SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — The Gateway Grizzlies roared back with five runs over the final three innings Tuesday night to tie the game 8-8, but an 11th-inning error allowed the Schaumburg Boomers to score and walk off on Gateway with a 9-8 win at Boomers Stadium.
Schaumburg (14-8) improved upon its league-best record and extended its East Division lead to 2 1/2 games.
Gateway (9-13) dropped its second straight; the Grizzlies have lost six of their last seven games. Gateway fell to 2-5 in both extra-inning and one-run games. Seven extra-inning games for the Grizzlies this season already surpasses their total (six) from all of 2018.
After Jamey Smart and Connor Owings both doubled to help push across three runs in the top of the first inning, the Grizzlies quickly relinquished the lead. Schaumburg scored in each of the first four innings and rattled off eight unanswered runs to take an 8-3 lead that the Boomers held through the end of the sixth inning.
Then in the seventh inning, after Anthony Ray grounded out to make the first out, five Grizzlies in a row and seven of the next eight batters reached base. Gateway brought in four runs — scored by Matt McPhearson, Brent Sakurai, Shawon Dunston Jr., and Andrew Daniel with RBIs from Dunston Jr. and Smart and two from Connor Owings — to close the deficit to one run.
After the Grizzlies had only two four-hit performances over their first 21 games of 2019, three different Grizzlies piled up four hits Tuesday: Dunston Jr. (his team-best second four-hit game of the year), Smart, and Owings. Dunston Jr.'s hits were all singles, but Smart had two doubles and Owings had three. Sakurai added three hits, including a double. Those four players accounted for 15 of the Grizzlies' 16 hits.
Gateway has lost back-to-back games despite 13 hits Sunday and 16 Tuesday.
Schaumburg loaded the bases with nobody out in the 11th inning and a soft ground ball to Grizzlies third baseman Andrew Daniel scored Boomers catcher Nick Oddo to win the game after Daniel could not initially get the ball out of his glove and then spiked the throw to the plate.
Ian Kahaloa (0-1) took the hard-luck loss for the Grizzlies despite throwing only four pitches and allowing only a bunt single, intentional walk, and unearned run.
Gateway and Schaumburg will tangle in game two of their three-game series Wednesday at 6:30 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 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.