SAUGET, IL – Craig Massoni hit two home runs to help the Gateway Grizzlies open an early 7-0 lead over the Windy City ThunderBolts at GCS Ballpark Saturday night. The Grizzlies would go on to defeat the ThunderBolts 7-2.
Gateway (33-34) began the first inning with back-to-back singles, putting men at the corners with no outs. After a strike out, throw out double play, Bolts starter Tyler Murphy appeared poise to get out of the jam but Massoni hit a deep fly to right-center field that clipped the glove of Johnny Eierman and cleared the fence for a two-run homer.
Logan Davis’s RBI single in the second inning scored Sam Fischer and made it 3-0 and Massoni went deep again in the third. After a Brandon Thomas walk, the second two-run home run of the game put the Bolts down 5-0.
With two on in the fourth, Murphy departed and Andrew Lowe allowed a double to Thomas, the first batter he faced to bring home two more runs. Four ThunderBolts relievers combined to allow just one hit the rest of the night.
The ThunderBolts (32-33) got on the board in the sixth when Eierman doubled and scored on a Tim Zier sacrifice fly.
They added one more in the seventh inning, loading the bases on singles for Charley Thurber and Eierman and a Taylor Smart walk. Thurber would score on a wild pitch to make the score 7-2. The Bolts had a few chances for more late runs but they left five men in scoring position over the final four innings.
Vince Molesky (4-5) struck out eight and allowed two runs over 6.2 innings in the win and Murphy (2-4) allowed seven runs on nine hits over 3.2 innings and took the loss.
The ThunderBolts conclude their three-game series with the Grizzlies and their six-game road trip on Sunday. Kyle Von Ruden (1-1,2.61) will start game three at GCS Ballpark for Windy City against Jon Jones (2-2, 3.49) for Gateway. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and the game broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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