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Grizzlies Drop Opener against Otters

July 1, 2022 - Frontier League (FL) - Gateway Grizzlies News Release

Crestwood, IL - The Gateway Grizzlies dropped the opener of their Fourth of July weekend series to the Evansville Otters by a final score of 7-3 Friday night at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.

Gateway got right to work offensively in the bottom of the first inning when Andrew Penner led off with a double, advanced to third base on a flyout by Isaac Benard, and later came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Jay Prather to make it 1-0. But Evansville responded quickly in the top of the second. Gateway starter Steven Ridings (1-1) hit Steven Sensley with a pitch to lead off, and later with two outs walked George Callil before allowing a three-run home run to Justin Felix to give the Otters a 3-1 lead.

The score remained that way until the bottom of the fifth inning when Jackson Pritchard launched a solo home run to right-center field to make it a 3-2 ballgame. But again, Evansville was quick to respond in the next half inning. With two outs, Ridings walked Jeffrey Baez and hit Callil before Felix and Andy Armstrong hit consecutive RBI infield singles to expand the Otters' lead to 5-2.

Evansville then added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning on a two-RBI single by Dakota Phillips to make it 7-2. Clint Freeman mashed a solo home run out of GCS Credit Union Ballpark which made it 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but that was as close as Gateway got in losing their sixth game to the Otters in seven tries this season.

Meanwhile, Evansville starter Parker Brahms (4-1) pitched into the eighth and struck out six to get the win, while Ridings suffered the loss despite striking out a season-high 10 batters for the Grizzlies on the night.

The Grizzlies will look to bounce back in game two against the Otters on Saturday night at 6:45 p.m. at GCS Credit Union Ballpark, with Justin Ferrell making his first start of the season for Gateway on the mound against Austin Gossmann for Evansville.

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