MARION, Ill. — With two on and two out in the eighth inning, Justin Ellison cracked a 3-2 pitch over the right-field fence to give the Gateway Grizzlies their first lead Friday night en route to a 4-2 win over the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park.
Ellison's homer — his ninth in only 39 games with Gateway this season — gave the Grizzlies (35-48) their second win this week after they trailed following the fifth inning. Prior to Wednesday's victory over Florence, the Grizzlies had only three wins against 36 losses in games they trailed after the fifth inning.
Gateway won its first game against Southern Illinois (41-38) this season after six straight losses in the season series prior to Friday.
Chris Metrick (1-1) earned his first professional win with a scoreless inning of relief. Alec Kisena turned in his second straight quality start with six innings of two-run ball and seven strikeouts, but he did not factor in the decision.
Grant Black earned his fifth save with a shutout ninth inning.
Ellison's home run was the Grizzlies' only extra-base hit after their first eight hits were all singles.
Gateway will have two opportunities to win the series, starting Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
ABOUT THE GATEWAY GRIZZLIES: The Gateway Grizzlies are a professional baseball team, located a mere 100-yards from I-255 (10 minutes from downtown St. Louis). The Grizzlies offer baseball fans entertainment, the likes of which are difficult to find - affordable, family, fun in the comfortable GCS Credit Union Ballpark with a great view of the St. Louis skyline. For tickets or general information please visit gatewaygrizzlies.com or call 618.337.3000.
ABOUT THE FRONTIER LEAGUE: The Frontier League is a professional, independent baseball organization. Since its inception, the Frontier League has provided millions of fans to a fun and exciting baseball experience within the American Midwest. Consisting of 12 teams in two divisions and 96 game schedules, the league is recognized for the amount of talented athletes that are picked up by various MLB teams every year.