The Schaumburg Boomers entered the start of their three-game series with the Gateway Grizzlies on Friday looking for something good to happen.
Thanks to the pitching of Eddie Cody and home runs from Jordan Dean and Mike Schulze, it did.
Cody held a struggling Grizzlies’ attack in check for six innings and three relief pitchers finished the job as Schaumburg defeated Gateway 8-4 before crowd of 1,798 at GCS Ballpark.
The Boomers (27-37), getting a solo home run from Dean in the first inning and two-run clout from Schulze in the second, battered Grizzlies starter Dillon Haviland for six runs in four innings as they took a 6-0 lead.
Gateway closed to within 6-4 in the sixth inning on a three-run home run by Tyler Tewell, but thanks to the Boonmers bullpen, could get no closer.
The loss is the third in four games on a six-game homestand for Gateway (23-40), which did get three scoreless innings in relief from Ross Spurgeon.
Spurgeon entered the game in the fifth inning with Gateway trailing 6-1.
Schaumburg starting and winning pitcher Eddie Cody allowed a third-inning run scoring single to Ben Waldrip, but entered the sixth wih a five-run cushion.
But Tewell got the Grizzlies back in the game in a hurry.
With one out Waldrip singled and went to second when Blake Brown coaxed a walk. Tewell then hit an 0-1 pitch from Cody over the right-field wall for a three-run home run as Gateway closed to within 6-4.
The Grizzlies’ surge continued in the seventh inning.
Rookie Seth Heck led off with a single and went to second on a single by Cody Livesay. Attempting to sacrifice, Madison Beaird then bunted down the third-base line. Cody fielded the bunt and threw to third base to nip the sliding Heck.
Gateway manager Phil Warren briefly argued the call to no avail.
The inning ended three pitches later when red-hot Grizzlies designated hitter Craig Massoni drilled a line drive up the middle which was caught by Boomers shortstop Craig Massey, who doubled off Livesay to end the threat.
Run scoring singles by Dean and Alexi Colon in the eighth inning increased the Schaumburg lead to 8-4.
Making his second start for Gateway, former Duke University pitcher Dillon Haviland struggled, giving up five runs and four hits in the first two innings.
Schaumburg, just 4-8 since the All-Star break, took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by Dean, then took control with a four-run outburst in the top of the second.
Willi Martin led off with a double and T.J. Bennett walked to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Haviland then struck out Michael Valdez for the first out, but both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch.
Nelson followed with a bloop single which fell into shallow center field to score both runners and make it 3-0. Three pitches Schulze increased the Boomers lead to 5-0 with a two-run home run.
Ty Martin made it 6-0 with an RBI single in the third inning.
The Grizzlies-Boomers series continues on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. with the third and final game set for 6:05 p.m. on Sunday.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2661.