Grizzlies drop preseason opener to Miners

The Gateway Grizzlies fell in their preseason home opener Wednesday, as they lost 7-5 to the Southern Illinois Miners at GCS Ballpark in Sauget.

The Miners took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Michael Early’s run-scoring single and Frank Martinez’s RBI groundout. Southern Illinois tacked on four more runs in the third inning to take a 6-0 lead. The Grizzlies staged a rally in the game’s final three frames but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Left-handed pitcher Kerry Kelley started the game for Gateway and was one of six Grizzlies’ pitchers to see action in the exhibition. Kelley allowed no earned runs in two innings of work.

Right-handed pitcher Joel DePorte also allowed no earned runs in two innings on the mound. RHP Max Schonfeld, RHP Scott Harkin, and RHP Brandon Hallford all held the Miners scoreless in one inning of work each.

Miners’ right-handed pitcher Rick Teasley pitched a scoreless two innings to start the game against Gateway’s offense, but the Grizzlies found success against Southern Illinois’ other pitchers who made appearances Wednesday.

Grizzlies’ outfielder Blake Brown poked a solo home run over the right-field fence in the third inning, while Mark Podlas smashed a two-run blast in the seventh. Ben Waldrip and Will DuPont each chipped in with RBI hits.

Gateway returns to preseason action on Saturday night when they take on the Frontier Greys at GCS Ballpark. First pitch is at 7:05.