JOLIET, Ill. — Jordan Barrett tossed six innings without allowing an earned run and the Gateway Grizzlies rattled off the first six runs of the game Thursday en route to an 8-2 win over the Joliet Slammers at Joliet Route 66 Stadium.
Barrett (1-1) struck out seven, walked two, and conceded only four hits while allowing two unearned runs for the victory.
Gateway (4-2) won its second straight game and the series.
As the second batter of the game, Andrew Daniel doubled down the left-field line and Shawon Dunston Jr. immediately followed with a two-bagger of his own to drive home Daniel. Although no other Grizzlies had hits in the first three innings, Daniel and Dunston Jr. supplied another Grizzlies run in the third inning: Daniel doubled again and Dunston Jr. knocked him in with an RBI triple.
Daniel finished 3-for-4 Thursday and 8-for-15 with five doubles and three RBIs in the three-game series. Dunston Jr.’s RBIs were his team-leading fourth and fifth of 2019.
Gateway added four more runs in the fourth inning when the first five Grizzlies to bat — Rafael Valera, Connor Owings, Austin O’Brien, Gunnar Buhner, and Matt McPhearson — all had hits. Buhner drove in two with a double, the only extra-base hit of the frame, and the other four chipped in with singles. O’Brien and McPhearson contributed an RBI each.
Joliet (3-4) scored two unearned runs against Barrett in the bottom of the fourth.
After three walks in the sixth inning, the Grizzlies scored two more on a Daniel single to left.
Patrick Boyle pitched the seventh inning out of the Grizzlies’ bullpen and struck out all three Slammers he faced. Boyle has appeared in four of the Grizzlies’ first six games this season; over 3 2/3 innings, he’s struck out eight, walked two, and allowed neither a run nor a hit.
Dakota Smith worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a strikeout.
Boyle, Smith, and Grant Black — the Grizzlies’ only three returning pitchers — combined to retire all nine Slammers they faced with five strikeouts after Barrett left the game following the sixth.
Gateway’s road trip continues back in the St. Louis area Friday with a 6:35 p.m. CDT first pitch against the River City Rascals in O’Fallon, Mo.
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.