Fast start carries Grizzlies past Freedom

The Gateway Grizzlies used 14 hits to slug past the Florence Freedom 10-4 on Thursday night at GCS Ballpark in Sauget

The Grizzlies (4-9) scored all 10 of their runs in the first four innings.

The win gave Gateway their second series victory of the season. The Freedom (6-6) finished their six-game road trip at 1-5 with the loss.

Gateway jumped on Florence starter Jake Stephens (0-2) right from the start when Madison Beaird singled on the first pitch of the game.

He advanced to second on a single by Rolando Gomez a few pitches later. Blake Brown then went the opposite way to launch his sixth home run of the season and give Gateway an early 3-0 lead.

The Grizzlies wasted no time extending their lead the very next inning.

Shawn Payne walked and Garrett Vail doubled to start the inning. In his first professional at-bat, Clayton Brandt brought them both home with a two-run single, putting Gateway ahead by five. The rally continued with back-to-back singles by Beaird and Gomez, the latter of which scored Brandt and Beaird. Gomez later scored off a wild pitch.

Gateway starter Vincent Molesky (1-0) pitched well, but was a victim of two Florence home runs in the top of the third.

Austin Newell launched a two-run home run with one out, and Cody Bishop followed later in the inning to cut the Grizzlies’ lead to 8-4.

The final two runs for the Grizzlies came in the third and fourth innings.

An RBI groundout by Beaird extended Gateway’s lead to 9-4 and Gomez’s sacrifice fly plated the Grizzlies' final run of the night.

Molesky (1-1) earned his first professional win, allowing four earned runs and six hits in five innings of work.

Stephens took the loss after allowing six earned runs in less than two innings of work. In a game where every Grizzlies’ batter had a base hit, Gomez paced the offense with three hits. Beaird, Brown, and Brandt had two hits each.

Gateway continues its seven-game homestand Friday night when they welcome the Washington Wild Things to GCS Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05

Dejai Oliver (1-1) will take the mound for the Grizzlies.