The Gateway Grizzlies offense fell silent against the Southern Illinois Miners and dropped the second game of their three-game set 4-0 on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in the friendly confines of GCS Ballpark.
Gateway had opportunities to strike early with runners in scoring positions in both of the first two innings, but two double plays squashed the rallies. Gateway grounded into four double plays in the game.
The Miners jumped on top in the third inning after a two-out error by Logan Davis brought a run home. Nolan Earley followed with a two-RBI triple to put Southern Illinois up 3-0. All three runs were unearned against Gateway starter Vince Molesky (1-1).
Molesky then allowed a solo home run to Nolan Earley in the sixth inning. Over the course of a quality start, Molesky struck out eight over six innings of work.
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Meanwhile, the Gateway bullpen returned to form, with Jon Pusateri and Dakota Smith combining for three scoreless innings and only one hit allowed.
The Miners leaned on a great performance from Josh Kimborowicz (4-0) throughout the afternoon, as he went 8 2/3 innings and allowed only five hits. Miners closer Jake Cose picked up his fourth save on the season by recording the final out in the ninth.
Center fielder Aaron Gates lifted the Miners to a 5-4 win before a crowd of 6,822 on Tuesday night. With the Grizzlies leading 3-1 in the fifth, Gates popped a two-run shot off Will Landsheft over the right field fence to tie the game. Gates then hit a solo homer against Jon Jones (0-1) to give Southern Illinois a one-run lead in the seventh. In the ninth, he blasted another solo blast to give the Miners an important insurance run and a 5-3 advantage. It was the first time in franchise history that a Southern Illinois player hit three homers in a game.
The Grizzlies (9-15) and Miners (12-9) finish their series on Thursday night. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs Thursday on 1400 AM KJFF and online at Gateway
Grizzlies.com/Radio. Sam Levitt and Matt Sabados have the call.