SAUGET, Ill. — Chris Carden hurled six scoreless innings in his first professional start and the Gateway Grizzlies held on for a 3-2 win Saturday night over the Schaumburg Boomers at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
After back-to-back singles by Shawon Dunston Jr. and Rafael Valera, Gateway (1-1) struck first on Boomers starting pitcher Payton Lobdell (0-1) in the second inning on a Connor Owings RBI double. Brent Sakurai drove in Valera on a sacrifice fly to center for an early 2-0 advantage.
The Grizzlies tacked on another run in the fourth with two outs when Sakurai delivered an RBI single up the middle to plate Valera from second base.
Carden (1-0) struck out five while allowing only one hit and two walks over his six shutout frames. Carden's most recent start before Saturday came on April 22, 2017, when he was a senior in college at NAIA Truett-McConnell University in Cleveland, Ga.
Schaumburg (1-1) got on the board in the eighth against Dakota Smith and tacked on another run against Grizzlies closer Grant Black, who finished the game with a strikeout of Boomers left fielder (and 2018 Frontier League All-Star) Jack Parenty after Schaumburg put runners on the corners with Gateway's lead down to one.
Patrick Boyle earned a hold with three strikeouts over a scoreless seventh inning in relief.
The series will finish with a rubber match Sunday at 6:05 p.m. at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
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 10 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.