With two on and two out in the eighth inning, Justin Ellison cracked a 3-2 pitch over the right-field fence to give the Gateway Grizzlies their first lead Friday night en route to a 4-2 win over the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park.
Ellison’s homer — his ninth in only 39 games with Gateway this season — gave the Grizzlies (35-48) their second win this week after they trailed following the fifth inning. Prior to Wednesday’s victory over Florence, the Grizzlies had only three wins against 36 losses in games they trailed after the fifth inning.
Gateway won its first game against Southern Illinois (41-38) this season after six straight losses in the season series prior to Friday.
Chris Metrick (1-1) earned his first professional win with a scoreless inning of relief. Alec Kisena turned in his second straight quality start with six innings of two-run ball and seven strikeouts, but he did not factor in the decision.
Grant Black earned his fifth save with a shutout ninth inning.
Ellison’s home run was the Grizzlies’ only extra-base hit after their first eight hits were all singles.
Gateway will have two opportunities to win the series, starting Saturday at 7:05 p.m.