SAUGET, Ill. — Reign Letkeman fired six innings of one-run baseball Thursday night and matched his career high with seven strikeouts in a 5-2 Gateway Grizzlies win over the Lake Erie Crushers at GCS Credit Union Ballpark.
Gateway (25-36) salvaged the series and snapped a three-game losing streak.
Brent Sakurai led off the home half of the first inning with a solo home run over the right-field fence to give the Grizzlies an immediate 1-0 lead.
After the Crushers (34-26) scored in the third inning to tie the game, the Grizzlies scored a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning after Lake Erie second baseman Aaron Hill dropped a two-out pop-up in shallow right field that allowed Zak Taylor to score from first base. Gunnar Buhner brought in Anthony Ray on a subsequent RBI single.
Gateway added another pair in the seventh inning — one earned — after Crushers shortstop Emmanuel Marrero dropped a Connor Owings pop-up in shallow center to begin the frame. Matt Brown drove in Owings with a double and scored later on a Shawon Dunston Jr. single.
Letkeman (2-2) earned the win with a quality start and had to battle around a career-high five walks.
Geoff Bramblett struck out three Crushers and converted his fifth save in as many opportunities.
Sakurai, Owings, Taylor, and Dunston Jr. had the Grizzlies' four multi-hit evenings — the club totaled 12 hits over eight innings of offense. Sakurai and Owings remained in a tie for the team lead with 18 multi-hit games each in 2019.
Gateway will open a four-game series against the Joliet Slammers with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch Friday 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.