The Rascals began their season rivalry with the crosstown Gateway Grizzlies on a rough note; surrendering game one 5-2 at TR Hughes Ballpark in O’Fallon. The loss is River City’s eighth in the last nine games, but a loss from the Joliet Slammers keeps the Rascals in fourth place in the Western Division.
The Grizzlies pounced first, bringing a run across in the second inning. Jet Butler singled with one away, Jon Myers reached on an error, and with runners on the corners, Alex Guthrie doubled in a run to make it 1-0. Gateway pulled further ahead in the fourth when former Rascal Spiker Helms doubled in a pair of runs to make it 3-0.
River City finally got on the board in the home half of the inning when Steve Carrillo singled with runners on second and third, bringing home Phil Wunderlich from third base. They’d add another in the fifth when Jake Atwell singled into right, cutting the lead down to 3-2.
But the Grizzlies owned it from there on it, pouring on another two runs in the seventh off RBI from Antone DeJesus and Jose Flores for the 5-2 final.
Drew Goodman took his first professional loss in the start for River City.
Gateway and River City play a home-and-home doubleheader Saturday for fans, where the Rascals will look to bounce back in games two and three. The day game begins at 12:05 at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Illinois, and wraps up at 7:05 in O’Fallon, Missouri. For tickets, fans can call (636)240-BATS, or visit www.RiverCityRascals.com.