Gateway Grizzlies reach .500 mark with win over Wild Things

The Gateway Grizzlies edged past the Washington Wild Things 2-1 on Thursday night at CONSOL Energy Park, as lefty Corey Kimes dominated through eight scoreless innings to propel Gateway in the rubber game of a three-game set.

Kimes (4-2), a native of Ottawa, induced four double plays while striking out six batters. He only gave up four hits through eight frames.

The Grizzlies (21-21) took a lead in the third against Matt Fraudin (2-4). Josh Bunselmeyer started the inning by clubbing a double off the left field fence. He would come around to score on Seth Heck’s RBI single to give Gateway a 1-0 lead.

In the fourth, Brandon Thomas smacked a double to lead off the frame while Blake Brown ultimately drove him in with a single. Brown leads the team with 29 RBI this season and the hit extended Gateway’s lead to 2-0.

Washington (21-20) posed a serious threat against Kimes in the sixth as they got runners on at first and third with nobody out. The lefty came back to strike out Nick Ferdinand for the first out and then got a double play to escape the inning with no damage. Kimes allowed a leadoff double in the seventh but he again worked out of it with no runs coming across for the WildThings.

The score remained 2-0 until the ninth, when Kevin Jefferis replaced Kimes. He immediately ran into trouble by allowing back-to-back singles to start the frame.

With runners at the corners and no one out, Bryan Haar stepped in and hit into Washington’s fifth double play while a run crossed home to make it 2-1. Jefferis then struck out David Popkins to secure the win and pick up his third save in a Gateway uniform.

The Grizzlies have won 11 of 14 and five straight series. The team returns home Friday for the start of a four-game series against the River City Rascals in the friendly confines of GCS Ballpark. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.

The game can be heard on the Grizzlies Radio Network, which airs Friday on 1400 AM KJFF and online at GatewayGrizzlies.

com/Radio. Sam Levitt and Matt Sabados have the play-by-play call.