The Gateway Grizzlies used a strong start from right-handed pitcher Tyler Thompson to defeat the River City Rascals 2-1 on Sunday night at GCS Ballpark in Sauget.
The Grizzlies (7-15) secured the series victory with the win. Gateway has won three of its last four games. The Rascals (12-9) couldn’t capitalize on numerous offensive chances early in the game.
Thompson (1-2) danced in and out of trouble throughout the game, allowing just a lone run in the fourth inning. The Rascals stranded three runners in scoring position in the first three innings before finally cashing in with a run in the fourth.
Taylor Ard doubled to lead off the inning, advanced to third on a groundout, and came around to score on a slow grounder to third by Josh Ludy.
That made the score 2-1 after Gateway struck early with two runs in the third inning. Clayton Brandt doubled to start the inning, advanced to third on a ground ball, and scored moments later when Madison Beaird went the opposite way with a double. Ryan Soares then added to the early lead with an RBI single up the middle to plate Beaird and make it 2-0.
The two runs would be enough for Thompson, who worked six innings. The Grizzlies stranded the bases loaded twice in the game, but the Gateway’s bullpen protected the slim lead.
Scott Harkin pitched two innings of one-hit ball in relief and Brett Zawacki sealed the victory with a perfect ninth inning. Zawacki picked up his first save of the year.
Brandt and Shawn Payne led the way for Gateway offensively with two hits each. Beaird doubled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to a team-high eight games.
After taking Monday off, the Grizzlies open a three-game road series against the Traverse City Beach Bums on Tuesday.