FLORENCE, Ky. — The Gateway Grizzlies took a 3-0 lead in the second inning Saturday night, but they allowed seven unanswered Florence Freedom runs en route to an 8-5 loss at UC Health Stadium.
Gateway (15-22) has lost back-to-back games and seven of its last eight.
Christian Funk had a second-inning RBI single in his first professional at-bat and Tyler Plantier, in his second professional game, followed with a two-run single to give the Grizzlies their 3-0 lead.
Dustin Woodcock, a Belleville native and former SIUE Cougar, added his first professional hit in the fifth inning.
Gateway has signed four players — Funk, Plantier, Woodcock, and Zak Taylor — this week and all four have singled in their debuts. Woodcock needed two at-bats; the other three needed just one apiece.
Taylor has hit in his first four professional games. Plantier has hit in his first two and started his pro career 5-for-8 with a run and two RBIs.
Connor Owings added a 2-for-4 night with an RBI and a run scored.
Jordan Barrett (1-4) allowed seven runs over three innings and took the loss. After the Grizzlies took their 3-0 lead in the top of the second, the Freedom (24-12) responded with one in the bottom of the second and six in the third. They did not trail again en route to a fourth straight win to keep themselves atop the West Division.
Florence scored eight runs on only seven hits Saturday for a total of 13 runs on only 12 hits over the first two games of the series combined.
Thomas Nicoll conceded only one run over 3 2/3 valuable innings of relief and struck out three without a walk.
Gateway and Florence will return to action at 4:35 p.m. CDT Sunday for the third of a four-game series. The finale is scheduled for Monday morning.
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.