The River City Rascals won a 9-8 thriller over the Gateway Grizzlies on Thursday night, taking the victory on a walk-off single from Trevor Achenbach in the tenth inning of the series opener. The Grizzlies hit four homers on the night in a losing effort, including two from Connor Owings.
After the Grizzlies jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, on an RBI single from Rafael Valera, the Rascals immediately responded with a five-run frame in the bottom of the first inning. The team sent ten men to the plate in the inning, with Kameron Esthay and Andrew Penner picking up RBI singles, Artemis Kadkhodaian netting a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, Cody Livesay bringing a run home on a sacrifice fly, and Braxton Martinez scoring on a wild pitch.
Both teams scored twice in the second inning, the Grizzlies on a two-run homer from Austin O'Brien, and the Rascals on an RBI double from Martinez and a run-scoring single from Nolan Meadows. With the score 7-3 Rascals, Owings hit a two-run blast for the Grizzlies to make it 7-5. After Achenbach made it 8-5 Rascals on an RBI groundout in the sixth, Owings tied the game with his second two-run shot in the seventh, .following Andrew Daniel's lead-off home run.
With one out in the bottom of the tenth, Cody Livesay reached on an infield single, stole second base, and scored on Achenbach's single to win it for the Rascals. Jackson Sigman (1-0) earned the win, pitching two scoreless innings with four strikeouts to close out the game. Grizzlies reliever Sean Johnson (0-1) took the loss, allowing the game-winning run.
Rascals starter Alec Byrd allowed four earned runs in three innings, netting a no-decision. Grizzlies starter Chris Carden also took a no-decision, allowing seven earned runs in 5 1/3 innings of work on the mound.
The Rascals (5-3) look to take the 2-0 series lead over the Grizzlies (4-3) Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CDT at CarShield Field. Dalton Roach will make the start for River City, and will be opposed by Gateway's Reign Letkeman.