign when he inked a contract with Philadelphia on Tuesday.
But still Gateway entered play on Tuesday with a 7-3 mark in its last 10 games and with a one game lead over River City in the West Division.
Seigel wasted little time on giving the Grizzlies an early lead. After Schaumburg starter Seth Webster retired the first two hitters, Seigel took a 3-2 pitch over the rightfield wall for a solo home run.
The Boomers tied the game in the top of the second inning on a double by Brian McConkey who scored on an error by Gateway second baseman Tommy Richards.
Gateway wasted a chance to retake the lead in the bottom of the third inning. TJ Bennett led off by reaching on a walk and went to second on a single by Richards.
With a 1-1 count on leadoff hitter Madison Beaird, Bennett, anticipating a bunt by Beaird, ventured too far off second base and was picked off by Boomers catcher Michael Valdez for the first out of the inning.
The baserunning blunder proved to be a costly one as Beaird and Niko Vasquez both singled to load the bases.
Webster got out of the inning by retiring Seigel and Landon Hernandez.
Both Kelley and Webster settled down in the middle innings. Webster retired nine of ten Grizzlies hitters while Kelley retired 12 of 13 during the fourth-through-seventh innings.
Kelley allowed one run and four hits though seven innings before Arneson took over in the eighth.
NOTES: The Grizzlies-Boomers continue their three game series with 7:05 p.m. games on Wednesday and Thursday.