In a game that saw a tie score on three different occasions, the Gateway Grizzlies scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning to beat the Schaumburg Boomers 7-5 at Boomers Stadium on Saturday night.
With the two teams locked in a 5-5 tie, Grant Buckner stepped to the plate with two runners on and two outs against Boomers RHP Dexter Price (1-2). The veteran smacked an RBI single to give the Grizzlies a 6-5 advantage. Tyler Tewell added a run-scoring hit of his own to make it 7-5.
After pitching a scoreless eighth inning, Grizzlies RHP JaVaun West (3-4) shut the door by retiring the side in order to end the game.
The Grizzlies (39-49) got their offense going early against Boomers’ starter Evan Boyd. Cody Livesay started the game with a walk and Seth Heck singled to follow it up. Blake Brown then laced a single to score Livesay while Buckner hit another single to plate Heck. The Grizzlies jumped to out to 2-0 lead after the opening half inning.
Schaumburg (36-53) struck right back against LHP Dillon Haviland. The Boomers started the game with three straight singles to the load the bases with nobody out. Willi Martin singled home a run while Haviland walked in the tying run.
The score remained tied until the third, when the Boomers scratched across a run to make it 3-2. Richard Seigel kept the see-saw battle going with a solo homer in the fifth to tie it at 3-3 against RHP Kagen Hopkins, who allowed three earned runs in 2.2 innings out of relief.
In the sixth, the Boomers once again pulled out in front when Kyle Ruchim picked up his 25th RBI of the season on a single that scored Cam Sherer. That was the only run that Gateway reliever Jordan Wellander allowed in three innings out of the bullpen.
The lead was short lived, as Grizzlies’ slugger Ben Waldrip popped a go-ahead two-run blast in the seventh. Waldrip’s ninth homer of the year gave the Grizzlies a 5-4 edge.
The Boomers continued the trend of pulling even when Sherer tied the score at 5-5 with an RBI single in the seventh against RHP Ross Spurgeon. The Grizzlies then turned to West who finished the game with two scoreless frames while the Grizzlies scored two runs in the ninth to take the second game of the three-game set.
The Grizzlies have now won four straight series and are 21-17 since the Frontier League’s all-star break.
Gateway finishes their 2015 road schedule in Schaumburg on Sunday afternoon as they look to sweep the Boomers. First pitch is at 1:00 p.m. The Grizzlies send RHP Trevor Richards (5-5, 3.47 ERA) to the hill against Boomers RHP Brett Mabry (6-3, 3.36 ERA). The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs on 101 ESPN’s digital platforms and 1400 AM KJFF. Sam Levitt will call the action.