CRESTWOOD, Ill. — Lucas Lanphere came within two outs of the Gateway Grizzlies' first no-hitter since July 2013, but he had to settle for a complete game, one-hit shutout and a 5-0 Grizzlies win over the Windy City ThunderBolts at Ozinga Field.
Lanphere (1-2) struck out 11, walked two, and allowed only one hit over nine scoreless innings. Manuel Mesa broke up the no-no bid on a slow-rolling grounder to shortstop with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Gateway (12-14) earned its first three-game winning streak of 2019 and will go for its first sweep this season Sunday.
In an eerily similar pattern of events to Friday's series opener, the Grizzlies left two runners on in the first inning without scoring before they broke through with a pair of runs in the third. Gunnar Buhner and Brent Sakurai singled and scored on an RBI fielder's choice off the bat of Connor Owings and an RBI bunt single by Luke Lowery.
Jamey Smart drove in another pair of Grizzlies runs with a double in the fourth. He moved into the team lead and second in the Frontier League with 20 RBIs, a number he's compiled in only 20 games (18 starts). Owings is hot on his heels with 19 knocked home this year.
Gateway scored only in the third and fourth innings Friday night — on seven hits, the same number the Grizzlies had through four frames Saturday — and managed only one more hit.
Matt McPhearson scored on a wild pitch to add insurance in the ninth to break up the similarities; the Grizzlies finished with nine hits Saturday as opposed to eight Friday. Buhner had the Grizzlies' only multi-hit game.
Windy City (12-14) dropped its second straight.
Lanphere's performance was all the more impressive after his last outing, in which he allowed a career-high 11 runs to the Washington Wild Things over 1 1/3 innings. The righthander showed immense mental toughness and pitched with a purpose from the first inning. He threw 124 pitches — 28 more than his previous career high over five professional seasons before coming to the Grizzlies prior to 2019.
Lanphere missed the entirety of the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The last Grizzlies no-hitter, thrown by Tim Brown on July 20, 2013, in Sauget, survived to a 2,150th day as the franchise's most recent no-no.
Gateway and Windy City are scheduled for a 2:05 p.m. CDT first pitch Sunday in the series finale.
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.