Gateway Grizzlies’ rookie Vince Molesky allowed no runs and just four hits in 7 2/3 innings of work as Gateway edged the Washington Wild Things for a 3-2 win at CONSOL Energy Park on Saturday night.
Molesky (4-6) struck out nine batters while throwing 102 pitches. Gateway relievers JaVaun West and Pete Perez combined to record the final four outs of the game as Perez picked up his second save.
After three scoreless innings, the Grizzlies (33-49) struck first against Wild Things pitcher Jeremy Holcombe (1-3). Seth Heck led off the frame with a double down the left field line. With one out, Ben Waldrip rocketed a double to score Heck and collect his 53rd RBI of the year. The hit gave the Grizzlies a 1-0 edge.
After tacking on a run in the fifth, Grant Buckner drilled a solo homer to left field in the sixth inning. His eighth blast of the season gave Gateway a 3-0 lead.
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Molesky cruised along until the eighth inning, when the Wild Things would try to mount a rally. Max Garrett walked while Matt Ford singled to right field. After Buckner committed an error to the load the bases with two outs, Molesky was taken out and replaced by West. The righty from Atlanta, Mo. induced an inning-ending fly out to center field.
West ran into trouble in the ninth. He walked Popkins to start the inning and then allowed a two-run homer to Jimmy Yezzo. The home run cut Gateway’s lead to within a single run.
Perez then came in with nobody out and the bases clear. He recorded three straight outs to the shut the door and deny the Wild Things (36-47).
The Grizzlies and Wild Things play the rubber game of their three-game set on Sunday night. Pittsburgh area native Dillon Haviland takes the mound for Gateway. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m.
The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs on 101 ESPN’s digital platforms and 1400 AM KJFF.