With the game tied at 3-3 in the ninth inning, Grizzlies’ outfielder Sam Fischer smashed a three-run homer over the right centerfield fence at CarShield Field to surge Gateway over the River City Rascals, 6-3. The go-ahead blast was Fischer’s first hit in professional baseball.
The Grizzlies (4-3) trailed after the first inning, as Gateway starter Will Landsheft gave up three runs in the opening frame. River City’s Josh Silver laced a two-RBI double to start the scoring. The Rascals scratched across another tally to make it 3-0.
For the third straight night, Gateway’s offense mounted a comeback effort. In the second, Brandon Thomas launched a solo shot to right field off RHP Zeb Sneed to get the Grizzlies on the scoreboard. Cody Livesay and Logan Davis then strung together a pair of doubles.
With runners on second and third, Livesay raced home on a passed ball as Davis moved up to third. Craig Massoni stepped in and laced an RBI single to tie the game at 3-3.
In the sixth, the Rascals threatened to take the lead as they loaded the bases. Landsheft was replaced by RHP Adam Eggnatz, who induced a groundout to end the frame with no runs scoring. Eggnatz (1-0) would go on to pitch 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.
In the top of the ninth, right-hander Jared Wilson (0-1) replaced Sneed and quickly recorded the first two outs of the inning. Tyler Tewell then hit a soft ground ball to the right side and reached safely as he beat the throw. Thomas walked to move Tewell into scoring position.
Fischer, a rookie from Adrian College, then stepped to the plate and popped a three-run opposite field homer to give the Grizzlies a 6-3 edge.
Right-hander Nate Carter threw a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save as a member of the Grizzlies.
Gateway will try to make it four straight wins on Saturday in the second game of their three-game series at River City. Left-handed pitcher Sasha Kuebel takes the mound for the Grizzlies against River City southpaw Jason Ziegler. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.
The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs tomorrow evening on 1400 AM KJFF, 94.3 FM/1570 AM WBGZ, and online atwww.GatewayGrizzlies.com/Radio. Sam Levitt and Matt Sabados call the action.