O'FALLON, Mo. — The Gateway Grizzlies came back from a three-run deficit Sunday but allowed a two-run wild pitch in the eighth inning and fell 5-4 to the River City Rascals at CarShield Field.

Gateway (5-4) dropped its first series of the season. The Grizzlies will enter their series opener Tuesday against the Evansville Otters a half-game back of the Rascals (6-4) for first place in the Frontier League's West Division.

River City took the lead with a three-run home run in the third inning. Gateway was held scoreless until the sixth, when Andrew Daniel led off with a solo homer. It was his second big fly of the three-game series and his eighth extra-base hit in six games this week.

Luke Lowery led off the top of the seventh with a solo shot of his own, putting the cherry on top of a terrific series for him after a slow start to the year. Austin O'Brien followed with a single and came in on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Brent Sakurai to tie the game.

After Sean Johnson hurled a scoreless bottom of the seventh out of the Grizzlies' bullpen, Rafael Valera doubled and Connor Owings singled him home to give Gateway a 4-3 lead.

But the Rascals came back against Johnson (0-2) in the home half and scored two on a wild pitch that kicked away from Lowery.

Gateway put runners at first and second in the ninth but left them stranded to lose.

Thomas Nicoll turned in his second straight quality start: three runs (all earned) on seven hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked four. Although he is the only Grizzlies pitcher to open his season with back-to-back quality starts, Nicoll has received a loss and no-decision for his efforts.

Gateway will take Monday off and return to action back home in Sauget on Tuesday night against the Evansville Otters. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT.


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 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.